I’ll be there for you.

This week I saw a lovely little competition running on a Facebook page.
The rule of the competition was to tag the mums who
“no matter what are ALWAYS there for you, through thick and thin, sleep deprivation, toddler meltdowns and everything in between….this is about the mum friends who would STILL give you that hug even when you’re covered in baby sick!”

When I saw the competition I smiled for it’s always nice to see such lovely gestures and to see Mums, heck just women in general, Β encouraging and supporting one another and it was heartening to see how many lovely ladies were being nominated. And then I thought about who I could nominate and I got a bit sad. (You can pop and get your tiny violin for this bit), yes I could nominate lots of lovely Mums. I have a lovely group of friends. Lovely people who I can have a coffee with, have a few pints with or a whinge at. Heck one of them has even given me a hug when I cried once. But looking at the line
“no matter what are ALWAYS there for you, through thick and thin”

I don’t have THAT friend, the friend I can text in the middle of the night with my woes who I know will text back as soon as they get the message even if it woke them. The friend I can call upon if I’m having a really shit day and just need someone to sit quietly with. The friend who will rock up with a bottle of wine at the exact right time because I mentioned in passing I was finding life a bit tough. The friend who I would actually tell that life is a bit tough and that sometimes I’m not coping. I don’t have THAT friend.

I grew up down south (admit it, you went ‘daaarrrrn saaarrrfff’ in your head then didn’t you?) when I was 11 and about to start senior school we moved up north (oop North, I know you did that too). Mobile phones weren’t available to commoners and the internet hadn’t been invented yet (I’m old) and 11 year olds starting big school and making new friends aren’t very good at letter writing and phoning each other. Besides a long distance call on a landline would have had a watch tapping parent in the background.
So, obviously, I lost touch with the friends I grew up with.

It’s OK though because I moved to a new school and eventually made new friends but once we hit sixth form we all went off to different colleges. Again, mobile phones still weren’t readily available, the internet still wasn’t there for all (we used to do essays on paper with pens and use books for research WHY AM I SO OLD??) so I lost touch with many of my school friends and made MORE new friends. Two years later everyone started drifting off to university and you see how this pans out right? I did have one really good friend I kept from school but when I met my husband *spits* my friends ended up cast aside (my fault for being a shit friend) and we just had joint friends who he subsequently won in the divorce.

So as you see, I’ve never had that one friend that’s been there always. Who’s known me forever. Who knows me best.

That’s not to say that I’ve never had friends, I have. Loads. Honest. I had a great group of friends when I moved to Leeds in the party years but settling down and having babies didn’t really go hand in hand with that particular lifestyle and group of friends. One even went so far as to refer to my unborn child as the ‘excrement of my womb’ – maybe they weren’t that great at being friends after all.

I had some friends I was still in touch with from life pre Leeds. I had work colleagues and friends I met through Rory but I still didn’t have THAT friend and I didn’t actually think it was a problem until I became a Mummy.
The first few weeks with Aoife were tough, I had trouble feeding, I was exhausted and lonely. I remember a friend (and mummy) coming to visit, we’d had a bad night and a bad day. As she went to leave I burst into tears “I just can’t do this anymore, I can’t cope” she looked at me awkwardly told me I’d be OK and left. I felt so alone and pathetic and right then I really wished I had THAT friend. The friend who would have hugged me, who would have told me to upstairs and sleep while she looked after Aoife for an hour, the friend who would have cared.

Overtime I’ve become envious (I know it’s not a nice trait) of those who do have THAT friend, that support, that thick and thin buddy. I always try to be THAT friend to other people, texting advice at 3am (when it’s been asked for, not just randomly) looking after children because childcare fell through or Mummy just needed an hour to herself. Offering an ear or a hug because someone is having a hard time but I still don’t have THAT friend who’d do the same for me and it makes me sad that it’s probably too late to find them.

I think that THAT friend is the most important friend to have but even moreso when you become a Mummy, not just in the first few months. ALWAYS. To let you know you’re doing OK, to sit with you while you cry with exhaustion, to tell you you’ve got mascara on your face, to tell you she also made the same faux pas you did, to help you shove aside your mum guilt and to remind you you’re still you inside.

So if you’re lucky enough to Β have THAT friend celebrate her, let her know. Maybe send her a little gift, tell her you love her or give her a hug and thank her.
Thank her for being THAT friend the one who was genuinely there for you when you needed her most and try to be THAT friend in return.

 

This was originally posted over at meetothermums.com

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20 thoughts on “I’ll be there for you.

  1. This is brilliant!! I also have never had ‘that’ friend and I do get envious of people who do. I have my sister and I’m so lucky in that I know on a crappy day I can ring and there’s someone there but living 2 hours away means no spontaneous wine nights or childcare back up!!! I talk about finding my Mr Perfect but a Ms Perfect pal is a close second!!

    1. I’m glad it’s not just me! It must be amazing to have that person just there. I do have lovely friends and an amazing family but just not that special gal pal πŸ™‚ Thanks for reading.

