I’ve been in my share of mom friend groups over the last few years, and for some reason the types in each group stay constant. I mean, sure, we’re all different and special and unique and blahblahblah, but it still seems to happen, no matter what. Here are the types I’ve stumbled upon (I’ve even been all of these at one time or another):
You turn to this friend with your problems all the time. Like, ALL. THE. TIME. To be fair, she always seems to be ready and happy to listen. She always has coffee, tea, and time to tell you what you should be doing to fix your problems, whatever they may be. She may even be a hot mess herself, but she can be counted on regularly for great advice. A background in psychology is possible, but not necessary.
The Counselor somehow knows how to calm your kids down in ways you haven’t thought of, and these ways will magically work. They also have a way of talking to small children that makes you wish you could just send the kids to their house for the next few years. Sometimes, you feel like The Counselor may be judging you a little for your explosions when the kids get out of hand, but if she is, she’s kind enough not to mention it.
You can often turn to The Counselor for insight into another person’s reasons for their behavior, which is both impressive and annoying as hell when you really just want to complain. You don’t go to the Counselor to complain, though. You go for solutions. And for snacks, because homegirl will have snacks.
This friend is usually hilarious. It’s actually kind of infuriating how naturally funny this person is. It’s well-known that you don’t make stupid mistakes in front of The Jerk unless you feel like being laughed at. In fairness, everything is funny to her, so you didn’t have a chance to begin with. Stand up comedy is a favorite of hers, and she’s forever down to bitch and complain about kids, spouses, and people in general.
The Jerk is the one you can count on to wave away your parenting mistakes without judgement — after all, she’s a hot mess, too, and she knows it. She’s the one you can rely on to offer you a mimosa and a pat on the back when you’re tearing yourself up for threatening to let your kid live outside, because she gets it and she probably made the same comment just yesterday.
The Jerk got so funny by dealing with her issues via humor, so don’t expect her to open up to you very easily. For some reason, she’ll also be the one most likely to borrow your stuff. But she’s also usually the most giving and the most loyal of all of your friends. Like, she’d be the one to help you bury a body in the dead of night with minimal questions asked. So you love her anyway.
You all know the absentee exists. You have seen her once or twice in the last few months. Other than that, though, she mainly exists via texts, and those texts are generally apologizing for not being able to meet up.
The thing is, The Absentee is a loving, caring, fun friend. You love being friends with her, and you know she’d give you the shirt off of her back if she could just make it out of her house once in a damned while. You just also really miss her face and have started to forget what it looks like. You miss her brown eyes…or were they blue? And her…hair? Did she have hair? Maybe she’s bald. It’s been awhile.
Anyway. At the base of it all, you know that every “I wish I could make it!” message is heartfelt, and you know that your life would be emptier without her, so you keep reaching out to her anyway. After all, those moments when she can make it are totally worth it and are so warm you’ll be well-held-over until you see her again in six months.
For some reason, this friend is always trying to make you do shit. When you go places together, she’s the one wanting to hang out past your 7:30 bedtime to watch street musicians, or try out a new bar, or go night biking or something. The Funthusiast wants to live life to the fullest, and you’re pretty sure she’s trying to kill you all in the meantime.
She’s the one who buys you time at playdates and birthday parties, because she’s busy entertaining the children and coming up with games for them to play. You can count on her to bring the best toys and gifts for your kids, which you’d really appreciate if these toys didn’t also make tons of noise almost 100% of the time.
Truth is, though, if it wasn’t for her, your group would literally never do anything ever. The Funthusiast suggests group outings that you wind up enjoying, and she’s the one who’s got eyes on the next cool thing coming up. Somehow she’ll have tickets to cool shows, bottle service at awesome clubs, and passage to places you know you’re not interesting enough to go to. You can also count on her to soften things The Asshole says by laughing until everyone else is laughing, too.
In fact, she’s pretty much always laughing, making new friends wherever she goes, and she never forgets to bring the rest of you along. And for that, you love her. Even if she does make you tired sometimes.
The Responsible One
Every comedy troupe needs a “straight-man,” and mom friend groups are no different. The Responsible One (heretofore referred to as “TRO”) rides in on her trusty steed to kill dreams on the regular. The Funthusiast exasperates her daily. She’ll be the first to remind you that you’re supposed to be home soon, that you’ve got kids at home, and that fighting that girl who just shoved you at the bar is only going to lead to jail and she will not bail you out. Except you know she totally would. At least you think she would.
TRO is also the one who’ll remember things others forgot to bring to playdates and other social situations. Most times, she’ll make a point to bring extra snacks, clothes, and/or diapers “just in case,” and there will almost always be a case.
TRO never has drama, never really knows what’s going on in other social circles, and frankly couldn’t care less. She usually has her own shit going on, so it’s not like she has the time to care about it anyway. That’s not to say she isn’t down to hear about other people’s drama; she just asks that you keep that shit far far away from her, because she’s too old for it and doesn’t have the energy.
She makes time for her friends whenever she can, though, because she loves them and they’re worth it. Plus, she knows that the rest of the group would probably wind up dead without her.
Note: Most of these are interchangeable, and each person can wind up more than one of these at any given time. Also, if one of these sounds just like you, I’m kind of proud but I can’t be blamed for my accuracy. Sorry. And give your friends a hug next time you see them: they’re the best because they love you.
So which one are you?