All Articles Tagged "friends"
A few days ago, my daughter comes up to me and says, “You’re my best friend!” I was startled at the statement. My mental knee jerked and I responded, “I’m not your friend. I’m your father.” I could immediately see her energy deflate a bit. It got me thinking: “Did I make a mistake?”
So, let me explain a few things.
As a parent, I am part new-school and part old-school. The old-school part clearly comes from my father and mother, who were traditionalists. I heard things like, “Don’t talk back,” “Get a switch,” and communication was mostly a one-way street. I’m a bit different. I am still into my hip-hop, love comic books and movies, and can even dap. My daughter and I talk about everything from Kanye West as a Kardashian to Marcus Garvey’s theories to binge watching the Star Wars saga. At times, we dance in the house until we are out of breath. Shoot, we recently pulled up some instrumentals on Spotify and freestyled after dinner. Then I told her to go finish her homework.
Now, I know there has to be a clear line between parent and so-called “friend,” but I’m still pondering.
Best friends tend to be honest with each other. They communicate. They work out their issues. They have fun and they laugh a lot. Parents can be bummers. They make you clean your room and do the dishes. Kids, as they ease into adulthood, tend to lie to their parents. They hide a lot. They fumble through their teen years with their peers a accomplices. Furthermore, I have noticed that the mother/daughter dynamic often results in a closer relationship. (This has a lot to do with the “Black don’t crack theory.)
I have to conclude that we can be a hybrid, but we cannot truly be friends. I cannot tell my daughter my true feelings about certain family members. I certainly didn’t realize such and such was was a bum until I was older. My daughter does not make the decisions in the house. We often talk about how we move, but ultimately I make the decisions. Pulling rank is particularly important with matters of money (LOL!). Parents and friends see life much differently. I’m getting my daughter ready for the world, and that’s not going to happen being a friend.
A wise person once said, “You aren’t a good parent if you child never says ‘I hate you’ at least once. While I never want to hear those words, I am prepared.
I once whispered those words in a way that was never heard from another living soul. (I’d get a whuppin!) My daughter is still a preteen and has not yet fully exerted her individualism. I know that is on the way and it will be far more difficult to be “besties.” Recently, in a freestyle rap, she said it again. I didn’t correct her this time. I just busted a rap and let the iPad record the whole thing. We laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed.
Being friends isn’t so bad. Being a father is a gift.
Just know there are boundaries and times when separation is parenting. For the other times, we can rock matching Tim boots and trade battle raps until her true best friend Daniella takes over.
So parents, am I wrong for telling my kid we aren’t friends?
Recently, one of my neighbors asked me to help her out by walking her sons home from the bus stop a few times. She’d just had surgery and was unable to walk up the street to meet them. I was more than happy to do it. She’s always been a great neighbor and her kids are sweet. It was no trouble at all.
I later found out that her surgery was major (in my opinion) and I felt really bad. Why? Because I didn’t offer to help her more. She never shared what the surgery was for, and I never asked. I was raised to believe that you don’t pry into people’s lives and you don’t let people pry into yours. Although we are friendly, we aren’t close friends, and I didn’t want her to think I was being nosy.
But looking back, I could have extended more help without knowing the details. I didn’t need the details to offer a helping hand. I could have asked her if she needed something from the store or if she wanted the boys to play at my house for a bit so she could rest.
As a mom I find that I am so careful sometimes about how I approach other moms; too careful, really. I wonder… Will I offend her? Will she think I am passing judgment about how much she can handle? Will she think I’m being nosy?
I have spoken to a few close friends and it seems like some of them have similar thoughts. So many of us are willing to help but the fear of the unknown makes us stay in our lane and only extend help when asked.
This would be fine if it wasn’t for the fact that most moms have trouble asking for help. I know women who would rather be pissed off at their own husbands than asking him to help out more. It’s like we are condition to believe we must take care of everything on our own and only ask for help when we simply have no other choice.
But what if we asked for help when it wasn’t the last resort. What if we asked another mom to help out because we’ve had too many sleepless nights and we are struggling? What if we asked for help because our husbands have been working around the clock and we need 30 minutes to get some cleaning done without the kids interrupting?
