Before you have children, you have friends. All kinds of friends from magnificently different walks of life - each serving a purpose: a reason, season, or lifetime.
When you become a parent, suddenly it’s like an internal switch turns on, your goal posts move & you are a lot more selective with who you allow into your life (plus, you realise your free time is valuable & rare, so your time needs to be spent wisely) hence, organically ‘some’ of those old friendships that are no longer aligned begin to fizzle out.
And that can be a wonderful thing because.. (Insert drum roll here) make way for new mumma friends!
As a mum, you seek friends who you not only want to hang out with, but more importantly someone you trust with your children, your kids get along & if you’re stars truly align your husbands become friends too! Back in the school days we became friends with the kid who sits beside us who has the same backpack. But in adulthood, when becoming friends with someone there’s all this tricky stuff to navigate, also known as the triple P’s: parenting styles, politics & preschools - just to name a few.
There’s like a mutual ‘I’ve got you’ & I know you’ve got me feel.
I am thankful to have checked all of these off with my mum besty, so naturally when her husband accepted a new job in the country (how rude of him) & they packed up & moved – my heart broke.
It’s been an emotional rollercoaster these past few weeks since they relocated & I am only finishing up these words now - after the red dust has settled so to speak. It is only now that my emotions have been felt & I can now see logic – because let's face it, when we are completely emotional there cannot be logic.
When we packed our family up & left Melbourne, I left behind some of my very best friends & it was extremely difficult. Never in one million years did I expect that I would find another soul that I would share a connection so deep with, yet here she was – almost like she was handpicked just for me.
We met at mothers’ group (thanks, local gov) & talked all things babies at the start, but really that was not at all what our friendship was based upon. We quickly discovered that we weren’t interested in talking ‘all things baby’ & that we had so much more to offer each other.
There was only two streets between our homes so it was also a friendship of convenience. Every box was ticked & I found myself thinking on the regular ‘how did I get so lucky?’
Motherhood can be so lonely, but when you have a person like this by your side it seems to be a whole lot more manageable.
She was the friend who:
Offered to be on call in the middle of night for our eldest two kids when I went into labour with my third baby;
Picked up my kids from school those times when hubby was working away & I was stuck in traffic heading home from work;
Was the emergency pick up on the kid’s daycare forms as family wasn’t close by as backup;
When I was so unwell that I could barely get out of bed, she was the one who took the kids to the play centre so I could rest;
During the peak of my postnatal anxiety; she was the one who would force me to leave the house to go for a walk or coffee or park play. She was the one who was always there holding my hand.
Was there for hours on end when I needed to cry following my emergency c-section, then I got to return the favour a few short weeks later;
Was there for deliveries when we were forced into isolation for two weeks, with favours, kind words & daily check in’s (even though she was packing her own house up to move).
She was my person & the list of how we’ve been there for each other goes on and on and on, and on some more – and when you find this, it’s worth closely holding onto.
We’ve helped each other grow, we’ve cried together, partied together (mum style of course – cocktails & in bed by 11pm), picked each other up, told one another to pull our heads in when one of us was playing victim. We’ve shared truths, our dark stories & more – but it all boiled down to continuously holding each other throughout the depths of motherhood & whatever life threw our way.
So, naturally after she left I felt like part of me has disappeared. Like, again my identity has shifted.
I'm now looking at this as an opportunity & I'm making a promise to myself that I will commit to stepping out now & making space for some more friendships that maybe I wouldn’t have given a try before this, given I had everything rolled up into a close knit circle. However now, understanding what is possible I am totally ready for some more mumma goodness in my life!
And to you, Lisa aka mumma besty. It is time to spread your wings, butterfly. Thank you for what was, what is and what is to come for us. I want you to know that home is wherever your family is & although there is distance now between us, nothing could ever replace a friendship built with such strong foundations. I know we will have so many more times to cherish, but for now it is just ‘see you later, you’ve got this!'
And to the mumma’s reading this, my wish for you is that you find your village too because it can be really really incredible if you just give it a try.