Life is fluid, things can change at an alarming rate.
I have been holding onto a friendship that was dead long ago. I tried to make this friendship work. My daughter and her daughter are best friends. I love her family and her kids. She has definitely been there for me in times of trouble. She has probably created more trouble than she has kept me out of. She and I had a history, we were friends shortly before I was married. She became invaluable during wedding planning.
When I was ready to get pregnant and struggled she suddenly popped up pregnant (despite the fact that she had repeatedly told me she was never having any children). When I finally became pregnant a few months after her we were pregnant together. We both had daughters and the girls love each other very much.
Later she told me that she never wanted her daughter. The poor girl was healthy but grossly underweight. She didn't want to keep buying formula so at 8 months she put the girl on milk (2%). She scoffed at my newbie parenting practices of family sleeping, holding my child while she cried, feeding my daughter formula until 15 months, making food for my daughter and so much more. She laughed knowing that if I had more children I would through experience know that all of these things were stupid.
Yet she was always there, every time I called, every time I needed her she showed up.
As her daughter got older she started scolding her, spanking her, being (IMHO) demeaning. Children do not have a voice in her home and their needs do not come before her own. I don't spank, demean or scold my daughter. Of course she said I would raise a brat. I would pay for being so soft.
And yet she was there when my husband acted stupid or I needed someone to drink with or the kids were making me nuts and I had no one else to be around.
Her daughter is sick all of the time and so my daughter gets sick almost every time they play together. Her daughter didn't want mommy to bring her to gymnastics (possibly because she smacked her in the face the first night of class). Her "bad" daughter was so well behaved when she was with me. She drank milk at my house, sometimes 4 glasses a visit. I could never deny her because her mother had stopped buying more than one gallon a week (it was too expensive). She of course spared no expense on Coach purses and shoes.
She wanted us over all of the time. She made herself available no matter what. In the middle of the night when a child had to go to the ER. When I was sick...whenever.
I talked to other friends and posed the question: Can you be friends with someone who is so different than you? Can you be friends if you have no values in common? If you're different parents? No matter what?
And the more I parented and learned (about parenting) and grew, the more I questioned our friendship. How could I dump someone who was always there? Loyal to me to a fault.
She stole money from her mother (recently diagnosed with Alzheimers Disease). Her husband told my daughter she was "a brat", told her to "stop being bad" and believe it or not, called her a "poop stain".
I took notice, this could not be allowed. No one would speak to my children this way. Could they be forgiven? I mean they just don't know any better, right? Right??????
Toxicity. I spent 8 years in a terribly toxic love relationship. I learned from that what I would never again put up with in a partner. What the hell was I thinking? How did I let myself stay in this toxic relationship? I did it again but this time with a friend.
So today I told her that our friendship was ending. It's been ending for quite a while. I knew her reaction would be horrific. She lost it, her temper flared, she cried, she told me I had broken our daughters hearts.
And I felt...nothing. I felt so little that I almost feel badly that I feel nothing. There were moments of relief. I realized that our paths should have parted sooner. We no longer brought anything to the table for each other. She has no integrity or values. I don't respect her parenting or decision making.
I want to be around people who are headed in a similar direction. People who want to do new fun things and learn and grow. I want my children to be around those people too.
Your friends should make you want to be a better person.
Your friends should have at least similar values.
Most of all, you should want to be with your friend and if you don't, you should let her go.