The truth is, I don’t know the details of my neighbor’s situation.
Maybe she had enough family support to help her keep things under control.
Maybe she didn’t need anything more than what she asked for.
But maybe—just maybe—she could have used a little more support.
Maybe I should have been less worried about prying and more concerned with offering a helping hand to a fellow mom.
I think it would be nice for moms to support each other a bit more. Take turns hosting play dates so another mom can go get her nails done. Let your friend know you are headed to a store that may be out of the way just in case she needs something from that specific store. Offer to host a mom’s night at your home because every busy mom deserves a night away with the girls.
Support comes in all shapes and forms, and although your offers won’t always be accepted, don’t take it personally. Everyone has their own story and one mom’s reasons for declining your offers to help may be very different from another’s.
It’s not about your ego. It’s totally okay if you extend a hand and someone says, “thanks, but no thanks,” What’s important is that you offered the hand. What matters is that you let another mom know you are on her side; that you have her back; that you are willing to help when she needs it most and even when she needs it a little bit. Now that kind of support is a beautiful thing.
Martine Foreman is a lifestyle consultant, freelance writer, lifestyle blogger, and speaker. To learn more about her work and get great tips on how to create a life you love, check her out at CandidBelle.
There is always a debate about who keeps the friends after a bad breakup. Most times, people cut ties with their ex’s friends to avoid any tension or to prevent awkward situations from presenting themselves. But sometimes, the debate around friendship and where your loyalty should lie isn’t that simple.
After breaking up with my boyfriend, I did what any person would do–I cut ties with anything that linked us together. I got rid of him on social media and avoided all of his friends because, after all, they weren’t my friends, or so I thought. He and I had been together for so long that a good chunk of our lives as individuals had disappeared, so moving on was more complicated than I had imagined. But I managed to keep my distance from his family and friends–until recently.
I found it interesting how I’ve built a stronger relationship with some of his line sisters, his females friends, and a few male friends than he has. Some of them don’t even speak to him anymore, but they say there are no hard feelings. For example, I recently celebrated a birthday, and I made plans to go out. I posted those plans on my Instagram and Facebook, and naturally, my friends were inquiring about the details. All of a sudden, I started getting inquiries from my ex’s friends whom I hadn’t spoken to in years. They wanted to know what the “wave” was for my birthday and if they could hang. I thought it was weird that they wanted to join in the festivities with me, and I automatically thought my ex had put them up to it to try to keep tabs on me. Nevertheless, I told them they could join me for the evening, and we ended up at a sports bar the next town over. I thought there was no harm in just hanging for a night with a bunch of my friends, and his friends, individuals I got to know over the course of six years. The night was going well until one decided to vent to me about his recent breakup. That’s when it hit me, that this guy really views me as a friend, regardless of the fact that I no longer have any ties to my ex.
It got me wondering. Is it like some custody battle as to where you have to split the friends up or should friends go with the party they knew first? Granted, adults should have a mind of their own, but the subject of loyalty always surfaces when it comes to forming friendships and bonds. So, should I stop talking to his friends just because I no longer speak to him?
By Leslie Robinson
In days gone by, there was a very distinct line drawn in the sand that had parent on one side and child on the other. Children knew to speak only when spoken to, and that disrespect of any kind was going to get them an eye, a few choice words, or sometimes more. It seems as though recently someone has not been playing nicely and has kicked up some sand which is blurring the line that once provided a clear delineation between parent and child. The growing trend today seems to support parents being “friends” with their children, also known as a homie mama friend.
I didn’t consider my own mother a friend of mine until I was grown and had some life experiences to share with her. I never remember being able to hang out with my mother and her friends. Today, with loosened dynamics between moms and dads and children, I such behavior to be more detrimental to the child than the parent. We’ve all seen “grown” acting children; not only is it unattractive, it’s dangerous to their long-term well-being.
Where are the boundaries? Children and teenagers need boundaries that are appropriate behaviors for their age group. Limiting their access to adult life issues early on allows them to fully appreciate the privileges that come with age and maturity. I’m just not sure those boundaries are clear when your child is kicking it with you and your home girls at dinner and the nail salon.
