The No-Bullshit, No-Drama Friendship Manifesto

by Janelle Hanchett

I think mothers need a no-bullshit friendship manifesto.

That way, we can go into new relationships knowing we’re in agreement on a few critical factors, thereby avoiding the awkward situation in which you realize one person is into drama and the other isn’t. I’m never into the drama. I think I’m too old. Or tired. Or there’s just so many more interesting things to think about.

Like Michael Scott from The Office, for example. What’s more interesting than him?

You know what’s amazing? Friends who aren’t into drama.

I actually don’t have any of the other variety. I think I either scare them away or I run away. One can never be sure.

However, I often hear about mothers getting on other mothers’ cases for perfectly reasonable mother-behavior like being a fucking flake. And I’m baffled.

It ain’t right!

This aggression will not stand, man.

As if we don’t have enough to deal with. As if kids and domestic life partners and jobs and uteri aren’t enough of a damn problem, some people think “You didn’t call me back in a timely manner so now I’m mad at you” is a logical addition to the list. We can’t do that to each other. We just can’t.

So behold, the No-Bullshit, No-Drama Friendship Manifesto:

  1. I will not get on your case for not texting me back in a timely manner.
  2. I will not get on your case for not calling me back in a timely manner.
  3. This is because I will soon be the one not calling and texting you back in a timely manner.
  4. If you tell me you’re going to call me back “in a few minutes” I understand I may not hear from you for 3 days.
  5. I know this is not because you don’t love me.
  6. If I need you for real, I will harangue and harass you until you acknowledge me. This process includes, but is not limited to: calling, texting and emailing (repeatedly), instant messaging, tweeting, tagging on Instagram, showing up on doorsteps, actually leaving voicemails (!) and/or contacting spouses.
  7. This will not annoy you because you know you’re a fucking flake.
  8. This will not annoy me because I know I’m a fucking flake.
  9. If you don’t RSVP to my kid’s birthday party for 3 weeks then call the morning of the event and say “Uh, yeah, um, sorry, but can we come?” I’m not going to express profound irritation through a suppressed sigh and deep pause, rather I’m gonna be like “Yeah that’s cool, but do you have any candles? I forgot the effing candles.”
  10. And I’m going to be happy you came, because we’re friends.
  11. When my kids are acting like shitheads and you’re like “Hey child, No.” I won’t get all righteously indignant. Instead I’ll look at you in gratefulness for dealing with the little bastards so I don’t have to.
  12. When you get pissed at your husband, I will agree he is the most sorry d-bag to ever walk the planet and we shall plan for the day when we live on an all-female commune with organic produce, llamas and wool spinning-wheels. And redwood trees. And the ocean.
  13. Even if you’re clearly the asshole.
  14. When you swear in front of my kids I won’t care. Because obviously.
  15. The dinners you make uniformly blow my mind.
  16. Whoever has the youngest (or worst behaving child) at the moment gets to make decisions. We all understand that children are often foul, insane little creatures and it needn’t even be mentioned that we DON’T BLAME YOU.
  17. Maybe your house is clean. Maybe it isn’t. Maybe who gives a rat’s ass?
  18. When I say something stupid that could be conveyed as insulting or whatever, you’re not going to get all overly sensitive and weird, calling mutual friends and psycho-analyzing what, exactly, my problem is (probably going back to childhood), rather you’re going to call me out on it and then I’m going to apologize and we’re going to move on, LIKE ADULTS, because occasionally adults say stupid shit, the end.
  19. When you say something stupid, I’ll either do number 18 or, and I know this is revolutionary, I’LL LET IT GO.
  20. We tell each other the truth (except the asshole part when fighting with domestic life partners).
  21. When my jeans are sagging, you’re going to lovingly take me shopping. Or you’re going to not notice. These are the only two options.
  22. The only time I’m going to one-up you is to prove I’ve screwed up worse than the time you’re currently feeling terribly about.
  23. I will not give helpful parenting advice. You will not give helpful parenting advice. WE ALL HATE THE MOM WITH HELPFUL PARENTING ADVICE.
  24. I understand that “on time” means “not as late as I usually am.”
  25. When our conversation gets interrupted nineteen hundred and forty seven times by one kid or another and that thing I was going to say that was so funny and interesting is forgotten entirely, I won’t get hurt feelings.
  26. When I borrow a baby item, don’t return it, then, 2 years later, when you ask for it back and I’m like “Yeah I don’t think we have that anymore,” you’re like “oh okay” but then, 4 months later, when I find it in a bin in my garage, you’re like “It’s cool.”
  27. Because we’re both fucking flakes, except when it matters.

And we’ll know when it matters, because WE ARE FRIENDS.

And when it matters, we show up no matter what with whole heart, or fist, ready to build or struggle or soothe. Ready to hold or make or remake, maybe for the hundredth time.

We show up with tears and sweat and annoying kids and food, laughter and some yelling, a cracked voice and a steady ear.

Because we are friends.

We let go of the bullshit and just love. And if there isn’t love, we let go of the charade and find some real friends.

Because really, what the hell else is there? Just a bunch of humans bumbling along.

This week, my ass was saved by one of these friends. There’s something spectacular about this, all of it, the no-bullshit friendship.

The soft place and rock. When it matters.



Shrek BFFs


  • Kim

    Dude. That totally made me tear up. Not that I’m tryin to be full of drama.

    • Anjelica Rachela Tringas

      I woke up at 3:33 this morning and found this. Thank me, I needed this today. 😉

    • Claire

      This was one of the most accurate things I’ve ever read! I was nodding my head enthusiastically with every line. Then I sent it to my best friend. Three days later she replied, laughing at the fact that it took her 3 days to remember to read the article! Thanks!

