Remember how much time you used to spend with your friends as you were growing up? They became more and more important to you as you got older and in fact, may have helped shape you into who you are today. And then life happened and you seem to have little time for yourself let alone time with friends, right?
Well, I have 3 best friends (that’s BFF’s for millennial’s), one I’ve known since I was 10, 1 since early in high school and 1 since varsity. That’s roughly over 30 years of solid friendship combined! We make it a point to meet up at least once a month, for a meal together, sometimes a specific outing or just to hang out (whatever it is, there’s always food involved) Let me tell you, I feel revitalised after every time we meet. It really is therapeutic, tons of laughter, silliness, reminiscing and of course, complaining and venting.
See, each of us has a very different personality. We all have jobs and careers in diverse fields and all of us have kids of different ages. We each bring to our friendship something that the other needs in terms of spirituality and faith, drive to succeed, humour and unconditional love. We use each other as sounding boards for our motherhood dilemmas, our marriages and our relationships with others. We may not always see eye to eye but we know that we always have each other. The comfort in knowing that is priceless.
Friendships bring out the best in us. It’s good to know that you have people you can trust, people you can rely on and people who will be honest with you when you need it most. At times, we need someone to be objective or just to pull you out of the hole you feel you’re in. And as motherhood progresses and our kids reach various milestones, we need each other as support as well as guides and reference points for the strange things that sometimes occur in families with kids. (What’s with this Fortnite addiction? How do I get my daughter to shower more than once a week? Where can I get free range Halaal chicken?)
Those aren’t the only friends. There are school friends, moms (and dads) of our kids’ friends. These are valuable resources of homework information, play dates and lift clubs. There are work friends who all have such different backgrounds that they give me all I need, to see the bigger picture. The young widow, the divorcee, those struggling with family politics and the adoptive mum. The one who has boundless energy and dedication to her family and the one that is an absolute Masterchef. They keep me grounded, keep me real and keep me realising that everyone has a story. There are friends that will always keep in contact, just a simple phone call or message. I’m guilty of not doing enough of that, just touching base every now and then.
We need these friendships and we need to make time for them. Time away from our kids and husbands shouldn’t make us feel guilty. They aren’t able to give us all we need in terms of relationships and we sometimes can’t entirely be ourselves like we are with our friends. As the Thomas Aquinas quote goes, “There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship.”
This article was originally written for Jozikids by Fatima Kazee in 2018.