Being a Mom Is No Excuse for Being a Jerk

Have you seen the "No-Bullshit, No-Drama Friendship Manifesto" that's been shared all over Facebook? It's from a blog post published on Renegade Mothering, and I've seen it linked over and over from moms who are like, "THIS." Or "YES." Or "THIS. YES."

The no-BS friendship manifesto has some great stuff in it that I fully identify with. Like when she says "When you swear in front of my kids I won’t care. Because obviously." Or "Maybe your house is clean. Maybe it isn’t. Maybe who gives a rat’s ass?"

But the stuff about giving our fellow moms a free pass on being complete and utter flakes? Dude. No. No, no, no, no. Being a parent doesn't mean we should treat our friends like they aren't important to us.


The author suggests that the best friends for a mom to have are the ones who aren't into drama, and who wouldn't agree with that? But then she loses me when she says,

However, I often hear about mothers getting on other mothers’ cases for perfectly reasonable mother-behavior like being a fucking flake. And I’m baffled.

Listen, I can tell that this person and I would mostly get along like gangbusters for the simple fact that she wrote "fucking" instead of "goshdarn." And I'm all for "letting go of the B.S." in our search for real friendship. I don't want friends who judge my parenting choices or one-up my accomplishments or gossip about me behind my back. I also don't want friends who use "kids and domestic life partners and jobs" as an excuse to fail at Politeness 101.

Here are the first items on her list:

1. I will not get on your case for not texting me back in a timely manner.
2. I will not get on your case for not calling me back in a timely manner.
3. This is because I will soon be the one not calling and texting you back in a timely manner.
4. If you tell me you’re going to call me back “in a few minutes” I understand I may not hear from you for 3 days.

Further down the list (which, again, is mostly stuff I don't disagree with at all):

24. I understand that “on time” means “not as late as I usually am.”

Okay, maybe I'm too sensitive, but when people don't take three seconds out of their day to text me back, I don't feel good about things. I'm not saying I expect an immediate reply, but … well, come on. If we've all got time to, say, share articles on Facebook that so accurately capture our belief that as mothers we cannot help being unreliable, we've got time to send a damn text.

More From The Stir: Why Are So Many 'Mom Friends' Mean Girls?

As for being chronically late? Chronically lame. If someone's continually late when meeting me I assume my time isn't important to them. Yeah, getting out the door with kids can be a chore, but … believe me, if I can do it, anyone can do it.

During the last school year, I met a mom from my kindergartener's class, and I really liked her. My son was friends with her son, and I wrestled my normal shyness into submission enough to set up a playdate in a park, and then followed up with an invitation for her son to come play at our house. The enormous amounts of time she would take to write me back made me hesitant, though, and when a couple texts simply went unanswered, I gave up.

So you tell me: was she just being a no-drama flake because she's a mom and I should have understood that and continued pursuing the friendship anyway? Because to MY mind, not responding to someone in fact creates drama, because it makes the other person question things, and if there's one thing I don't want in a friendship it's a giant quivering pile of UNCERTAINTY.

I know, I know. You're thinking this of me right now, aren't you?

Maybe I'm just sensitive and weird and that's why I have so much trouble making friends, because I take a perfectly normal situation like someone being busy and forgetting to text me back and I turn it into a roiling mass of self-criticism in mental linkbait form. 57 Reasons No One Likes Me (SLIDESHOW).

But maybe it's just not that hard to be polite, you know? And maybe it's hard enough to make connections with other adults when we're mired in the isolation of parenthood without okaying behavior that makes it even harder to connect.

What do you think, are most moms flaky and should be forgiven for things like not texting, being late, not RSVPing for kid parties, etc?

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