    • Monica

      Me too! Gosh. #7 and #21

  • itzybellababy

    Is there like a store where I can go buy one of these? I literally have no friends to go do stuff with and have this relationship. Everyone has failed on several points.

    It is my own fault for not wanting to deal with other people’s BS. I know, I know..

    • Valerie

      I hear ya! Why can’t we all be straight shooters? Say what you mean and mean what you say.

    • Ilona

      I will gladly be your friend. And you don’t have to buy me. Just I know I drop the f bomb a lot. It is so I don’t beat my children. They know they have gone to far when that comes out of my mouth.

    • Maryhen

      Me too! I lost a very best friend exactly for some of the reasons in this post! Now I have no close friends and wanted to know if there is a special store to go and get me one of these!! )-:

  • Alison

    Hell, yes. Can we be friends?

  • Kelly

    Amen, sister! Just what I needed to hear 12 days into bronchitis that won’t go away without a trip to the doctor that I can’t afford that’s caused me to fall off the face of the functioning world annnnnnd everyone is wondering where I am, but not enough to actually call.

    • Tasj

      oh, honey! 🙁 noone’s called you? that’s ridiculous. You need better people, man. <3

  • Corinne Knight

    Only have a few of these but they make me breath! Thanks again Momma, you know I love ya!

  • Rachel

    BAHAHA Especially 9, 11, 18, 19 – oh heck I love all of it.


  • Rachel

    PS. I just noticed your comment policy. I really shouldn’t read your site when I have pregnant lady bladder issues.

    • Judy

      Or, like me when you have kids-are-older-premenopausal lady bladder issues!

  • Shelby

    Preach it, sister, esp #18. The drama queens or extremely insecure/touchy ones don’t last long ’cause I won’t cater to them.

  • Laurel

    “And if there isn’t love, we let go of the charade and find some real friends.” Been there, done THAT.

  • Stephanie

    I think people with not enough kids have these problems. The solution is their having more kids. When people give me crap, I simply say, “I have three kids. This is the best I can do right now.” Like it or lump it. (I always wanted to say that. What does ot even mean?!)

    • Cris

      I think you may be breaking a “no bullshit” rule of friendship with your judgement of moms with not enough kids. Most of my friends match the above list and have either one kid or no kids at all.

  • Foxy Wine Pocket

    Holy shit, yes! I’m going to save a lot of time by just handing this out in advance.

  • Sara

    I totally needed that one today… Thank you!

  • Rosa

    F*ck yeah! We have 4 children, this = no BS, no drama-mamas, oh and no co-dependent joy-stealers… just no.

    • melissa

      haha! LOVE the term co-dependent joy-stealers. I’ve dropped many of those over the years. 🙂

  • SauvBlancMom

    This is amazing!!!

  • MomtoThree


  • Lizzie

    This was great! X x

  • Mandy

    Had one of these friends for 15 years – until her husband took a dislike to my mother and she backed him up. Its now been 19 months since I’ve spoken to her and I feel the loss still. She never even met my son. I’m slowly building more friendships like this but man, I really needed to read this. Thank you!

    • Mags

      Think back and you probably put up with more than you should have from your friend. But all is not lost. Speak up.

    • ChrisK

      Mandy, you got this all wrong. Your 15-year friend HAD to back up her husband…for gawd sakes, she has to live with him…she has a family to preserve! You should have understood how much it sucked for her to be stuck in the middle. Mandy, YOU were the drama-mama here. Now you get to watch her walk off into the sunset with her family in-tact, while you wallow in anger and loss.
      PS – I was once you…but I learned my lesson. With love…I hope the same for you…

      • Dana

        Um. No.

        Now if a friend of fifteen years takes a dislike to MY mother, I’m gonna be all like “yeah, I know exactly where you’re coming from,” since my mother has been nothing but dysfunctional and sometimes downright mean since day one.

        But Mandy hasn’t said HER mother is like that.

        If I had a GOOD mother, I’d pick her over a fair-weather friend who disses my mama. Any. Damn. Day.

        And if that’s how YOU friend? BACKING UP your husband when he trash-talks your friends OR their mothers? Yeah, I don’t think I’d go to you for friendship advice. Ever.

    • 2in3years

      Um, both ladies have it wrong! Call her! She still loves you too. It’s ok he doesn’t like your mom. Who cares if he does or doesn’t? Let it go. It’s ok if the friend doesn’t back up her spouse or back up you in this situation, she’s a grown up after all. Maybe next time, she won’t takes sides. But it happened. Let it go. Call her, go see her, move forward. She probably wants to see you too. Losing a friend over her husband’s opinion of your mom is ridiculous. So you had a fight, forgive and move on. Call her!

  • LisaC

    Whew, that is a phenomenal manifesto.

  • Martia

    Can I be your friend?

  • RachRiot

    YES. THIS. This pretty much needs to be handed out to all girls once they reach the fourth grade.

    • Amy

      OMG honestly. I teach middle school and those kids. Honestly.

  • Valerie

    Could you please add,”No pussy footing around or Sugar Coating if you have a problem with me?” Just say what you mean and quit worrying about hurting my feelings.

    • Cera

      Hell to the fuck yeah! I hate sugar coated bullshit! Just fucking say what’s pissing you off before one of our stupid kids interrupts again!!

    • Dana

      If it were me, I’d want someone to tell me they have a problem with me sooner rather than later, but I’d like them to say it in a manner that indicates they respect me as a human being.

      Unless I do something really out-there boneheaded, in which case if you’re kind of standing there shocked, stunned, and swearing, that’s a whole ‘nother matter. Just as long as your definition of “boneheaded” and my definition of “boneheaded” mostly match.

      Anyway, I hate people who talk like assholes and then claim it’s because they’re “being honest.” Telling the truth, or at least your truth, is being honest. Being an asshole is just being an asshole.

