It felt like a breakup I had in high school. I thought things were great. You like one another, you exchange sweet notes, you may even sneak in a kiss or two in between classes. And then suddenly it’s over. And you are left feeling like you did something – everything – wrong. There is no closure. There isn’t even a discussion. It ended as suddenly as it started.
Except I wasn’t in high school. I was almost 35 years old. And it wasn’t a breakup with a teenage boy. It was a breakup with my online mom’s group … over POLITICS.
Over the last year, social media has run rampant with posts of support over the various presidential candidates. You were “for her.” They were “going to make America Great Again.” Or you were for Bernie.
And people got mean. So-called “friends” no longer exchanged meaningless meme pictures. They got down and dirty with their passionate beliefs of who was right and who was wrong.
I grew up hearing that in mixed company one didn’t discuss “politics and religion,” but at my age, I trusted my maturity level enough and felt that my friendships could sustain different conversations and beliefs. I was right on one of those accounts. My in-person relationships for the most part sustained the political war that divided Americans. However, my online ones withered sadly in the storm when the votes were tallied.
The one that hurt the most was the group I surrounded myself with since I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. I joined an online Facebook group through bump.com with women who were due the same month as me. A lot of us were first time mommies and had tons of insecurities and questions. We became friends over one of the most beautiful and joyous events in a person’s life. We shared everything over the last four years. Pregnancies, marriages, births, divorces, breakups, moves, job losses, promotions, deaths, hospital stays, sick children, toddler years, second and third babies … if I was feeling low, I jumped on the group app and found solace and comfort in my mamas.
That all changed with the election year. It was pretty clear who was voting for who and it automatically divided us. Even if conversations started out respectful and peaceful, they caused hurt feelings. My own claws came out a time or two. It would cause me such heartache. I used the “unfollow” button daily. And I realized that it was no longer fun anymore.
The day I left, I cried. There was a thread that started out innocently enough but quickly took a bad turn and in the end, it caused several women to leave the group. My heart was heavy all day.
My old boss shared with me something I have never forgotten. She told me that people come into your life for a REASON, a SEASON, or a LIFETIME. I thought that some of these women would be in my life forever, but now I realize that while our time shared together was very important and will be cherished, they were in my life for a season. A season of me having a learning curve of how to be a mommy. A treasured season, but even those end. Like a great summer you want to keep going … but as it always does, summer comes to an end and the chill of fall sets in. So, while our friendships didn’t withstand the political division, I am still grateful for them and all I learned from our experiences together.