The general consensus that I get from parents that find it okay to be in a “friendly” relationship with their children is they want to build a sense of trust that lets their child know it is okay to talk to them about anything. I truly think there are other logical ways to foster this trust in children without gaining a new friend. To be brutally honest, I think no matter how dedicated a parent is to creating a relationship where their child will feel comfortable coming to them, children will always view you as a parent when it comes to certain situations and more than likely will not seek your advice or guidance. This is where teaching the importance of making wise decisions comes into play and making sure your actions as a parent mirror what you are teaching.
Children are always observing us and if you are at dinner with your child talking about your nonexistent dating life and how trifling men are, what are you teaching? Parents are free to live their lives but must take care in separating those things from their children. I’m not a fan of sugar-coating life but I do believe in editing some of what I say and do around my children.
It is obvious that children are facing issues that we didn’t face in our generation; however I am not a fan of building a level of trust between parent and child that involves creating a friendly relationship over a parental one. If I see one more picture on Instagram or other social network with some sort of caption stating a child is the parent’s ace, boo or friend, I might scream!
Are you a homie mama friend with loose parenting boundaries? Do you see anything wrong with being friends with your child?
Morris Chestnut and Luenell? You would be surprised to know which celebrities call one another friends. Did you know these stars were close?
Born Again Virgin Chronicles: I Told Him I Was Celibate And He Pulls The “Let’s Be Friends” Line…What Do I Do Now?
On my journey through celibacy I’ve met some pretty interesting men. Some have been great conversationalists, others have been cool to hang out with and many quickly proved to be strictly entertainment. While dating, I wasn’t expecting to meet “Mr. Right” right away, but I did meet someone who surprisingly piqued my curiosity for a brief moment. We met on a popular dating website, which was a bit uncomfortable for me initially as it was my first time using the Internet as an aid in finding the right guy. But then I thought to myself, “What could it hurt?”
He made the first move by sending a very subtle message inquiring more about myself. I replied, answering his questions and following up with a few of my own. This Internet-based pattern of conversation continued for a couple of weeks. Before we actually made a voice to voice connection, we continued emailing just to get a little more comfortable with each other. After about another week we swapped numbers, called each other and started down a path on what I thought would be the beginning of a great relationship.
Night after night and day after day, we talked and had some of the greatest conversations about any and everything we could think of. We even discovered we had a lot of things in common from beliefs to food to hobbies. As time passed our discussions became longer and more in-depth; we found ourselves liking one another more and more. With each conversation, thoughts of how I would break the news of my celibacy to him lingered in the back of my mind. Once again, I had no idea how I would approach the topic. I often wondered if I should bring it up like I did with my son’s father or wait until he brings up sex. But no matter how it would come about, I had to fill him in on my decision and deal with his reaction sooner or later. One night it happened – we had the “talk.” While partaking in our usual chat, laughing and enjoying the moment – the subject of sex came up. He asked when was the last time I had sex, and I told him that it had been a while because I was practicing celibacy.
As I expected, there was a long pause. “You’re doing what? Oh yeah, we’re just gonna be friends because I don’t think you can have a good relationship without having sex,” he replied. After hearing his response I thought, “Wow, you should have just hung up on me!” Instead I told him, “Okay that’s fine.” After dropping the celibacy bomb, the flow and feel of the conversation drastically changed. Things suddenly became stiff. I could tell he wasn’t expecting to hear my news and didn’t quite know how to handle it. We struggled to keep the conversation flowing and it ended shortly after. When we hung up I wondered if I would ever hear from him again. How would he would react if we did keep in contact? I sat in deep meditation for a while pondering my decision. “If we speak again, great, but if we don’t that’s fine too,” I said to myself.
The next day I was expecting him to call at the time he normally would on any other day. To my dismay – but not surprise – I didn’t hear from him. I decided to give him a call, and his phone went straight to voicemail. That was the last time I heard his voice. I was a little disturbed by this, but I then I realized this was a good thing for me. Why, you may ask? Because I found out early on what he truly wanted from me and my time wasn’t wasted. Am I saying that he didn’t want a monogamous relationship with me? Not at all. However, one thing is for sure: sex was a major factor and he would have been expecting it sooner than later. Oh well, another one bites the dust.
