It takes a village
After the weekend that was I have had a week of reflecting on how lucky I am with the friendships that I hold so dear to me.
They enrich my life, give me a freedom to vent and give me clarity when I need it. As I sit and write, I try to count the times where I have needed them and they have come running, this blog could never be long enough to list them.
I am the type of person that needs to get things out of my head and talk to someone that will challenge me and give me an outsiders perspective. I need someone to say "hey wait a moment or come on Kristen really?". As well as "I'm so sorry this is happening" or more recently Who will sit with me , have a good cry then lift me up and help me keep going. I hold these people close, I have to be sure to make these moments two sided and to give as much as I take.
When I became a Mother at 18, I very quickly realised how precious friendships were and how quickly this relationship can get strong or fade. With my life changing so quickly and my season being about raising a life I had to learn to stand on my own and I closed myself off to those who didn't understand my love and devotion to this beautiful child. I was lonely and wondered when I would meet women (the age that I was) who would understand these priorities.
I found gold, I found 2 women who are constant and unwavering in their love, support and understanding. Both in completely different seasons to me and neither had children. I found amazing support in people I would have never thought could understand or find my life, struggles and triumphs relatable.
As Mums we need this! When I hear people say "it takes a village to raise a child " I totally agree! Most days I think, man I couldn't do it without them, often not practically but emotionally, they just get it! (also my husband loves that they listen to my hours of talking haha)
Do any of you have those friends that you make plans with to sit and watch a movies together but when the movie starts none of you can stop talking so it ends up just playing in the back ground? That's totally us. No matter how much we see each other there is ALWAYS something that must be discussed. Just as important these friendships are, it is just as important to watch toxic friendships. Friendships should leave you feeling incredibly encouraged and ready to take on the world and should never leave you feeling empty or down on yourself. As Mothers we must keep our time close to our hearts, there is never enough time in the day and we must put our free time into those who enrich our lives and not those who drain your energy.
I'm not saying these friendships will always be easy. We have had many times where we have felt misunderstood or distant but the difference is we always work through our issues and make change in our behaviour to protect the amazing unit we have. I've put together the keys I have discovered for being a great friend while having great friends.
1 - The pick up lin
Yes sometimes to start a friendship there may be a cheesy pick up line. My best friend Alicia and my friendship all started thanks to blush. Alicia is an amazing singer but what's more is that contour and those cheek bones 👏 hands down the best ever! We had run in similar circles but never officially meet. I was watching her sing one day and I just had to know once and for all what she used on her cheeks. I got up the courage and text her "Hey can we talk?" I know , seriously Kristen!
Little did I know Leash was freaking out and thought somehow she was in trouble 🙈 we got together and I asked, " So I was just wondering , what blush do you use?" She let out a massive sigh of relief and told me her secret. That was it, we bond instantly and have been inseparable ever since.
2 - Be honest
My friend Shannon is famous for telling it how it is. She is incredibly loving in the way she delivers the fact that you are being ridiculous. No not really but she is my clarity giver. She speaks my language and can also bring sense or reason to what ever I'm going through. At the same time, this is completely two sided. I can be open and honest with her, just as she is with me. We speak from a place of love and a place of trust.
3 - Just get over yourself
I have learnt that it's not always about me..... Huh when did that even happen? But really it's not always about me or what I am going through. We must all feel heard and supported. With different seasons comes different struggles. We are all going through things, that is life! It is so important that each person is getting the support they need and deserve. Take time for each other and remember that they will be there for you to lean on when you need them in return.
4 - Have boundaries
We learnt very quickly that we had to establish the fact that family comes first. The greatest relationship you have (if you are married) should be your marriage. Tama absolutely loves my friends and he knows that they help me through so much. He will often hand me my phone when I am upset and say "Babe, call your girls".
Likewise, he will tell me to get over it when I'm having a little angry moment with one of them. He knows how important these relationships are but their must be boundaries!
Our husbands and their needs must come first. Alicia and I have a little emoji that we send when we have been on WhatsApp too long and our hubbies are needing some attention. We all get it and we all encourage each other to put our families first.
5 - Learn their love language
If you have read my previous blogs you will know I talk about love languages a lot. It is so important that our friends "love tanks" feel fill when they finish spending time with us. Shannon's love language is definitely time, she just loves sitting and chatting while having a nice glass of wine or a good coffee. She will also take my kiddies on Aunty Shannon dates. I love this about her! And I learnt early on this is so important to her.
Alicia's love language is words of affection, she loves encouragement from those who she loves she has such a gentle soul and a sweet note or text always goes a long way. And let's face it all 3 of us ( as Shannon would put it) like shiny things a gift never goes unnoticed or unappreciated. Our friendship works because we all get each other and can meet these languages.
All in all. Make incredible friendships and protect them. Women can do incredible things together and have beautiful friends by your-side makes this journey so much easier.
I'm just gonna say it ..... Girl power!!
Ps , I know you are all wondering ...... The Blush was Blush patrol by Napolean! Sorry Leash secret is out.