All My Friends are Online

5 years ago

I’m not sure what I thought parent/adulthood would be like. I imagined a husband, kids, a job, managing finances, buying cars… you know, the stuff commercials are made of. I never imagined that it would be hard(er) to maintain friendships and even hard(er) to make new friends. What was I thinking? Sometimes friendships as an adult seem downright impossible.

Like most people, I have several close friends. All have origins in the TBC (time before children). All now live at least an hour or so away. We used to send birthday presents and write real letters… and in some cases, those things have slipped away. While some of us try hard, we are lucky to get to spend one day a year together; much luckier still to get time together without children and even luckier still to have conversations that don’t revolve around parenting and the kids. It seems like a pipe dream now to actually have a really close friend live nearby that I A) don’t work with and B) can confide in on a deeper level than day-to-day parenting woes.

[Side note: I just checked all my pictures on Facebook and none of them are of a friend of mine nor me+a friend. Is that sad or normal?]

I’m not saying I don’t have friends nearby, and I’m not saying that those friends don’t have ‘deep friendship’ potential but – like all of us parents – they’re busy too! Good friendships are built over time and with increasing trust. That is a tall order for moms in the working world….. heck, probably any mom! For me, at least 11 hours of my day are for the office/driving/lunch, 4 hours for shower/kids/cooking/eating. If I’m lucky, another 8 hours are for sleeping. That leaves 1 hour for things like reading, exercising, making friends and hanging out with them. Except weekends which are totally freeeeeeee like the wind. Right? Not.

But women need friendships…. those time+trust kinds of friendships… and the time and space to nurture them. I know that after I have a non-kid-related conversation with a long-time bud, I feel so much better – and nothing changed except that I was able to talk to an empathetic friend about something that mattered. But any more, all my friends are online. We email. We talk on the phone very rarely… less and less often it seems.

Photo Credit: Friendship via Shutterstock.

I miss my friends. I wish I could see them more. I wish we lived closer.

Slowly I’m learning how to “make new friends but keep the old” (one is silver and the other gold) in ‘adult world’. {I know I’m 35 and just figuring this out?} Just last week I was able to have a great dinner with two other moms from our daycare; their daughters are my daughter’s friends. It took us a month to find a good time that worked for all of us working moms, but we finally got it together – over email – and it was so fun!

I’m also learning that you don’t have to know somebody forever to confide in them or be their friend, or have a great deeper conversation, or lend your ear or shoulder to them. And that work friendships can be just as good as non-work friendships…. if the environment is conducive. Time+trust is all relative, and a close friendship can actually be carved in less time in adult world.

Are most of your friendships online these days?

Mary Beth Cox

Originally posted in

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