  2. Hi Anna
    Very moved by your post and I understand it perfectly. As you know I have moved around a lot and moved through numerous sets of friends, but trust me those people that are really special will turn up. I think as I have gotten older (and yes I feel really old now) the expectations of friendships can be soured by those that have disappeared into the night and there is a reluctance to open up. But after reading your post I thought about my friends. I don’t see them all the time, we don’t call each every day, they let me be when I can’t face people and don’t take offence when I cancel arrangements, they know when I just need a bit of a push to get over myself, they tell me things that they don’t tell other people and I do the same with them. I thought about my friends and realised what I have…it is different to that close best friend kind of deal with one kindred spirit … but they give me what I need now, a lot more subtly, with a lot less pizzazz but yeah. Thanks for the post it was good food for thought. If I can say anything to you it is that you will find the friend you are looking for probably when you are not looking xxx

    1. I think it’s just that ‘really be yourself’ friend I miss. The one where I can ugly cry or admit mistakes and know I won’t be judged.
      I think, as you say, my expectations have been soured by friendships that didn’t go BAD but just stopped. It boils down to trust I suppose. I’m glad you have those friends there for you now xx

  3. Great post. I am lucky because I have a twin sister, so she is ‘that friend’ because I don’t have to worry about leaning on her too much or what she thinks of me etc, It’s kind of her job! Really made me think about my friendships, I have a few that just stopped. Still stings even years later hey xx

  4. Hi! I wish you would stop writing posts that I could have written myself, you’re scaring me! πŸ˜‚ No, seriously, keep writing!
    I’ve never had a close best friend since I was at school. People seem to come and go, and I probably appear to do the same to other people. Acquaintances, pals I could meet for a beer (if that was ever possible now!), names on a FB friends list – yup loads, and most I know in real life. But true live or die friends? None.
    I think a lot of it is down to me actually, I can be a bit flaky in real life. I often wonder should I get in touch with Person A or Person B and then think, “no it’s been ages, it feels awkward now”. I told myself last year I would stop doing that. I haven’t πŸ™
    Brilliant post AB πŸ’•πŸ’•
    Em Linthorpe recently posted…Teenage Poetry – or “Where My Head Was At 20 Years Ago”My Profile

    1. Ahhh thanks Em, I think if they’re true friends they won’t feel awkward that it’s been a while. Give them a call and see, it’s the only way to find out.
      Thanks for reading lovely.

  5. Hey darl….I totally get this…I don’t think I have ever had that friend but for any mama that does she need to be celebrated and held on tightly to like gold dust! Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub lovely xoxo

  6. I’m a terrible person. I don’t have “that” friend and I never will. Why? Because I will never BE “that” friend. I can’t be. I don’t have it in me to be that available to someone (besides Hubby and my children). But I wish the best to everyone who can do it πŸ™‚
    #Blogstravaganza

  7. Finding THAT friend isn’t easy. I only found mine as an adult, and we’ve been that to each other from the start. Sometimes I think we may take having a friend like that for granted, but this post was a really nice reminder to always appreciate them if we’re fortunate enough to have them. x #blogcrush
    Charlene | High Heels And Fairy Tales recently posted…Recipe | Banana MuffinsMy Profile

  8. I have a mum friend that is just at the other end of the phone, it’s so nice to get a reply at 3am when you’ve been up with the monkeys! This is a really lovely post, I’m going to forward it to my mum friend to show my appreciation! Thanks so much for sharing with #Blogstravaganza, hope to see you again next week xx
    The Tale of Mummyhood recently posted…#Blogstravaganza #13My Profile

    1. Ahhh I’m glad you have that friend and that you let her know. It’ll make her day 😊 thanks for reading xx

  9. I was the 1st to have kids so I had no one in my circle to turn to in my hours of need. With both kids, i relied on the support of strangers to help me through. I do need to add that 2 of the strangers are now 2 of my closest friends. #PostsFromTheHeart

    1. I think being the first in a group to have children plays a part, no one else needs to understand how bloody hard it is. They get to do cuddles and leave. Thanks for reading x

  10. Oh gosh this could have been written about me! I had lots of friends growing up but when I went to uni, I got ill in my second term (I had M.E. ) and nobody wanted to know me – my new uni friends weren’t yet close enough friends to care for me when I was ill, and to my friends from home I was “out of sight, out of mind”. I had M.E. for 6 years, and even though I’ve been symptom-free now for 4 years, I still don’t have any close friends. I feel like I missed the lesson on making friends as an adult because from 19 – 25yrs, I didn’t have any. Like you, I always try to be THAT friend to others, because I know what it’s like not to have anyone, but I still haven’t met MY friend yet.

    Having said that, hubby has stuck with me through thick and thin. We met just 3 months before I got ill, and yet it didn’t put him off. He married me when I was at my poorliest, and we didn’t even know if I’d be able to walk down the aisle. And actually, no friendship is better than that!

    Sorry for the essay! #blogcrush
    Lucy At Home recently posted…#BlogCrush Week 7: 31st March 2017My Profile

    1. Oh that’s a sad and a happy story. I’m sorry you’re friend weren’t there but I’m glad you found your husband along the way. My boyfriend is amazing, always there for me but sometimes you need a person one step removed to truly feel you can say what you want. I think I’m probably too demanding 😊 Thanks for reading my love x

  11. This is so sad, but I can relate. I also don’t have ‘that’ friend. Someone I’d been friends with since I was 5, started ditching me when I was 15/16 when I had anxiety problems and she got a boyfriend. We drifted apart, but even though she was my oldest friend I don’t think she was ‘that’ friend. #Blogstravaganza

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