Choose Your Friends Wisely: For the Mama at Home
Remember a few years go when that post was going around on Facebook, saying something like, “You are the average of the 5 people that you spend the most time with. Choose wisely.”? Its the age old wisdom that our mothers always told us. Bad character corrupts good company. Choose your friends wisely.
When I saw this post, I thought about it very literally.
My five people were my husband, my son (who was a baby at the time), my mom (through phone calls), and two neighbor friends who I saw once or twice a week. All these people were good people, thus making my average seem just fine.
Fast forward to now. I am a stay at home mom, living in a new town, with relatively few people that I see on a daily basis. Because of this, I don’t really hang out with people, other than my kids and husband, regularly. I am typically in my house, taking care of household chores and running kids to activities on occasion. So am I becoming the average of my children? Maybe… I do seem to throw temper tantrums a lot more than I used to… mostly in response to my kid’s temper tantrums (don’t worry, I’m working on this!).
After considering this for a bit, I had another realization.
Earlier this year I joined a few Facebook groups. Two were about decluttering, two were about becoming a minimalist, and a few were about blogging. Joining these groups has made me want to declutter my house, live with less, focus my energy on blogging. Surprise, surprise. And this got me thinking. For stay at home moms, your “friends” change from a group of people, to various other sources. This can include what you’re watching on TV, who you’re connected to on social media, what you’re reading and who you’re talking to. So for me, my “friends” right now are the people I see posting on Facebook, my husband, and my mom. I spend most of my time taking in information from them or talking to them.
I realized that choose your friends wisely, you have to consider your influences.
Because in this day in age, friends means something different than it did in the past. For my purposes, “friends” is another way to say influences. If you spend your evenings watching The Bachelor, in effect, these are your ”friends,” or influences. If you join a Facebook group about knitting and are constantly bombarded with posts about knitting, they become your “friends.” If your Facebook feed is filled with people who are down on life, share inappropriate memes, or promote scandalous news stories, these people becomes your “friends.”
Now, am I saying that you’re going to become someone who dates 15 people at once, knits all the time, and commits crimes? No (I hope not at least). But I am saying that your mind is being filled with thoughts and ideas related to the things that you’re filling it with. It makes sense right? I know that when I read news stories about children being abducted, I am terrified to let my kids outside to play in my yard. And I’m guessing that the same thing happens to you.
Now, I’ll bet you’re wondering what the point of all this is.
My point is, be careful “who” you’re spending your time with. If you want to live a life of purpose, love and integrity, surround yourself with influences that promote those things. Guard yourself from being inadvertently influenced by things you don’t want in your life.
Practically speaking, here are 5 ways that you can choose your friends wisely.
1. Consider what you’re watching.
If you’re someone that watches a lot of television, watch shows that shows people you want to be like, and promotes a lifestyle you want to have.
2. Clean up your social media.
On Facebook, unfollow people who bring you down. This doesn’t mean that you unfriend them. It just means that their stories don’t show in your news feed. You can still view their profile and see what they’re up to, but you don’t have to see every news article that they post about a creep who abused his kid.
Along these lines, fill your feed with people who are encouragers. A lot of times these people sell Rodan and Fields or Shakeology. They write positive things on their feed like, “Girl, you’re amazing. You brought a little human into this world…” I don’t buy their products typically, but their enthusiasm for life is contagious.
And last, join groups of things that you want to do. I’m telling you, this made a big difference for me!
3. Consider what you’re reading.
If it affects your negatively, read the news less. I get really stressed when I read the news regularly. I worry about terrorism, kidnappings, child abuse, etc. Unless the news is something that affects my daily life, I find that I have much less anxiety if I just don’t read the news.
Instead, I choose to read books about parenting, because they make me want to be a better parent. Books about God, because they make me want to love others more. Or books about homemaking, because they help me feel inspired to clean, organize and declutter my house.
4. Hang out with people you want to be like.
We all have friends who are a little bit of a downer. Am I saying that we should stop being friends with them? No! They probably need you, much more than you need them. But I am saying that you need to have others in your life that build you up and make you a better person.
5. Connect with old (real) friends.
There are so many ways to do this. My favorite right now, is an app called Marco Polo. Its perfect for busy moms, because you can record a video message for your friend when you’re free, and then they can record a message back for you when they’re free. Unlike Facetime or a phone call, it doesn’t require that you both are available at the same time. Recently, I’ve connected with a few of my favorite people on it, and it has enriched my life so much! Plus, it really helps me on those long days when I am stuck in the house without an adult to talk to.
With all this in mind, I encourage you to consider your influences, and choose your friends wisely.
Choose people and influences that build you up, make you a better person, and promote peace in your life. Because what influences you, can become who you are.
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