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What makes a really great friendship?

(46 Posts)
emkana Fri 08-Apr-05 21:03:40

Since having children I find that I find the whole topic of "friendship" much more difficult. I have quite a few friends and acquaintances (sp?) and I value the time I spend with them, but some of them are in Germany, so a bit far away, and also childless and still very much into partying and their career, whereas I have been a SAHM for four years.
The people I'm close to in this country do all have children, and they're lovely people. But - and I really hope this doesn't come over all wrong: In a vital part of my life, which is raising children, we're in many ways not on the same wavelength. I'm very much into attachment parenting, whereas they're all decidedly not. This means that there's many things I find difficult to discuss as they don't share my views/experiences. So I don't even talk about sleep/breastfeeding/weaning etc. because my views are opposed to theirs but I don't want them to feel that I criticize their choices, because I don't, I just make different ones. But it means that I can't ask for advice, discuss my own problems - oh I don't know. I know childrearing is by no means everything, and I do really really like my friends here etc. But it would just be great to have one friend who is largely on the same wavelength as me, so I could just pick up the phone and say "God I'm so tired, dd2 who's co-sleeping and 20 months woke up three times to breastfeed last night..." without the response being just one big question mark or something else...
Do I expect too much? What are your friendships like? What is it all about? Confused of Gloucestershire!

expatinscotland Fri 08-Apr-05 21:05:06

Space. Lots and lots of space.

emkana Fri 08-Apr-05 21:05:50

???

hermykne Fri 08-Apr-05 21:19:36

emkana
i am very lucky and have that friend, there are 3 and 8 wks between both our children and we are so on the same wavelength, its great, she says of me that if she'd been on her own with her 1st child she would not have got thru the 1st 4/6mths.

i just find it great to being able to say to her "why dont they just be honest about it" in reference to other people and "glowing" kids.

i think your friendships naturally decrease as one gets older whilst childrearing takes over and time is preciuos with children and husband/partner.

someone once said to me you have 5 true friends and i didnt believe them and said i had more, they said i was lucky, i do have more but not much but we all know each other from school and never fell out - bar the odd boyfriend issue!

i dont expect anything of anybody, i worked in retail and saw some nasty sides of customers who looked lovely prior to opening their gobs, so it made me very cautious and if u want anything done do it yourself and my mother always says "neither a borrower nor lender be"
which rang true for me in a friendship.

we all have images of lifestyle , happy friends meeting , eating , drinking, kids playing, i dont think it like that, but maybe something to aspire to or create if you want to invite people into your life

i keep it simple

expatinscotland Fri 08-Apr-05 21:21:00

Space as in not getting bent out of shape if I can't go out as much after having DD. Space as in not wondering excessively, 'Do you still like me?'

emkana Fri 08-Apr-05 22:05:19

Bump

posyhairdresser Fri 08-Apr-05 22:33:24

Is there a way you can meet up with some attachment parenters? Either you may find a soul mate there or else just discuss the parenting issues so that you do not need that bit from your other friends?

emkana Fri 08-Apr-05 22:37:36

Would love to - but where/how to find them?

posyhairdresser Sat 09-Apr-05 10:02:06

Try starting a thread on here called "calling all attachment parenters"? Or use the web/other parent websites to find some?

dropinthe Sat 09-Apr-05 10:18:20

Emkana-can I be your friend?(shy emoticon)
I sound exactly like you! I too have many casual friends,some with kids,some without but as you say I dont feel comfortable talking to the mums I know(apart from on here) about how I choose to parent my boys.Like you Ive bent all the rules-co-sleeping because I cant imagine a nicer,warmer,comforting way of starting their little sleepy lives than with me and dh-Breastfeeding on demand at night,although a pain at 14 months,I want to give him all the comfort I can. Both 3 year and 14 month fall asleep in our arms/on the sofa every night-never much later than 8.30. My boys are so kind,so relaxed,so happy that I cant see what I am doing wrong. Ask any of my friends/family and they all think I have made a rod etc etc....I would love too to have someone to really share things with-havent had a "best" friend for years-there is alot to be said for them!