    • Frankie Painter

      Definitely no sugar coating… I’m a fat kid, so if you sugar coat something, I’ll probably just eat it and ask “ok, that’s gone. Now yell me what’s REALLY bothering you…”

  • SummerLily

    Yep. You nailed it!!

  • Renee

    Great post!!!! I have a friend like this. She has saved my ass several times during the years. This week during one of my “crabby and depressed” periods, flowers showed up at work from her to just “cheer me up”! We don’t have to talk everyday, hell sometimes weeks go by but when we do get together, it is like we were never apart. We have been births, deaths, marriages and divorces;you know all the biggies. We always say that we are going to build a duplex when we retire; one side for us and one side for our husbands. It will just be better that way!

  • Kristen Daukas

    Please sign here. My BFF and I refer to that as “I’d move a body for you” friends. Love if.

  • Amy

    Maybe that’s why most of my friends have older or grown children. The moms with younger children don’t seem to get #s 1-27, and think *I* am the problem because I don’t conform to their perfect standards. Whatever! I’m too busy with four males – three sons and a husband – to deal with their drama too.

  • Diana

    You and me, we can hang.

  • Casey Wise

    Great post. I was having a pretty rough day until I read, thank you for smithing these words together.

  • Kathy

    Great post!! My “no drama” friend and I also have a rule that we DO NOT write each other thank you cards for Christmas or party gifts, or any other thing that society deems necessary. I say thank you to her face, she acknowledges it, we save a tree. We save the thank you cards for the people who would get bent out of shape if they didn’t get one.

  • Gracelyn

    Can I get this on a t-shirt?

  • rani

    Damn, this rocked!

  • Lorraine

    I had a friend like this (who I still have today) when I was raising my three boys. Her name is Susan.

    • Renee

      If I’m not mistaken you are my Aunt and I found you in cyberspace. How weird is that!?

  • Heather

    This is the best, then end.

  • Jill Douglas

    First, that was awesome… made me laugh because it’s totally true. And second, I love that you can write fuck in your blog and make it sound… right. Sometimes, I’d really like to but then I get all worried about offending some of the people who read it (because it is pretty much just read by my friends and family and I have some very religious in-laws) so, I really like reading it in others’ posts. So, fuck yeah!


    P.S. I will be reading your blog from now on 🙂

  • renwa

    Lol, bitches get all butt-hurt.

  • Laura

    I’ve been a mom less than a month but already feel like I totally get this. Love it!

  • Kim

    Dude. I’m kind of in love with you. This is so full of win and reading it made my week better. You’re wonderful – well played.

  • Dee

    This is how I am, take it or leave it, love it or hate it I am who I am and I say what I think, you don’t have to like it but if you want an honest opinion I’m the one to get it from, I’ll tell you if your being a bitch or if that top looks terrible on you. Not because I am trying to be mean it’s because I love you, so don’t wear the top that does nothing for you, let pick a top that makes you look amazing, and yeah you were being a bit of a bitch but you know what? you had a right to it, : or apologize and let it go no biggie.

    I don’t know I just don’t care about the drama and I gave up caring what other people think a long time ago, I sleep better now. And I have one friend like this and I’m so lucky to have that, it’s worth more than a million fake friends.

  • Julia

    since you cursed first, I will freely say that this is fan-fucking-tastic! LOVE. THIS. I wonder if it will be weird if I carry around a pile of these printed out, and hand them out like birthday party invites? 🙂

    • angie

      You made me truly laugh out loud!

  • Jennifer

    I am picking up what you are laying down.

    • Jennifer messer

      I don’t understand why this girl hates me so much.

  • Aravinda

    Perhaps you should have added one more, that when I say something in a humorous vein, you don’t come back in all sincerity with a serious question. But since you didn’t, I would like to ask about some of the points, specifically 18 & 20.

    To reach the stage of friendship where one can overlook so many things (e.g. 18) and certainly where one can be honest (19) and even more when one is free to express real needs (6), takes time and during that time, in the stage where we are getting acquainted and becoming friends, how does one handle those situations?

    At what point does one conclude that the other person hasn’t called back not because they were a flake but because they simply did not care to continue the friendship? And how does one interact with them later? I am 100% with you on no-drama, and I would simply say hello and expect nothing more.

    If you are in an intermediate stage of friendship and (18) arises, then how do you share your feelings with the other person? While I agree fully with you on (19), can one count on everyone to do so? How do you decide whether to be honest (20) and risk losing the potential friend-to-be? While I would like to side with honesty, as someone who has not had an easy time making friends I find myself pausing.

    • Laura

      There is no intermediate friendship, you are friends unless you are not, that’s the point. Friends always find their way to reach each others lives, no matter how much time has passed or the circumstances then, now, or in between. And when they do they are honest.

    • shannon

      You either haven’t met the right women, or you are expecting more of them than necessary to meet the above standards. Trust me when I say, time or years do not matter. I have a select few friends who have been so my whole life and they meet all these requirements and more. But, I also have a few who fall somewhere between 3 years and 6 mos of friendship and they too, from day one, fit all these requirements and more. You just know that friend when they cross your path, period! So, be yourself, be what you want out of a friend from day one and you will quickly begin to naturally draw similar kinds of women into your circle as well. We all know where we fit in and tend to gravitate towards it…be the kind of woman you want to be around, be comfortable being her, and suddenly you will find you are not alone.

  • Kim

    I love this. Who has time for the drama?

  • Wombat Central

    You seriously need a friend sign-up sheet. And possibly you need to move to my town. Like, right now. I’ll totally bake you a pie.

