An Encore Post – How Being A Mother Can Sabotage Your Friendships

Published: May 13, 2012 | Last Updated: May 13, 2012 By | 5 Replies Continue Reading

Mother’s Day celebrates motherhood—as well as children, flowers, candy, and greeting cards. But there’s a seedy side to everything—and motherhood is a known friendship-killer. Motherhood can challenge female friendships for a variety of reasons:

  • You are a mother, and your BFF isn’t one and wants to be one. Her fertility problems are making her extremely frustrated, depressed, and angry at you.
  • You are single or childless, by choice, and your BFF is always telling you that you are making a big miistake that you’ll later regret.
  • Your BFF is a merry mother of six and you have no desire to even be a mother of one. When you’re together, she never stops talking about her brood.
  • You and your BFF both have children but they are at different ages or stages (And one of hers is a biter).
  • You and your BFF have vastly different views on child-rearing. You’re permissive and believe in letting kids be kids. She believes in turning children into little adults.
  • Your children and/or spouse don’t get along with your BFF’s children and/or spouse. When her son punched yours in the nose, her husband said your son provoked him.
  • On a practical level, all other things being equal, you have less discretionary time for friendships than high-school or college-age women, married women without children, and older women. With all your responsibilities, you barely have time to shower.
  • You are a mother-martyr who places the needs of your children and family above your own social needs.
  • You have fewer opportunities to meet new friends than you did when you were younger and more care-free—you only go to noisy, active places with children where it’s hard to have heart-to-heart conversations.


At different times of our lives, there are real shifts in the number and nature of our female friendships. When you were in high school or college, you may have been surrounded by a circle of close female friends. Then you became a mother and for one or more of the reasons mentioned above, you find that you’re having more than your share of problems making or maintaining female friendships. 

This Mother’s Day, give yourself a little gift that no one else would ever think of. Jot down an appointment on your calendar to have lunch with a friend, or to have a girl’s night out. It’s the equivalent of putting on your own oxygen mask first. Don’t think you are the only mother this has happened to.


Taking small steps to build female friendships enhances our own physical and emotional well-being, and makes us better mothers in the long-run.

Happy Mother’s Day!

This post was previously published here in 2008 but still rings true! 


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Comments (5)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I have been struggling with infertility for many year and I agree with Anonymous…not everyone who struggles with infertility are angry and depressed. But Mother’s day is a difficult time of year for me and many women in my shoes. I go out of my way to wish my friends a happy Mother’s day but it goes both ways for big things in my life too.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I really needed to read this as a reminder. My friendships have become distanced because most of my friends have children and I am reaching 40 and am still childless, not by choice. Now it looks like they wished they could enjoy some of the benefits I have of single life. It’s tough, but I hope that we can catch up some day.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Being a mother, has had the largest impact on all my adults friendships since I had my first child. ALl of my close friends are the same type of mother, if that makes sense.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for talking about how motherhood can create tension between women who have kids and those who hope to have them.

    My only concern, please be careful not to perpetuate the stereotype that women struggling with fertility issues are all angry, or depressed. Sometimes they welcome the friendships with open arms, but both parties need to adjust.

  5. Trinity-Hawkeye says:

    i am a author of all and many books
    no offense, but some girls looked up at their mothers as friends and they can still have their other friends too.

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