Beetroot Sat 09-Apr-05 10:23:43

Message withdrawn

Libb Sat 09-Apr-05 10:30:46

No questions, just listening and giving space when needed.

ScummyMummy Sat 09-Apr-05 10:35:07

I don't know if friendship is just about similarity. though. Even if you do find people who parent in a similarish way it doesn't necessarily mean you'll like them. I think all the friends I really love best are warm, supportive, quirky, funny and have a zest for life. Some have kids, some don't. Of those who do, some seem to parent a bit like me and some don't. A lot of the time I don't notice too much- it's them I love, not their kids. (Though obviously I do tend to like their kids- fear not!)

emkana Sat 09-Apr-05 21:52:07

Thanks for all your messages, really interesting to read everybody's thoughts.
I know what you are saying about loving the friend, not their kids - but raising children is such a defining part of me ATM, and attachment parenting is something that I have really given a lot of thought to, that a truly deep friendship would have to include this essential aspect of my life. In a few years time when my children are older and my life has changed it might be different.

@dropinthe:
Would love to be your friend! Where in the country are you? Our children are of similar age too! (My dd's are nearly four and 20 months. And they are such a happy, wonderful children... guess we're just lucky to have such good children in spite of the proverbial rod! )

dropinthe Sun 10-Apr-05 09:03:31

Sorry wasnt around last night-had an excuse to be on so long yesterday what with weddings and races but then dh was throwing dirty looks my way hinting that he didnt stay at home for me to be on here all day!!
I live in South London-with me, I had some really good friends in my single years but they were mainly going out with and girly holiday friends-we only really speak once a month-they still go out but I dont really feel comfortable going to pubs and clubs anymore-I did that none stop in my twenties and am more a dinner sort of lady now-when I get the time-at home and to restaurants.
I am also still good friends with two other women who Ive known since I was 18-we all married in the same year-2000-and one has got 2 kids approx the same age as mine-she is now the only friend who I talk to every couple of days but not to put too fine a point on it she has never stimulated me intellectually-if that sounds bad its not meant to-she just hasnt ever been on my wavelength before apart from the basic parenting things mums talk about.
It would be great to have a happy medium in a friend-its a tall order and, as you say, I too value the time I spend with the friends I do have but I havent felt like Ive had a good bond/link with anyone since I was a teenage tomboy!!

I think that why I like Mumsnet-I'm just amazed at how intereting everyone is on here!

dropinthe Sun 10-Apr-05 09:03:52

And they spell better than I can!

flamesparrow Sun 10-Apr-05 09:16:53

I am very short on friends (because RL people scare me into a little ball in a corner), but the ones I do have work BECAUSE we can be honest with eachother - we know that we have different ideas about some aspects of parenting, and get on with it. We are sympathetic with things like the waking co-sleeper even if it is not what we would do, because we know what its like to be bloody tired!!!

dropinthe Sun 10-Apr-05 09:25:28

Its better to have a few good,easy going friends than loads of superficial ones!

dropinthe Mon 11-Apr-05 16:07:45

I wish I had one now to talk to!

FastasleepTheInsomniac Mon 11-Apr-05 16:10:29

'I am very short on friends (because RL people scare me into a little ball in a corner)' - ditto! I used to cry like a bit of a loon about having no friends actually but I'm over it now, I have one or two (literally lol) newish friends.....hopefully I'll find some more...

In need of good friends....can do train journeys lol

FastasleepTheInsomniac Mon 11-Apr-05 16:25:11

Oops killed the thread with my anti-social ways!

dropinthe Mon 11-Apr-05 16:26:07

Not at all-been too busy starting/posting on too many subjects at once!! Where do you reside??

FastasleepTheInsomniac Mon 11-Apr-05 16:28:59

Oh heehee Liverpool...the nervous laughing's started already!

dropinthe Mon 11-Apr-05 16:31:40

<<<<<<<<<<in best scouse accent>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

"Eh,caaalm down"!!

FastasleepTheInsomniac Mon 11-Apr-05 16:33:45

I have a non-accent accent thank god! My DH does a very good 'Caaaalm down caaalm down' impression though

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