  • ev

    and single/widowed/almost divorced moms with 2 angel children get a little XXtra love when i can’t show up or take part in the volunteer work, can’t feed the hungry, can’t sign up for a class trip, need to use gift cards instead of credit cards and sometimes just need to stay home…..

  • Jym

    Fathers need this too 🙂

  • Amy

    This is so great.

    My friends and I are all going bananas over this post on Facebook because it articulates so many of the tenants we live by. Others include:

    *If you bring me a meal or present when I have a new baby or a death in the family, I will say thank you, and you will say “You’re welcome. Now do not write me a thank you note.”
    *If you are invited to my house for dinner, we will always have pizza delivered, and you will act like you haven’t had pizza in years and are thrilled to eat it.
    *No one has showered, so don’t worry about it, just come anyway.
    *If it’s the third snow day in a row, you’re all coming to my house, and there will be wine before 5:00.

    Anyway, well done.

    • Melissa

      Yes! Except the wine part – that happens on the first snow day 🙂

      • Tia

        mmmm wine on snow days 🙂

  • Leah

    you’ve really outdone yourself! this rocks!!

  • Robin

    Great rules that should be applied long past the empty nest. My girlfriends and I used most of these same rules way back when my boys were small. Most of the rules still apply to me and my best friends. I’ve found that Motherhood and Menopause aren’t that far apart.

  • Colleen


    I live by this manifesto as do my mom friends — otherwise, we wouldn’t be friends. Thank you for putting it all into words. You’re awesome.

  • Tara Livesay

    This is fabulous. Flakes EVERYWHERE, with real lives and real problems, thank you.

  • Renee

    No drama mama’s are the best. You rock. My no-bullshit friend sent me a link. I’m delighted she did! Thank you for sharing. 🙂

  • nic pre

    My only question is, why is this a manifesto for moms? Childless people deserve no bullshit no drama friendships too! Just sayin 🙂

    • Dana

      Because it’s a fucking mother blog. Jesus Christ.

      …Sorry. I can understand seeing comments like this on blogs having nothing to do with parenting, but complaining like this on a parenting blog just… I dunno… I got nuthing.

  • Brittany Marsh

    This! Love this so much

  • HappinessSavouredHot

    This post makes me feel very grateful. None of my friends is high drama. All of them are down to earth, uncomplicated, authentic and fun. Yeah! 🙂

  • Lynn Buchanan

    OH MY GOSH, MARIA!! I’m in front of the seafood counter at Gisnt and tears are running down my face. It’s brilliant. Flat out. Was I that friend? That made me cry even harder. I’m so blessed to have you in my life and heart, not only for the NO BULLSHIT, DRAMA-FREE friendship you give me but because I have the Gift of loving someone else so much that all my energy goes into shining light into their hearts, as much as I can. That I’m shown that I’m capable of that much love. Now I’m gonna end this post so th man buying trout quit looking at me as I type and wipe. Away the tears of Joy. Thank you Great Spirit. And thank you Maria. You’re an amazing writer

  • Leah

    I love this SO much. Just perfection.

  • Randy

    I don’t understand why some women seem to think that the way forward is to mimic the worst attributes of men — lots of four letter words. Men need examples of how to behave and express themselves, not women mimicking and thereby validating poor behaviour.

    • Dana

      You don’t need a dick in order to fucking swear.

      I’ve heard some of the foulest language you can imagine from people who never uttered one swear word in the process. It’s not how you’re saying something, it’s WHAT you’re saying.

      PR is for liars and assholes who don’t want you to know they’re lying assholes.

  • matrix

    you are fucking hilarious….in an awesome bitchin kind of way. great blog!

  • Louise

    Love it. Just sent it to my 4 besties.

  • Paige

    Fantastic article! I needed this today while I’m in the middle of dealing with a “friend ” that seems to love drama and looks for it around every corner. Amen!

  • Deb

    This is genius. I wish I’d written it. The added bonus of a stealth Big Lebowski quote took it to another level entirely. Love! <3

  • Lisa

    You also forgot that once you’re done complaining about what a douchebag asshole your husband is and forgive him for whatever stupid thing he’s done, I will then agree that he’s a great catch and not continue to call him a douchebag asshole and therefore insult your choice of spouse.

    • Karen

      Hilarious!!! And oh so true!!!

  • Kellie

    Could be really good friend if it weren’t for an other friend throwing wedges in between us!!

  • Erin

    Did we just become best friends? YEP. Wanna go do karate in the garage? YEP.

    I love you. That is all.

  • angie

    You rock! This made my day – especially after losing a friend to hyper-drama – I had to walk away — this made me smile and know I made the right choice.

    Thank you!

    • Bianca

      did we lose the same friends? Sounds like something I went through! We’re the stronger ones for sure.

  • Shannon

    Word Up, sister!
    This is so true –> “I’ll look at you in gratefulness for dealing with the little bastards so I don’t have to”
    It’s just like that African proverb, “It takes a village to raise these little bastards”

    • Shawna

      Bahahhaahah! Is THAT what the Proverb is? I couldn’t quite remember the exact quote. 😉

  • Rochelle

    Good God Yes.

  • DR

    Got bored after #1.

  • Heather

    Fuck. Yeah.

  • Claire

    Just discovered your blog, it is all kinds of awesome. I have just moved to a new country with my 3yo and wobbling around trying to make new friends here. The no-drama friendship manifesto is gold and makes me miss my old ones like fire, but also reminds me what to look for! 🙂 Cheers x

  • Danielle (Imperfect mom of 3)

    If I knew you, we would totally be friends. My closest friend forwarded this to me and all I could think was… “Did WE write this?” Thanks for the laugh:D

  • jennifer groeber

    Just, yes. (I’d write more, but the kids keep yanking on my shirt and grabbing my hands off the keyboard and begging for milky. Good to know you’ll understand!)