Liz Lampkin is the Author of Are You a Reflection of the Man You Pray For? a motivational speaker, and an advocate for single women who encourages them to live their best single lives God’s way! Follow her on Twitter @Liz_Lampkin, and ask her any question you want to know about her journey through celibacy.
Who says single and married friends don’t mix? After a big lifestyle change, all relationships need a little maintenance. Here are a few reasons to put in the extra effort to keep your friendships alive.
We all need a supersized dose of reality sometimes. And there’s no one better at giving it to you than your best friend for life. Here are super honest things you can only get away with saying to your BFF.
I am nothing without my friends.
Do I love my parents? Of course. Mommy and daddy are my source: the originators, the seed-suppliers. Do I love the rest of my family? You betcha. They are the sun and water, the soil from which I’ve found nourishment.
But my friends keep me growing healthily, beautifully, and strongly. They are the plant food, weed cutters, insect repellant, and the terra cotta clay pot that adorns me and allows me to sit and sprout comfortably.
If I am deeply rooted, it’s because of my family. If I am wildly blooming, it’s because of my friends.
Now, I could keep waxing horticulturally about friendship, or I could just get to the damn point, which is this: It’s not that my friends trump my family, but I find truth in the theory that friends are the family we choose.
Lately, I’ve been compiling a list of “Friends Every Woman Should Have” based on my own friends and what they bring to my life. My list is up to around 20 or so entries, including #12: The #GirlBye Friend. The #GirlBye Friend will happily and unapologetically (and sometimes, quite literally) put her dirty feet on your white couch. You should try really hard not to flinch when she does this, because it’s good to have a reality check to let you know that your so-called precious stuff isn’t so precious to everybody.
From time to time, I might share other snippets from that list. (Or maybe I won’t. You tell me if you dig the idea or not.)
In the meantime, please allow me to to offer this soaring appraisal for Friend Every Woman Should Have #3: The Master Plan Friend.
She isn’t necessarily a wizard with a to-do list or a business plan, but she will sit with you and help you develop both of those things, if that’s what you need. She will take notes while you talk out your book idea or brand platform.
She’s the first person to tell you your grand idea is good, and the first person to help you rein in your grand idea so it can be more distinct and effective. (She might say something like, “That’s a chapter, not a whole book.”)
And if you’re the one who usually does the reining in, then she will be play the grand thinker, making sure you’re not selling yourself short or cutting yourself off at the knees. (You say: “I want to post a video to Facebook.” She says: “You should create a YouTube Channel!”)
The Master Plan Friend dreams for you and with you. And when you talk about your dreams with her, you’re not just “I’mma do, I’mma get, I’mma be”-ing all over the place. This is real talk. Focused. Practical yet powerful. When you and The Master Plan Friend get together it’s like a conference call or a boardroom meeting. There are notes taken, phones are silenced, and there’s coffee or tea–but not alcohol. It’s serious business. The two of you are actively thinking through how to plot your dream-to-reality journey. And, lucky you, this friend is just as invested in the journey as you are.
The Master Plan Friend, however, can’t do the work for you. She’s not supposed to. It’s unfair of her to. Keep her tasks very simple, if she has any at all. Actually, I don’t think you should ask her for anything but to show up for your “meetings.” In whatever ways she helps you, let it just be in-person. You will be tempted to give The Master Plan Friend homework and things to do between pow wows. The Master Plan Friend may even volunteer to take on tasks, but don’t let her. Trust me, she doesn’t really have the time. She has her own master plan that she’s working on too. But keep her involved in your plan. The Master Plan friend provides an invaluable glimpse into how your master plan will come together. You need that insight and encouragement.
The Master Plan Friend is not your business partner. She’s not your second-in-command. She’s the person on whom you bounce ideas, and the person who gets neither too impressed nor too unimpressed with the ideas you present. She thinks you’re brilliant, yes, but she’s levelheaded even about that.
