The title of this post should properly be why I need my girlfriends now just as much as why I hope to be their friend later on in life. Especially those with children. This is not to discriminate against those that don’t have kids, it’s simply that the others might understand why I turn up looking dishevelled and can’t necessarily stay out past 10 pm. I could, I just don’t have the energy anymore. To be perfectly honest, those that don’t have children are still utterly supportive and wonderful. I’m truly blessed in the friends department. From my online blogging gals that I’ve never actually met in person but who know more about my life than my closest family. To my best friend back in Denmark, who I’m so desperate to catch up with.
Relocating to London in 2009 meant leaving behind some amazing girlfriends. Women who I have shared some (read: many embarrassing) moments of my early 20’s with. You know those formative years (spent in trendy bars in Copenhagen… or hungover in the university canteen).
Whether it’s hitting 35 this year that has made me reminiscence and take stock of my life I don’t know. I don’t miss those years as I often felt insecure and out of place, but I do miss those ladies who were with me every step of the way (even when I tripped on stone steps coming out of a nightclub on my 25th birthday and scared my shin for life… only to realise the next day when I woke up a bloody mess…literally). When I do see them we realise that despite the years have passed and our situations have changed dramatically we still connect. Although it’s so difficult to stay truly in touch when separated by countries.
MAKING NEW FRIENDS IN A NEW COUNTRY
Last year I wrote about how I found it tricky to make new friends. Especially since becoming a mum. I’m a social introvert and between being a mother, running a business and dealing with everything else in life it can be difficult to muster the energy to engage with someone new. I even compared finding new mum friends to going on several blind dates as that is what it felt like at times. Yet sometimes you realise that what you are looking for is already in your life and even when you do meet a new person, and it’s the right person, then it will naturally happen.
Loneliness it huge in early motherhood and it’s hard not to feel alone at times. With social media fuelling our fears that everyone else is out there having fun, doing a better job than us, being more successful, and having their life together it can make things even harder. You can feel judged based on your background, your current situation, your nationality and instead of feeling at ease, you feel on edge.
When this happens then take a step back and look at who is in your life. If they haven’t reached out in a while it’s unlikely that it’s because of you. It is rather where they are in life. They, too, feel stressed, overwhelmed, undervalued and tired. It doesn’t mean they don’t care, don’t love you and wouldn’t be there in a real crisis.
APPRECIATE YOUR TRUE FRIENDS
Appreciate your true friends. Those who are there now and will be there in the future. If someone listens to you ramble on, truly listens and remembers so that they can follow up next time you talk, even if it’s been quite a while, then that, in my book, is a true friend. Amongst my mum-friends we often joke that we never get to finish a sentence let alone a conversation as there will be a baby or toddler needing our attention before we have concluded our train of thought. That is essentially what makes a friendship difficult in those early years of motherhood, as we can all seem so disconnected.
I, therefore, want to say to the wonderful women in my life, especially those with children: I will be here when our little ones are grown up. When they don’t need us anymore and we’ll need each other more than ever. We’ll have plenty of time for catch ups then, for dinners and drinks and nights out. We might even miss these crazy times where toddlers are running off in opposite directions as we try and finish our chats. Thank you for being there now, on Whatsapp, online, in thought and right in front of me. I love you all dearly.