  • Another Mother

    Beautiful. And if you don’t mind, I’m going to have to share this. 🙂

  • Kara

    I fucking love you!!! Nailed, why yes, my dear Watson. She nailed it. Sweet blessing to you and your family!

  • cynthia

    Can you also please stay friends with your girlfriends who have no kids. It really sucks when y’all disappear. I tried to have kids. 3 late-term miscarriages and then 6 rounds of failed IVF. None of my girlfriends had kids when all that happened. But over the past 10 years, every single one, every single one, disappeared once they had a child. Really sucks.

    • virg0matic

      the one without the children has to drive the effort to keep up. I know it’s hard. just how it is.

    • Shawn

      As the parent who disappeared, please call your parent friends! They want to talk to you. They want to see you. They think about it regularly, but every time they do, something new happens to grab their attention and they forget by the time the crisis is over. And then they fall asleep, hard, because parenthood is exhausting beyond belief. They will be so grateful. Honest.

    • Cin

      I agree! I really feel for you! I hope you can tell your friends how you feel. I was the kid-less friend repeatedly asking my friends to let me join them and their kids wherever, their house, a park, a splash pad, etc. We even had the summers off, I love kids (former nanny) and they rarely wanted to get together or invite me to birthday parties, often at their houses no less. I didn’t get it! As a mom, I still don’t. Then, they wanted to get together. I still reach out to all my friends (with or without kids) and invite them to our parties. I ask them if they want to meet alone or not. I don’t assume they wouldn’t want to be there, and I don’t get upset if they don’t come. Friends are friends!

  • Bianca

    OH MY GOSH! FINALLY! Someone who gets it! Especially #18. I had the opposite of 18 done to me last year. Lost a bunch of “friends” thanks to the drama. You get it! If I knew you I’d give you a hi five & a hug!

  • Lynda M Otvos

    ok. this is the real deal here. you have hit it right in the kisser. Pow !~!
    What happened to the days when we could (gently) correct other kids for obvious wrongs and not get our asses chewed by their righteous parental units. Shit, man, I was trying to help !~!

  • Beth

    This is amazing. Thank you for putting into words my whole philosophy of friendship. I don’t even have children, but I could repeat this word for word replacing “kids” and “children” with “work” or “pets”.

  • SistaTV


  • Dad

    So…you want to be men? Because from my vantage point, it’s way easier to be a dad. We don’t get caught up in ALL of this, nay, ANY of this stupid shit.

    Point 2# The first person to say “I don’t like/want/need/believe in drama” is usually THE PERSON CAUSING IT.

  • Melissa LLanas

    Lol! Love the Big Lebowski reference (I actually used the very same line this morning). I am a working mother of 4; I barely have time to fold our never-ending mound of laundry, let alone drama queens. I had a one-up mommy/drama queen in my life once. ONCE. I didn’t have time for that bullsh*t, what with being in NICU for two months with my 31 weeker, and trying to figure all that out on top of life, so I 86’d that toxic relationship. “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”

    This list you’ve compiled is awesome, as well as highly accurate; you should win a major award for it. Maybe a leg lamp or something. I believe I shall post this list on the fridge for my husband and I to follow, too, as exhaustion lends to quibbles with some of the things on the list (though VERY few; we’ve learned to retire to our own corners when we turn into mega-bitches due to lack of rest). I can also point to it when other moms come over and violate the rules.

    High five to you!

  • JD @ Honest Mom

    I love it that one of my closest friends – a non-blogger – discovered this and shared it with me. I’m a new fan and reading all the things on your blog now.

  • Miranda @ Sweet Mother of Blog

    A friend sent this link to a bunch of our girlfriends. Simultaneously made me tear up and laugh out loud. So damn true and too often forgotten as the hormones often rally to outdo logic and basic, grounded priorities. Great post. M

  • nici

    So real, so right, so fuckin’ beautiful. Made me weepy with gratitude for the women in my life who embody this sort of friendship. It lets me BREATHE. I see you have a number of people who want to hang with you now. Add me to the list. .. But if I don’t hear from you. …I won’t get whiny. Promise.

  • Lisa

    While I despise drama, and think we all need to be more mature and be more forgiving, I feel like this article just gives you permission to be a crappy friend. You are saying I have way more important things in my life than trying to be a good friend, so if I really need you or you really need me we will try and be there. Otherwise I am just going to be a crappy friend and ask you to excuse my behavior and chalk it up to being a mom. I am a mom but I would like to think I am a good friend as well.

    • Cin

      She said sometimes she is flakey, so I think she just forgets things. To me there is a difference between someone who doesn’t care or try to a good friend and someone who is flakey and trying to hold down the fort and then some. Not everyone juggles things well in their lives, even when they are really trying to….

  • Kristen Thompson-Riley

    Love, love, and love! The end.

  • Clarissa

    Thanks for writing this. I keep thinking I should write like this, and never get started. I officially stopped having drama-friends after mine wrote me a three-page email about how she couldn’t be my friend anymore because she didn’t have time. Okay, great.

  • Wallydraigle

    I had a friendship like this as a kid (obviously, without the children and husband and the texting and whatnot). We went our separate ways after high school and live across the country from each other now. But I’ve been craving that kind of friendship ever since. I just thought it was something adults didn’t really do, and it was kind of lonely, but not awfully so until I had my first kid.

    Then we moved far, far away from my hometown, and I discovered not one, not two, but THREE women who more or less fit this list, and it is amazing. I’m not sure they’ll ever understand how grateful I am for them. I was so desperate for friendship, any friendship–even just a middling acuaintance–, and I got far, far more than that. I sent this to the one I’m closest to, and her reply back almost made me cry (I don’t cry). There are very few things as precious to me as these friendships.