The Master Plan Friend gives you chills. When you get around this friend and the two of you get to dreaming out loud, you get that wonderfully terrifying “Wait! Maybe I can really do this after all” feeling.
And that’s a damn winner of a feeling, right there. That’s the feeling we get before we fly. If you don’t have a friend like this, one who makes you feel like anything really is possible, you need to get one. Trust me.
As a fan of the BET series Being Mary Jane, I was eager for season 2 to begin and see what adventures await MJ in the love department. After all, at the end of season 1 we discovered that her true love was having a baby with someone else. Now, that she has discovered it as well this season, I was curious to see how she’d react knowing that the man she thought would one day be her husband is now off-limits to her. At the end of this past week’s episode, rather than wallow in her sorrows after he was playing with her emotions, she called her cut buddy and let it all out on him. Oh my! Didn’t see that one coming…but hey, when you can’t get with the one you love…
What I found amusing was she actually had him listed in her phone as her “cut buddy.” Urban Dictionary defines a “cut buddy” as the following:
cut buddy – noun
A person who is not your boyfriend or girlfriend with whom you have sexual relations, on the mutual understanding that you want sex and nothing more. 2. A sex partner to whom you have no special attachment. A person you occasionally have sex with.
Now, you could also call him your “jumpoff” or your “f*&k buddy.” Same thing right? Whatever you call it, there are benefits to having such a person in your life. Whether it’s not wanting to be alone that night, feeling unwanted or unloved, or simply feeling horny, as long as you are two consenting adults then roll with it. As a woman, there are times when our body wants what we know our mind doesn’t. He’s the fine Mandingo with the brain the size of a peanut. He’s hot as hell, a nice guy perhaps and you like him JUST enough to give him some. You think he’s adorable, but maybe intellectually or emotionally lacking. He may be great, but he may be too young…you know, like the intern. You don’t want to date him or bring him around your friends or family…ever. But the chemistry between you is electric. You want the lovin’, but no strings attached. Do you deny yourself? What do you do? That’s up to you, but if you decide to make him your cut buddy…then here are the rules:
Rule #1: Be honest about what you want upfront – with yourself and each other. Negotiating a long-term, friends-with-benefits type situation can be tricky for some ladies. Men are seemingly born knowing how to detach emotions from sex – I think it’s in their DNA. Some can spend a whole night with you, then trip over you the next day and not even recognize you. But women can have a harder time of it. Some women wind up feeling used or like they’re promiscuous. I realize it’s a double standard, but if you’re uncomfortable with it, don’t do it. Man or woman, make sure you BOTH know upfront that it’s all about sex and nothing else. That way neither will feel like they’re being used by the other.
Rule #2: It ain’t about “We.” Avoid using pronouns like “us” or “we,” and all talk of plans further into the future than the hour it takes him to get to your place is not allowed.
Rule #3: No meals together. Acceptable dining situations include maybe a bowl of cereal in the morning before he bounces…or maybe a late-night grilled cheese or some Hot Pockets (3 minutes in the microwave) after the deed is done. Meals to be avoided are breakfast, brunch, dinner, or any other setting where you actually have to talk to each other at length. Speaking of talking…
Rule #4: Limit conversation. In this past week’s episode, MJ’s cut buddy asked her if she was okay and even followed up by saying, “you know I can actually talk.” MJ simply responded with “I’m good.” Good girl. She knows that any questions any more probing than “do you have condoms?” and “how fast can you get here?” can get a little sticky. Your jumpoff shouldn’t want to hear about your day, who pissed you off at work, or how cute your nephew is. Keep it light and keep it moving.
Rule #5: This probably goes without saying, but no socializing outside of the bedroom. He doesn’t meet your friends, you don’t meet his. That goes double for family members. The best thing about having a jumpoff is that he’s your dirty little secret.
Sex with no strings can get tricky if you’re not honest about what you want. It’s easy for one of you to catch feelings, so keeping those rules in mind should help you avoid that. Even if you’re in love with someone else, as in the case of Mary Jane, don’t think that your cut buddy can confuse your emotions even more. While having a jumpoff may help ease the pain of a broken heart, it’s no substitute for true healing, so tread lightly…and be safe.