We are half way through our study of No More Perfect Moms. Half way to accepting ourselves for who we are, the way we were made, authentic and beautiful, embracing our imperfections. We’ve been discussing how we can become authentic moms by stripping away our masks, getting real with our children, our husbands, and ourselves. But what about our friendships? Has the Perfection Infection affected them too?
No More Perfect Moms – Chapter 6 – No More Perfect Friends
In chapter 6 of No More Perfect Moms we are talking about friends – specifically, two types of friends: the “Here I am” type or the “There you are” type. Which am I? All too often my own timidity and insecurities cause me to be a “Here I am” kind of friend. But when I am feeling confident and secure in a particular situation or in a certain friendship, I can be a “There you are” kind of friend.
Being the latter kind of person may mean you easily invite needy friends into your inner circle. These friendships sometimes drain your energy and do not give back. Being the former kind of friend might be a real life way to let others know that you are feeling alone and would really like to be friends. A balance between the two is the most healthy of all, and is what we moms need in real life.
Jill Savage reminds us that friendship is a two-way street. She even gives us a list of ‘mommy manners’. It includes things like offering to bring something to help with lunch or snacks when visiting for a playdate and having your children put away toys and games before you leave. Ask your hostess where you can put that dirty diaper, rather than leaving it in the bathroom or kitchen trash. Be a good listener, don’t try to top your friend’s stories or experiences, let her enjoy sharing.
My friends, how is your friendship bank? Have you invested in nurturing and sustaining healthy friendships? Or are you looking to build friendships? Has the Perfection Infection affected your friendships? There is no such thing as a perfect friend, and you are not the perfect friend. So let’s apply The Antidote from Chapter 2 to our friendships.
Change expectations. Notice we aren’t talking about lowering expectations, just changing them. A friend will not always respond in the way you’d wish. Remembering your friend will sometimes err will give you opportunity to bestow grace and forgiveness, building the bond between you. Pursue humility. When a friend misses the mark or makes a mistake, are you quick to offer suggestions on how they should have acted or behaved differently? Or do you take time to listen with compassion before jumping to conclusions? Pursue courage. There are times when something does need to be said to a friend. Or a friend has something they need to say to us. Are we speaking in love? Listening with humility? Or ignoring the issue hoping it will go away? Fear of facing the hard things will keep your friendship surfacey and shallow. Take the risk, be courageous, dig deeper in your friendships. Be confident. Jill Savage says “Confidence comes from defining ourselves as God sees us: forgiven, loved, valuable, and filled with hope and promise. . . carry your God-confidence with you when you reach out to someone.” Focusing on who we are in Christ will take our focus off our own imperfections and insecurities, making us into a friend that is faithful and true.
Scripture gives us the very best examples of friendship: Jesus had the disciples, and Lazarus, Mary, Martha. The three closest to Him failed him when He needed them (Matthew 26:36-45), yet He laid down His life for them. Christ gave to those who were not deserving, because He loved. What better model of a friend can we look to?
This final quote from chapter 6 seems a fitting way to wrap up this summary:
“There are no perfect friends–just fellow moms, trying to do their best and discovering that there’s more joy in doing life together.”