Yesterday I sat in my friend Ashlea’s kitchen talking about life and just having a general catch up. She made me a strong coffee because well, she’s a mom of three too and could sense how much I needed one. My eye was twitching I was so tired she could see it in my eyes the second I arrived I’m sure. But like most good friends would, she instead told me how beautiful I looked. Secretively, I think she also feels partly to blame 🙂 – You see she was one of the first in our circles to have a third baby and that got us all going. Her third baby (A delicious little boy!) had our ovaries working over time and doing all kinds of weird stuff and just like that the thought of three kids wasn’t so terrifying. Three was indeed the new two.
And while her youngest is now two, she still has bad days and moments of complete overwhelm. She’s honesty one of the best moms you will ever meet but gives off no illusion that parenting is tough and tells it to you straight. Her sense of humour adds to her ability to call a spade a spade and will say things like …”I was up and down all night, like a whores nighty” and you straight away feel less alone and a whole lot better about life after giggling your behind off.
She is someone who does friendship well and who invests a lot of time into her friendships (she has lots of really deep meaningful friendships because of how much she puts into them!) and it’s something I admire so much. She’s one of those friends that just listens and makes you feel okay and by the time you walk away, you realise how important it is to have mom friends like her to walk the road with. Moms who don’t pretend to have their shit together but who are doing a sterling job anyway. (Did I just use the word sterling?)
And the same can be said about my weekly mornings catchups with my beautiful Tansy, my soul-sister who has walked almost every phase of motherhood with me. Can you believe that we both have two boys and one little girl? Would you believe me if I told you that all our kids are only 3 months apart, to the week? It’s such a wonderful thing to be able to experience the highs and lows of each season together, to be able to relate to the kind of exhaustion that seeps into your bones, but also the kind of joy that makes your heart expand bigger than we ever thought possible. To be each other’s sounding boards, encouragers and supports. Because it really is in these moments together that our souls are replenished and a sense of order and calm is restored to our sometimes messy lives. She is such a gift to me and someone who has been there for more at every turn and who shows her love to everyone around her, no matter who you are. (She’s my best friend before any of you going around thinking you can steal her from me!)
And there are so many other moms friends who make my life richer because of knowing them – (I use the term MY very lightly, I am fully aware they don’t actually belong to me!)
My Jules who inspires me daily with her dedication towards her children and who works hard to support her three beautiful babies. She is my sounding board for many issues of heart and I trust her feedback and opinions more than she knows.
My Loren who strives so hard to find the balance between work and family and who puts everything she has into being the best mom, wife and friend.
My Kirsty who listens to me shout and moan at my kids all day everyday but who, over our many cups of tea has come to know my heart and who is always there for me to share my frustrations. She has shown me an inner strength I never thought possible when it comes to fighting for what you deserve and being the best mom despite life’s curve balls.
My Nikki, who is gong through a tough time now with back pain, but who is always so positive and encouraging and real. She always makes you feel loved and appreciated. She is selfless and caring and loves her girls more than anything in this world.
My Shell (who is also the sister I never had and married to my brother) who has walked the road more closely that anyone as we have watched our children grow up together. She is strong and resilient and inspires me to be a little tougher too, and to not sweat the small stuff.
My Jojo, who I miss with all my heart since her relocation to Aus. Someone who is just so loving and giving of herself in any situation. She inspires me to be a better mom in every way and I miss my kids growing up with hers. Jojo lives life to the full and can make home anywhere for one reason : she makes friends wherever she goes.
My Michèle who is caring and encouraging and who inspires me to be better at writing and encourages me to take risks and think outside the box. She is the most amount of fun and we can easily solve all the world’s problems over a a bottle of wine.
All these girls are like my lifelines and all for their very own reasons add so much to my life. I don’t know what I would do without them.
We can have the most supporting husbands who do their bit and are thankful for all the things we do. We can have moms who are like second moms to our own children and who carry a lot of the weight by helping with logistics and being there when it gets tough. But nobody can take the place of a friend whose in the thick of it with you. There are things only they will relate to and truly understand that your husband never could. There are feelings that go too deep (for any man I don’t care who they are) that only a friend who has been there will know how to make sense of. Better yet, only a friend will know that we are not always looking for someone to fix the problem, but that talking about it over wine could get you close enough. A truly great friend will know that wine is usually the best place to start.
As moms, who are walking the treacherous road together, we are aware of the cloud that can make its way overhead at any given time without any warning, the unreasonable sense of doubt we experience when we feel overwhelmed and the fact that although we wanted this more than anything in the world when talking about our futures, it’s sometimes the last thing we feel like today.
There’s no one like them, that person (or people!) who knows you without having to say anything, who can bring a sense of calm to your inner chaos without having to say a word.
Friendship is a treasured gift and one we need to invest more of our time in. We need to be more intentional about making time for the precious women in our lives. Not over social media where chatting on Instagram takes the place of real face to face conversations or where voice notes over Whats App are in lieu of proper catch ups. Nothing can substitute a hug or eye contact. (Even if they can barely say open!)
I know life is crazy and you hardly get to fit in everything as it is, but one thing that is becoming so clear to me, is that these relationships we have with the women who walk beside us everyday are vital to our growth and our sanity.
If you don’t have many friends, I would encourage you to find some. Connect with one or two people who you can see regularly and who can be that person for you and be intentional about keeping in touch. It’s sometimes easy to sit at home and become lazy, but it’s so important that we don’t become complacent about our friendships and show up where it truly matters.