  • Nicole

    I am so lucky to have a friend like this…now we have it in writing! You rock! And my students had no idea what I was laughing about or why I had to text her right away to tell her I emailed her something (she’s in the same building, no less – and it’s my 8th graders’ last day, so no, we weren’t doing anything).

  • Faye Upton

    Wow this is an insight as to why I don’t have any friends. We don’t have a lot of money, so my kids can only invire a couple kids to their parties and I need to know if they can come or not. We have to find somebody else if one can’t come. Once, no one showed for my daughter, even after they said they would. It’s good for you you’re not annoyed, but my daughter’s heart hurt and that pissed me off. And if you understood how it feels to raise kids in poverty, you wouldn’t like the idea of a trailer playdate. And yeh, I’m a dick.

  • Alternative Thought

    Here’s a quick alternative thought. It is my opinion that it is absolutely NOT okay to be a “flake”, and embracing it like a positive quality is simply allowing yourself to feel better about laziness. You can be busy. You can be distracted. You’re allowed to make mistakes, learn from them, move on. All in an effort to not be a ‘flake’ in life. For these issues, friends & family & other moms need to be there for each other and support / understand without just dismissing your issues as being a flake. And granted there are several quality points in theory in this “manifesto” that would otherwise ease Mom vs Mom drama. But if you’ve got time to read & write, and share blogs containing 27 must read “Rules” while surfing Facebook with your abundant free time, with comments like “OMG YES, MUST READ”, you’ve got time to send back a text message, or RSVP to a birthday. Being a good friend, family member, person involves overall courtesy to one another, not building in excuses. It is a step in the wrong direction.

    • FLMom

      Ehhhhhxcept that checking FB doesn’t require me to think about anyone else for a moment. Which is ALL I DO ALL DAY! So, yeah. Sometimes we need a break. It does not mean that I don’t love my friends. Just need a minute to check out. But, this difference in opinion is why we wouldn’t be friends. And why I am sure you must have missed the one about not giving advice. And why I am sure you are a much better mother/partner/daughter/friend and everything else than I am.

    • Lisa

      ALTERNATE THOUGHT – I couldn’t not agree with you more. Being ok with being “flaky” really just means you care more about yourself than you do about others.

      • Cin

        Why can’t being flakey, just mean being flakey? Why does that mean someone cares more about herself than others? I am not a flakey person, but I have met enough of them as a teacher to think that they aren’t necessarily selfish people. I am all about manners too, but compassion, understanding, and open-mindedness go a long way in relationships. Not everyone can handle the same characteristics, but I think the judgement is really unfortunate.

  • Jenny Pyykonen

    This. Is. The. Shit.
    The. Right On. Real. Shit!


  • April

    Found you because P!nk tweeted your blog. 🙂 Glad she did. Amen to no-drama everything! These little people give us more than enough of that on a daily basis.

    Growing up, I had more male friends than female ones for the same reason. Then the girly girls gave me more drama because I was hanging out with the guys and that didn’t sit well with them, too, blahblahblah.

  • Kristina

    Carpet pissers, dude.


    YES! I am so sharing this with my flakey ass friends…who are always there when I need them 🙂

  • bdoodles

    One of my favorite people in the whole wide world is that to me, I mourn the fact that I had to move away from the awesomeness that is our friendship for my husband’s job, but by phone and on fb, we are still there for each other. Her 5 and my 4 together were a big, happy, creative, messy, obnoxious bunch! It is very hard to find those friends that you can be with no matter what, that accept you to the core of your being, who you are allowed to be stripped of all pride in front of and they love you even more for it. Thank you for putting this into words in a way that only people that have had this kind of relationship can understand. <3

  • Noelle

    This is the best thing I have ever read. I laughed. I cried! I high fived..myself.

    Awesome post!

  • Alison

    Whistle, whistle, BIG giant standing ovation!! FANTASTIC article. Thank you!!!

  • Serina

    Thank you for this article. LOVE IT! I have come across some very pretentious Moms over the last 12 yrs. Thankfully during this journey, I have also encountered Moms that are just trying to do their best to! These are the ones I collected! I can count them on one hand. My relationship with each one of them has a different dynamic. Which is fantastic in and of itself. I don’t care if I haven’t talked to or seen one of them in 2months (won’t happen, but…) I could call or we could hang out & it would be like I just saw them yesterday. True Gems that you need to recognize when you meet them!!! P.S. There is at least one thing on this list that I need to separately bring up to each one of them..LOL! We aren’t perfect .. just progress 🙂 Thanks again!!!

  • Lala

    We let go of the bullshit and just love. And if there isn’t love, we let go of the charade and find some real friends.

    I recently had to let go of a mom friend or was she? She made me feel like she was doing me a favor by being my friend. She was 13 years younger than I am so I always said that as an excuse for her until I got sick of it. She will eventually get over herself.

  • Sarah

    Well written! I would share it, except there is too much cursing (Pentecostal Christian family/friends. I found out the day after my graduation that my sister in law/best friend called CPS because she thought that my husband and I needed parenting help.. we knew we weren’t doing the best that we wanted to, but we were stretched on both time and money. Nursing school + parenting + low income jobs will do that to you. That’s not an issue now, but my “no-bs” friend is no longer a friend because I learned that I can’t trust her. Lesson… Be careful who you trust. Sometimes friends who you THINK understand what you are going to are secretly writing up a list of things that YOU do wrong and you will hear that list repeated to you (convoluted, probably) from a CPS worker on your living room couch.

  • John E. Keats

    Is an Alternative Thought an alternative thought when it stomps on real alternative thought? Shouldn’t Alternative be pretty fond of . . . the Renegade? Is the Cure still alternative after “Friday I’m in Love”? Whoa, got a little off track . . .

