An animated graphic of a neon no vacancy sign, with the no flickering on and off.
Relationships

I Don't Want To Make New Friends, And Here's Why

Everything changed when I turned 40.

When I was a young mom, I was desperate to make connections with other women in my shoes. Play dates, school volunteering and sitting on the sidelines found me in the midst of small-town drama for years.

And it was exhausting.

As I've grown into my 40s, I've weeded out the people who don't bring me joy and I've cultivated my close friendships, the women who have seen me at my worst and don't judge me.

I pray those girlfriends who know my secrets won’t ever leave me.

Because I don't want to go back to trolling preschool lines for new friends.

Now, before you go calling me a curmudgeon and accuse me of yelling at kids to stay off my lawn, hear me out.

My best friend and I have a saying, “It’s not that we won’t accept new friends. It’s just that we aren’t taking applications right now.”

Because we are tired. We barely have time to text each other stupid GIFs and emojis about our busy lives. There’s no way we have time to interview potential new Starbucks gossip buddies. Sorry, ladies. I’m just not hiring right now. There are simply no more vacancies available. Maybe check back later.

Making mom friends is hard work.

Kids and jobs and soccer schedules that make Queen Elizabeth’s schedule look like child’s play mean moms just don’t have time for drama anymore.

In my days as a preschool mom, I was eager to meet someone over three feet tall who was willing to engage in conversations about something other than Thomas the Tank Engine. And that meant I was willing to put up with a lot more, because I was desperate for adult interaction.

I’d attend demonstrations for products I didn’t need or want, simply because it meant no one would say the words “Sesame Street.” I’d grit my teeth through play dates with judgy moms who made snarky comments about the type of ketchup I used with the nonorganic chicken nuggets I served her kid for lunch. And, I sat on the sidelines with women who did nothing but gossip about the other moms on the team.

Through it all, I would wonder why I put so much time and energy into friendships that didn’t scratch the surface of what I was really going through as a mother.

But two things happened to change all of that: I turned 40 and I eventually found my people.

In my 40s, I have found my voice as a woman. In my 40s, I have learned to set boundaries for my friendships. I have become braver and less willing to buy kitchen gadgets in the name of adult conversation.

In the last few years, I have managed to cultivate a circle of women who still answer my calls, even though it usually involves some type of embarrassing parenting crisis (or, in some cases, help with the impossible Shih Tzu who lives with us). I found a circle of women who have lifted me up during times when I could barely stand, and they are the ones who have helped me laugh through the trials of parenting.

I have found the women for whom I will get out of bed in the middle of the night, no questions asked. I’ll even bring bail money.

Basically, I have found my village and I am never letting them leave.

And because I cherish their friendships so deeply, I simply don’t have the time to take chances on the drama mama who is giving side-eye to the woman next to me at the PTA meeting.

My life is blessed, chaotic and so busy that I forget to shower some days. And my tribe sees past my unwashed, often forgetful self. These women are the ones who throw me a lifeline in the form of a “I’m so done with today. Wanna come over for a glass of wine?” text at exactly the right point on a Wednesday from hell.

So, to the new friends on the waiting list to join my tribe, be patient.

I might be hiring in my 50s.

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An animated graphic of a neon no vacancy sign, with the no flickering on and off.