Friendships and parenting
So, in addition to all the drama a couple weeks ago involving one friend who decided to act like a controlling nutjob (thankfully that seems to have died down, but I know she’s been stalking my blog. (Sidebar: Why are you here, if you want nothing to do with me? Get a life) — we’ve had another growing friend situation that has been making me weary and sad.
This one isn’t really dramatic. It isn’t dramatic at all. It may be a boring, sad story about friends growing apart. But because those friends were ones I had hoped could be a part of our lives, and our kid’s life, for a long time, it makes me particularly sad.
Is there anything in the world that people have less opinions about than parenting? Whether they are parents, or aren’t, whether they subscribe to a particular philosophy, or not. There’s no shortage of ways in which parents can be made to feel not “good enough” no matter what you do. Should you let your kid fall and get back up, or prevent her from falling? Should you let her sleep in your bed, or let him cry it out in his crib? Should you send her to public school, or send him to a private school? Should you wean off the bottle or nipple before a certain age? Should you avoid letting him eat peanuts or give small tastes and see how it goes? On and on and on.
And then there’s the differences that come up because of adoption. Recently, a FB group I belong to erupted into hurtful remarks and several members leaving – including the friends we may have grown apart from – over private adoption versus foster-adoption. I mean, talk about a small minority turning on each other! We’re all there because we’re transracially adopted families, people with whom I feel desperate to connect – and we can’t keep from turning on each other because some people think private adoption is elitist and some people think the foster system is fucked up. They’re both right, by the way. Both systems are fucked up and need reform. But there’s decent good people in both systems and kids who need homes and who find good homes in both. Surely there’s a way we can support each other despite making different parenting choices. Right?
One day a couple weeks ago, as an art therapy exercise for myself, I made a social atom of the people in my life. I needed to take inventory of who I have and who I can still count on. It just seems like there’s so many ways we humans push each other away, it’s amazing we ever build communities. But the good news is, I still had a very full social atom with lots of people who love and support me and my family. And that’s who I need to focus my time and energy on.