You’re My “Go-To Rational Friend”


Two women having coffee. For most of us, parenting doesn’t happen in a vacuum. We’re constantly reconsidering or second-guessing our choices before, during, and after we make them. We all need someone to turn to when we’re spiraling out about something to do with our kids.

Should I say something to the mom of that kid who keeps pushing? Do I email the teacher about this? Am I too worried about…?

For single parents or even just within the space of your partnership, it can feel frightening to experience that doubt. This is why we need another parent-friend whose guidance we trust and who we know will be honest.

A friend of mine called recently to talk through a decision she needed to make involving her son and his school. Before she began, she informed me that I was her “go-to rational friend.”

I laughed, unsure how I earned such a title, but by the end of the conversation, I was glad I could be there for her. I don’t have any more wisdom than she does (she has more kids and has been a mom for longer), but sometimes you need to run an idea past someone to “talk it out.”

I do this with my students all the time. They’ll come for writing conferences and tell me they don’t know where to go with their essay, and then I let them talk through the idea for a bit, and by the end, they’re in a much better place, even if I said next to nothing.

Sometimes all we need is that outside confirmation that we are on the right path or even a suggestion that will steer us back.

They say that parenting takes a village. While the traditional interpretation of this phrase is that we all need as many helping hands as we can get. It can also mean your village of listeners, advice-givers, co-conspirators, cheerleaders, and human rumble strips.

Like a friend in the fitting room who tells you that the shirt you loved on the hanger is just not that flattering, parents need a caring, honest person who will let you know when you’ve gone too far or, perhaps, when you’ve gotten it just right.

Who is your go-to rational friend? Send them this post and let them know!