Friday, 13 September 2013

The Need for Adult Friendships

    As a mother I have long worried over my children's selections in friends.  I worry that they don't have friends, and why don't the other kids all like them because they are amazing human beings with so   much to offer.  I worry that they don't have the "right" friends.  What kind of families do they come from, are they a bad influence?  I worry that they don't have enough friends, all the while telling them that truth, that all you really need in life is one really good friend.  I have been doing this for the last 15 years!  In this whole time never once did I worry the same things for myself.
    The truth that I have discovered is that you always need friends.  Sometimes as grown ups we forget the importance of our friendships.  The friends that you pick up along the way will sometimes change as you do.  There are friendships that faded so slowly I didn't notice they were gone until they were.  There are friendships that I mourn the ending of.  I do however truly believe that you get what you need along the way.  You will get the friends that you need in the time of your life that you truly need them. 
    At this slice in time I am surrounded by amazing women.  These are the women that really want the very best for each other.  So often with friendships, young and old you see people who really wish you to fail so that they will feel better about themselves.  This group of women are so truly amazing and supportive and I am blessed to call them friends.  We are all mothers, and we all struggle with the heavy burden that sometimes comes with parenthood.  We carry this heavy burden and yet we have other women to help lighten our load.  We have sounding boards to help us hear the answer to the questions that we were afraid to hear the answers to alone.  
    Last night I was with this group of amazing ladies (minus one) and we were laughing and talking and sharing.  It was this that got me thinking about the importance of adult friendships, and also at how no one really prepares you for parenthood.  Yes there are a plethora of books meant to prepare the pregnant woman for motherhood, but really they don't prepare you for the important things.  The pregnancy books let you know to expect diaper rashes and drooling and sleepless nights, but they don't mention that those sleepless nights will maybe the easiest ones that as a parent you will have.  Those sleepless nights are caused by an actual person physically waking you, not from worrying about that now bigger person that may or may not now know how to sleep through the night.  That is where friends come in.  Your friends listen to what you are going through, and offer advice if you want it.  They are often going through the same thing, or if you're lucky, have been through it and lived to tell the tale.  Adult friendships are the lighthouse in the times of darkness, they help to see you through the dark times.
    When we are children friendships are so easy to come by.  You just see someone interesting and ask them to be your friend.  If they say no, you ask the next person.  Adult friendships are more tricky.  For adult friendships you have to work harder.  You have to work harder to find them, but you really do need them.  My advice to you, get friends.  If you're a new mom, go to local baby groups, book clubs, anywhere there may be like minded people.  If you have older children, go to your local school council meetings, talk to other parents at your child's sports classes, invite your child's friends to come over when they come over.  Look for groups that are interested in the same things that you enjoy.  Yes, making friends is hard work, but it is so worth it in the end.

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