As early as preschool, our first “tribe” surrounds us. The walls of the classroom create our first version of relationships, which usually include hitting, pinching, screaming, constant runny noses, pink eye, hand-foot-and-mouth and the rest of the daycare STDs. The next stage is Kindergarten where we pretty much start over and like preschool, the walls of the school keep you conveniently connected. Each year you take the chance of not being in the same classroom as your “best friend” but chances are if you’re not, a recess or play date can keep things going. On to middle school, friendships become stronger but so do the cliques and divisions. Friends you once cherished throughout elementary school may now be “nerds”, “the in crowd”, “weird”, “quiet”, and a handful of other labels kids create to alienate. In high school, it’s about the same but your circle widens and depends who your boyfriend hangs with, if you are on the volleyball team, cheerleading, or perhaps the theater. If you venture off to college, you leave some of the closest friends you’ll ever have. Hopefully the connection is strong enough to where you’ll all visit one another and spend plenty of time on breaks catching up. At college, your dorm surrounds you with potential friends right outside your door. If you’re lucky, you may even like your roommate and add a friend adjusting just like you are, even if only for that year. You decide to rush a sorority. There’s yet another opportunity to be surrounded by a mountain of girlfriends, parties, charity events, meals, formal events, study groups, sitcom or reality show dates, and simply having someone down the hall to talk to at all times. When those years of college are over, and you head out to that big bright world, that’s when friendships stand another test of survival. Marriage, moving and new journeys ignite a bit of distance but then the big dog hits.


How have your friendships changed since you’ve become a mother? I’d love to hear from you. It’s been one of my biggest struggles as a mother and I love when we can all connect and give one another a big hug.

Hugs to you,

Michelle Mansfield Blog

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