In the days of social media, navigating motherhood is more challenging than ever. In an attempt to be transparent and “keep it real,” we often openly share about our #momfails just as often as we share our mom wins. But are your followers laughing with you or AT you? Sometimes, it can be hard to tell. We’ve all fallen victim to backhanded compliments, negative posts, or vague status updates. Because we’ve all been there, I want to help you learn to filter your so-called “friends” and identify mean-girls-turned-mean-mommies online. So, what are frenemies?
plural noun: frenemies
a person with whom one is friendly despite a fundamental dislike or rivalry.
Sounds fairly harsh, right? Someone who appears to be a friend despite secretly being a hater. It can be a blow to the ego and the heart when you realize that not everyone who clicks “add friend” or “follow” on your accounts has your best interests in mind. So, how do we identify who to weed out?
A real friend will tell you what they’re thinking to your face. If you post a questionable parenting post on social media, they will talk to you about it. They want to protect you, positively inspire you, and pick you up when you’re low. A frenemy will screenshot that post and tear you to shreds in private group chats.
If you’re still wondering how to pinpoint who you need to unfriend? Watch people’s actions. Chances are, if you ask for carpool help due to a jam-packed schedule, need a recipe for a dinner that will impress the in-laws, or pat yourself on the back about your latest fitness goal, your true friends will be sincerely happy FOR you, and happy to help you out.
They might offer a link to their favorite recipe or be willing to trade a school pick-up for babysitting. A frenemy will critique your jam-packed schedule, usually seasoned by a backhanded compliment, “Oh wow, congrats on hitting your post-baby body goals, but I guess all that gym time is why you can’t make carpool.” Get the gist?
Be ruthless in protecting your head and your heart from hateful followers. Don’t let guilt or the fact that you’ve “known” someone since high school or that they are a “friend of a friend” deter you from blocking them from your posts. Not everyone you lose is a loss, and ridding yourself of grown-up mean girls is a win.
Genuine people genuinely want the best for the people they care about. Has it ever surprised you that you sometimes find MORE support and encouragement in your online community than your “real-life” friends? I think that’s because, sometimes, when there is a tinge of jealousy or secret longing for things you have from people you know, it can evoke negative feelings about themselves that they, in turn, project onto you. Pay attention to people who don’t clap when you win. It might be time to move on from them.
Don’t worry about the numbers. Your followers, likes, and shares are irrelevant if they are by people using your friendship and loyalty against you. It’s time we filter through our friends lists. Weed out our fake friends and farewell to social media frenemies for good.