Best Friends & Threesomes Suck: Tales of a Girl Mom!

When my daughters started elementary school, my biggest concern were the academics. Would they struggle with math or hate reading? Would the homework load suck all their free time? Ironically, the thing I worried the least about has turned out to be the issue causing the biggest head and heartache. FRIENDSHIPS. One of the best things the world has to offer can also be the hardest. 

From the moment I was told I was having a girl (and then another), people offered excitement about all the shopping possibilities, the lifelong friendships mothers and daughter have and magical bonds of sisterhood, right before they dropped the d-word. DRAMA. Yes, everyone agreed I was in for it with a pair of girls. A future filled with emotions, PMS, and cyclical raging hormones. I politely laughed it off and chose to focus on the important things, ribbons and curls until now.

Unlike the preschool years, my elementary-age girls are making their own friends not just the offspring of my friends. They have more opportunities than ever to bond with new people in their classes, on the playground, through extracurriculars activities etc… The issue isn’t the friendships per say but rather the need to put a label on it. I blame those darn “BFF ” necklaces they sell everywhere. Never underestimate the power of a shiny fake silver charm, moms! Girls want to be known and celebrated. And nothing says that better than a piece of costume jewelry.

Apparently, playgrounds are like Bachelor rose ceremonies and a limited number will make the “bff cut.” Because this is their first rodeo, young girls don’t realize that B.F.F really stands for Best Friends For now.  School classes change every year, one fall you play soccer and the next spring its basketball instead. The same reason so many friendships are being made is the same reason those friendships will drift apart.

Thankfully unlike the Bachelor, things rarely get catty (anyone else watch the epic Taylor vs Corrine matchup this season?) but they do get teary. Innocent tender hearts don’t yet understand that sometimes no one did anything wrong. Sometimes things just change and people move on. I know the anti-bullying campaign is big right now but I really think there’s room for an anti-bestie movement. Stop labeling your friendships. Instead of worrying who is or isn’t your BFF, concentrate on being the best kind of friend to everyone. Best friendships happen after being a loyal, kind and forgiving friend over time. Most of these girls just met each other!

What I hate more than my children not flushing the toilet when I remind them mid-stream is the number 3. It is the worst number when it comes to girlfriends. What mama said still rings true. Two’s company but three’s a crowd. This isn’t rocket science. We know how long it took to convince our kids to share, compromise and play nicely with one person. We didn’t want to jinx their success, that’s why we sent them to preschool. Shout out to those brave preschool teachers, we know we owe you. Threesomes are a disaster waiting to happen and believe me it happens.

With girlfriends, one takes on the leader role while they other is the sidekick and the third is left wondering what her part is to play. And this irregular ratio of power is fluid. One day you’re in and the next day you’re out, cue tears again. My girls have played all positions in a threesome (I pray I never use that sentence again like ever) and they all stink. When you are “in”, it really means you are caught in the middle. This friend empathizes with the one left out but secretly loves that she was picked to be the best bud. No need to explain being left out, it still happens in adult friendships so you get it.

I’m just getting my feet wet when it comes to the complicated err.. dramatic girl world. Our daughters aren’t the only ones learning as they go. I have seen my own angels hurt their friend’s feelings after what I thought was impeccable mothering. It is a tough job to help your kiddos navigate these relationship ups and downs. In the end, when my girls do find that forever friend, it will be worth all the drama!

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