  • Cate Pedersen

    YAH! Be a MOMMA, not a MOTHER!

  • leroy

    You have some good points. But isnt agreeing with your girlfriend,even if shes wrong, a cop out.Im a bloke, and the best way to create drama is to support someone whos wrong.A decent (drama free) friend,should be able to cop it.

  • Kathy Roberts

    I have a different perspective. I am 53. Have 5 children and come from a generation where NONE of those things would have to be said.

    Listen. Before you put me in the “June Cleaver” category, let me remind you I lived throughout he Drugs, Sex and Rock and Roll era, OK?

    The thing is, we may have been all free love and crazy, but we were raised in a generation where family mattered, home was important, and way more important than careers and a social life.

    It was NEVER acceptable to have a ball game on a Sunday! That was for family, it was for rest. There was no practices at dinner time. ALL families ate dinner together, even the really disfunctional families did.

    There are NO standards anymore. No absolutes.

    Home has been put on the bottom of the list, began in the 80’s and now we are all trying to have families, and marriages and relationships without any foundation for it all. The game has changed, but life remains the same.

    Begin now, educating your friends. If they are treating you like you are still single and childless, talk to them. They don’t have a clue. And set the standard for how you want YOUR LIFE to be, then live it 🙂 It can happen.

    • Fern

      I took a screen shot of your comment. You’re right about there being no standards. I am thankful to have this kind of friendship with one friend, but we can excuse each other when we flake out precisely because it doesn’t happen very often so we know something is up when it does. But as for everything else having gone crazy, with practices at dinnertime, games on Sunday, insane amounts of school stuff, etc., I am with you and I’m going to start backing out of it.

  • MamaSarah

    Please don’t ever take this down!

  • Sandra Young

    Boy O Boy does that sound like our friendship.. I am the flakiest flake I know I know. But you know I love ya girl..

  • Crystal

    Yes to all of this.


    Thank you for reminding me how much I love and how grateful I am to have women in my life that all of the above pertains to.

  • nbm

    My ‘best friend’ of more than 20 years stopped talking to me because I told her that when I found out that she had lied to me about something, it had hurt my feelings. She. Stopped. Talking. To. Me. This, after we had been through deaths, marriages, children being born, divorces…Wish that I had this manifesto long ago. And truer friends. I hope that I do now.

  • jen


  • Lily Mae


  • Mark

    Awesome post…Thoughts that we have had at one time or another–accept that no one can give them life like you can!!

    Sounds like we would get along just fine.

    All the best,

  • Jenny @ The Brick Castle

    Nice. Life gets in the way of pretty much every good intention – but when the shit hits, we’ll be there with the alcohol and the bosom to lean on.

  • Jennette

    I thought but man you said it best!

  • mjsee

    Where were you (*mumbles ridiculously large number*) years ago when I was a mom with a pair of wild-ass boys? We’d have been good pals.

  • Natasha Batsford


    I’d like to add one to the list though …

    28. When I share “news” about my offspring, we will both understand that I am not making a comment on your method of parenting, I am simply celebrating a wonderful moment in my own life. No subtext, no drama.

  • vina

    I wish i have one like that!!!

  • Andrea

    This may very well be the best thing I’ve ever read about mothers and friendships EVER. Thank you, thank you, thank you. You are my people.

  • Mahwash

    Oh how I wish I could have written this myself. Absolute gem. Love it, love every word of it.

  • K

    I am a working mom who can agree with this post, but at what point does one move from being a flake to being a bad friend?

    • Shell

      I have that question too, K. I have a no drama policy too and I accept and expect a certain amount of flakiness because life happens. But perhaps because I am not all that flakey myself, I also enjoy a certain amount of non-flakiness in close friends. I enjoy spending time with people who value my friendship and time and trouble as much as I value theirs. At a certain point, super flaky people are just too high on the narcissistic asshole scale for me to deal with. I think the difference between a narcissistic asshole and someone whose flakiness I can deal with is whether the person is genuinely sorry about their flakiness or not. Having kids doesn’t give you a pass to be an unapologetic flake. You don’t have to go over the top with apologies, just a simple, “I’m sorry” is all that is needed in almost all cases. No drama, just basic consideration and kindness.

      • Kristen

        Thank-You! Unapologetic flakes seem to be all I know these days. Those with and without kids. I’m a single parent and if I say I will be somewhere, I will 99% of the time be there. On time. And if I have to bail, I give plenty of notice, so while other people’s flakiness doesn’t necessarily make me angry, I can’t really relate to it. A simple apology usually suffices.

  • Marisa

    Girl, you are a brilliant writer. Very moving.

  • Jadranka Šcelovic

    I admire you, and keep up your blog, but I’d like if I had a translation.

  • BatMom

    I love this. I have yet to meet anyone who would agree with this post in its entirety, like I do.

  • Dawn

    I am LOVING your blog! I like how you just call it like you see it, no exceptions, no excuses, no filter! We really do need more of this in the world. Being a woman is hard work. Being married is hard work. Being a parent is hard work. Being a bitch to each other is just wrong!
    I, Dawn Reber, do hereby sign this No Bullshit, No Drama Friendship Manifesto!!!

  • Kaz @ Melting Moments

    Amen sister!!

  • Kate Love

    Numbers 18 & 19 are my FAVORITE. Yes.

    If I’m being an asshole in a domestic partnership disagreement I would want my friends to tell me because sometimes I’m not seeing clearly because human. I do have friends who’ve told me as much and it’s helped my relationship grow.

    But that’s just me. I’m maybe a little weird like that.

