I'm beginning to understand that the key to surviving life, marriage and motherhood, is to have, pardon my language, a few bad ass bitches in your corner. These women get me and accept me without judgement. They are a far cry from normal because, honestly, normal is boring and I can't deal. I need strong ass kicking women in my corner because life can be nearly impossible at times.
To be honest, I don't have many of these women and I'm always looking for more. I am not one of those lucky ones who still have those best girlfriends from childhood. I'm a loner and an introvert so I don't make friends easily, but when I do, it is an amazing experience, at lease for me.
Each of these women are different but they each inspire me and make me a better person. What I'm trying to get at is that friendship is important and we tend to let it slip when life gets busy. However, keep in mind, a good friendship is a great antidepressant. I won't put on my academic hat and spout the science and research that shows how beneficial having friends is but I will tell you why I personally think that you have a couple of solid ones in your corner and meet with them at least once a month.
Makes you a better (insert descriptor here). Having friends to lean on can make you a better mother, spouse, person, employee....and basically just better because you feel better. When you make time for your mind, body and soul, it essentially just makes you feel and act calmer. This allows you to reset and conquer your situations with clearer minds and calmer souls.
Your friend may need you too! As I said in an earlier post, we do ourselves and each other a disservice by not showing up as our whole selves, dumpster fires and all. Sometimes when you reach out for that dinner, drink, coffee or whatever, they need that interaction and support just as much as you do. It's not all about you sometimes! Its a two way street and as much as it feels good to have support, it feels just as good to be the one who provides it.
You have a support system. I didn't realize how important this was until after I had kids. With friends, I have someone to lean on. Whether I need a date night with the hubs and need someone to watch the kids or if I've been hit by the struggle bus and need someone to make me laugh. Again, its a two way street. You make yourself just as available as you want them to be.
You get a new perspective. This is sooooo important. Sometimes, I think I'm the absolute work person, parent and employee in the world. As horrible as it sounds, after hearing other peoples issues, I tend to feel better about myself and situation. It's not that mine is any better but it is because I'm not alone. They can also call you on your bullshit if you are just being ridiculous.
You get OUT! Meeting up with friends for whatever reason breaks up your routine and gets you out of the house. Vacuuming and laundry can wait. Lets be honest, getting to leave the house and change your routine tends to put a smile on you face, even if its to meet for a walk in the park. Getting out gives you an extra pep in your step and something to look forward to. Treat yo' self!
Now that we know why we need them, who do we need? I've learned that I don't need 'mom friends'. When I first moved to Eden, I felt ostracized. I was in my late 20's, had no children, a nose piercing, visible tattoos and a dry, sarcastic sense of humor. New friends weren't happening.
The only other women I knew were stay-at-home moms. There is nothing wrong with that but we had nothing in common. Bless her heart, but one of these lovely women invited me to a little MLM party thing at her house. I was excited. I thought I would meet new people and maybe make a few connections. Holy hell I was wrong and this is party is still probably one of the most awkward experiences of my life. No one spoke to me, other than the one who invited me, I had NOTHING in common with anyone and no one was willing to chat about anything other than topics that I had no knowledge of, i.e. dance pictures and kids. I left early, sad and dejected. I honestly gave up and didn't try again for years. I focused on my husband, great for our marriage, but I needed something more. I mean who was I suppose to complain about him to?
It has been a slow process. I still don't have enough and I'm constantly look for more to add to my support group. Below are the qualities that I think are the most important.
Accept me for me. I'm loud. I love Jesus and the F-word. I have a master's in politics, so year, I like to talk about it. I'm opinionated, slightly messy, anxious and so sarcastic that most can't tell if I'm kidding or being mean. This is me. Love me please.
I need them to be realistic and unrealistic and the same time. Confusing I know but hang with me here. I want to plan wild nights. Heels, drinks and dancing. I want to unrealistically plan it all. However, I want them to be realistic enough to realize that 90% of the time we will probably end up drinking box wine on someones couch while eating whip cream out of a can.
I need laughter. If we can't laugh....I'm out.
I need women who love their kids but realize that they can be assholes. Nothing is more annoying than those who act like their kids are perfect angels. We ALL know they are not. If my kids are acting like terrorists from hell, I need a woman who can commiserate and not judge me if I call them names.
Lastly, I need women who are cool with text messages. I don't call people unless I absolutely have to. Honestly, I avoid conversations at all costs, text and messenger are the way to go.
If you don't have this in your life, find it. Just this week, I reached out because I was feeling overwhelmed. A simple dinner and beer made things rosier. I looked forward to it all week. The dinner itself was great, not because the food was especially good but because we were able to be ourselves, bitch and moan about life and offer support when needed.
This entire posts can be summed up with the following:
Find your tribe, you will not regret it!