Friday, June 21, 2013

The importance of other women in my life

Many of us will claim we married our best friend and in so many ways our spouse is our best friend. But he is the opposite sex and sometimes they just don't get it. We love them but women are from venus and men are from mars and when you spend decades together in the same household, sometimes you need another confident besides your lifelong partner.

Friendships are the first relationships outside of our family relationships as little girls and boys that we learn to build and maintain. But life gets busy, and as we grow and change some of us just drift apart. I remember my dad telling me I would only keep a small handful of my friends after high school, which I remembered saddened me a great deal as at that time those friendships were my life.

I have always felt that boys or men did a better job than women at maintaining their friendships as life moved forward. Once we meet our significant others or begin our families we're pretty busy people and as mothers we tend to have a guilty consicious at times. But I have found those first friendships are so vitally important as we continue our journey in life past adolescence and into motherhood. And as I watch my daughter now starting to make her own friends and even at times already having little girl drama from preschool about how did what, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the friendships in my life. I think these are important not only to my mental survival but also in teaching my girls the value of true friendship.

I have made several new friends since I've started the journey of motherhood but for now I'm going way back. I'm going back to the friends that really, really know me. The ones you know that will flat out tell you how it is, that you can be your worse around and you know they won't really judge you because they learned long ago to just accept you for who you are.  These are ladies that have stuck by me for anywhere from 10-30 years. So here's my fab six.

First, my oldest daughter will always tell me how her and her little sister are best friends. And I hope that continues throughout their lifetime. I was blessed with two sisters. I wanted a sister for Averi because I couldn't imagine a life without a sister, and they really are your first best friend. There's an unconditional love among siblings the same there is between parent and child. They know my strengths and flaws and whenever I'm lost on my way they have always been a sound voice of reason. What one sister doesn't understand the other always seems to and I think it's the same for each of them between me and the other one. You want the brutal honest truth about yourself go talk to your sister. My husband once complained about me talking to them about some disagreement we were having because he thought they'd just see him negatively. I had to laugh. Not with my sister. They will so call me out when I'm wrong but in way that helps me see the problem from more than just my narrow vision. They are my first best friends.

Then there's my cousin. We were born eight months apart but the four of us (my sisters, her, and I )went through high school together, and her and I grew up together on the same ball team from the time we were 5 until we graduated at 18. When you grow up together like that as cousins they are your biggest competitor and your fiercest defender. And to this day we are half a country apart but thanks to social media are probably just as close as ever. She has been such a huge listening ear and supporter through these early years of motherhood. Her, my one sister, and I all had our daughters within six months, and one of the toughest things about being so far from home is knowing that my girls will only get to see their cousins a couple times a year rather than growing up on the ball field together like we did.

Then there's my first real friend that I wasn't blood related to. We met in the fourth grade and have now been friends for over 20 years. Those first ten were full of lots of mischief, groundings, detentions, and whatever other trouble we could find. I think she was the good one and maybe I was the negative influencer. I think her parents once called me a "wild child". But I think God knew she would miss me when I moved because he gave her a little blue eyed, blond adorable little wild girl. Being apart is tough and again I miss that we aren't closer for our girls to grow up together, especially since her little girl is a lot like my older daughter. We do our best to catch up and I know there's been a couple phone calls through these early years of motherhood where it was like the late night conversation with her was just the medicine I needed to keep on truckin.

The last two ladies of my fab six are my two college roommates. These are the two I've struggled the most to keep in touch with as the years go by. My college roommate moved away from home so I haven't seen her in two years since she got married. But we catch up when we can and as roommates she knows things and understands some things better than anyone. She's just one of those friends you can pick up the phone and call and it'll be like no time has passed since you last spoke. My other college friend, I see almost every time I'm home and again it's like no time has passed since we last saw each other. She's always been such a great listener and voice of reason.

More than ever I see the importance of making the time and putting in the effort to maintain friendships. As mothers we often get busy and things, sometimes even friendships get lost in the shuffle of life, but I have always needed these ladies in my life and always will. I admire and look up to these ladies in a huge variety of ways. Some for the things they've overcome in their life, some for the amazing job they do in their careers, some for the mothers they are, for the balance and grace they have in mastering this journey of motherhood, for the faith they have in God and themselves and life. I have many older women that have moved on from this point in their lives that I look up to and admire, but these are six women that are morealess where I am in the journey of life. And they have been with me for more than just this journey in motherhood. They were there long before my story of motherhood began. I may be miles away, ladies, and maybe I am a little homesick that I won't make it home to see you this summer like I always do but the role you play in life is always close to my heart. I love and miss you! Thanks for always being there and standing by me because I know sometimes it wasn't the easiest road to walk.

2 comments:

  1. Awesome post Angela. Very inspiring!

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  2. Having great female friends is so important! I've hung onto my best friend since were were in elementary school. She is closer to me than a sister in ways.
    Sounds like you have quite a wonderful group!

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