    This morning I have a friend coming over – a friend coming to my disaster of a home. I’ve come *this close to canceling. I mean, seriously, it’s the end of the quarter and I haven’t cleaned in weeks, shit is piled everywhere, last week we found mice in the kitchen and I haven’t got that room put back together, I have no food to offer her and no desire to find the interest or energy… but she is a friend and we’ve missed hanging out because school/life/health stuff.

    Hopefully she won’t get lost in a pile of papers 😛

  • Amy @ PK

    I absolutely LOVE this! and I am with you I HATE drama, always.
    Thank you for this.

  • Amanda

    Bloody love this, it should be printed out and handed to new parents as they leave hospital with their new baby!

  • Ally Messed Up Mum

    This is me and my best mate all over, so true! You need a friend like this in your life, can’t be doing with highly strung friends!
    Your post was added to the #sundaysharefest, I hope you add your fave post of the week by another blogger this Sunday! x

  • Joann Woolley

    Funny as hell…. well, hell is not funny so why is that a saying? I don’t know but it made me smile, then laugh, then spit out my wine because obviously haha!

  • Atomic Mom

    I just shared this and promptly lost a “friend”. To that I say: Mission accomplished!

  • Elle

    No one exists like this. No one. That’s the reason I gave up on friends of any type, there than the casual hi at church, school, swim team, pool, etc. Because this type of friendship does not exist.

    • renegademama

      I have 2 or 3 friends like this. I wrote this about them. But I agree they’re rare, and when found better be held like gold.

      • Cali the expat

        I found your blog this morning Janelle, I’ve been reading it all day. I have declared Wednesday’s as a “Cali day”, I do what ever the fuck I want to do. Your writing is excellent, it’s like you’re speaking exactly what I’m thinking. We need to be friends, I live close to sac. You mentioned a conference; a fucking superb idea. I’m a US citizen, but grew up in NZ, I’m a stranger living in a strange land. I live in a tiny town and have a few friends here, my real sisters are spread all over the world. I’m recently divorced – five years, he’s a fucker and there was no hope. I’m a single, dirt poor mother, and bad ass survivor of serious emotional spousal abuse. My child is beautiful, precocious, stubborn, and she’s my heart and soul. I got my bachelor’s in political science fucking decades ago, it’s not so fucking handy here. So I’ve done my nursing pre reqs, took me 5 years. Waiting to get into nursing school, substitute teaching on the side. You speak to my heart. Let’s get in touch! I don’t do sprinkles, nor pta meetings. My MIL threw me a baby shower against my will, but I made out with some cool booty, so I won’t hold it against her. And I took that shit home, she wanted it to stay at her house. I divorced her too. Anyway, I think we’d have fun talking shit.

  • Marie Elena

    This is GOLD. Thank you!

  • Christina

    Oh my god. Will you be my friend? This is the kind of no drama friendship I’ve been looking for all my life!!!! Why can’t all women be like this? We have enough crap on our plates. No more bullshit!!

  • Jenny Jenny

    You nailed it!!
    I think we might be separated at birth.
    Thanks for the perfect manifesto!

  • Dawn

    nailed it! Thank goodness someone had sense enough to put this out there! I totally needed this !

  • Rach

    I effed in the presence of “The Chair Of The PTA Committee” I laughed it off, saying I had Tourettes (Which I thought was hilarious, but no-one laughed)

    I really need friends like this.
    I AM a friend like this 🙂

  • Pamela

    Where was this when mine were little, because this is the way I lived my mom years, unfortunately, most others didn’t play this way. I still have a couple of fabulous friends from those years and I cherish them as much as family. Others lost their shit over stupid stuff… their gone.

  • Kate

    This makes me want to go hug my friends! 🙂

  • Anonymous. PLEASE READ HELP

    PLEASE READ: My mom has trouble making friends. She is somewhat reclusive and she’ll say she wants to go out, but when she comes home, she likes to stay in. She has had a bad line of crappy friends who use her or always expect her to pay or ask to borrow or just for her to do in general and never do in return. Kind of the same with guys! She’s 55, but is by no means old… She is young and spunky and stylish! She loves vintage things, and we’re in Kansas City, Mo. She just wants someone that understands her and the is a true friend that doesn’t take advantage of her! I need help on suggestions! She deserves to have friends and not be depressed. She works so hard.

  • Anonymous. PLEASE READ HELP

    I need advice.

  • Elizabeth Sargent


  • Emily

    Why can’t there be more mums like you in my neighbourhood? My little guy is only 10 weeks old, and three mothers groups later it’s doing my head in to find low maintenance friends. I’m a good friend and pretty laid bak, watever suits. But I am not a yes man. Telling people how it is has lost me friendships. I only have five very good female friends from high school, in another state. So my search for friends closeby continues.

  • kim

    This is just the best article! I’ve seen it so many times and i still read it from start to finish and laugh every time. It will never get old.

  • Sara Nagy

    I am going to make all of my friends read this, all two of them! Thanks for laying out so perfectly!

  • LadyAilish

    Can I get a printer friendly version? 🙂 Absolutely love this!

  • Monica Craig

    oh God! I need a friend like this….
    Anyone in Colorado?!!

  • Bryce Warden

    OK so I’m two years late reading this but that’s cool right? 16 & 18 were my personally faves.

  • Paris4gmj

    Number 11 needs further explaining…..when my kid is a shithead I will deal with it because I know my kid was a shithead and not get mad at you for pointing it out to me or talk about you behind your back to other moms because MY KID WAS THE SHITHEAD AND NOT YOU FOR BRINGING IT TO MY ATTENTION..!

  • LadyNessy

    I just found this blog and im so glad i need me some friends like this!!

  • Trackbacks

  • Trackback from links for y’all |
    Sunday, 5 October, 2014

    […] This blog post from Renegade Mama is just dreamy.  The No-Drama Friendship Manifesto.  My ladies and I are loving it. […]

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