I’ve always been outgoing. I love connecting with people. I’ve been told I can talk to a tree, and that’s probably true. I love chatting with my seat mate on a flight. I volunteer to sit shotgun in the Uber and carry the conversation for the entire car.
But, as the years following college graduation passed by, I found my friend list shrinking. It was difficult to connect with other people, to meet other like-minded women when we weren’t drinking dollar drafts until we puked on any given Friday.
But I didn’t let my loneliness get the best of me, because I knew from my social media research that once my first child blasted out of my private parts, I would be knee-deep in mom group invites. There would be play dates galore. I’d have so many mom friends in my crew I wouldn’t know what to do with my popular self.
I didn’t have any friends. I scowled at Instagram when it seemed everyone and their mother had a “stroller sisters” or a “momtourage” or some dumb thing while my 19-month-old and I basically stared at each other all day long. I saw my pre-motherhood friends inconsistently despite Herculean efforts to get together. I was desperate for a friend, ANY FRIEND.
And then my second child was born and the proverbial shit hit the fan. Hit all the fans, if you will. I was sucked into this strange vortex where there is literally no time to do anything but sustain life and wipe butts.
And you know what? I stopped my desperate friend search. I put it on hold in the name of survival. You see, I now understood the most precious commodity in my life was FREE TIME. A currency more valuable than any other, and you can be sure I wasn’t about to spend mine on fake, superficial friendships. I needed people who would understand if I couldn’t return a text right away or had to decline yet another offer for happy hour. I didn’t have the energy to spend worrying whether everyone was hanging out without me or talking about my messy house and chubby thighs.
Lo and behold, I started to find my people. The friends I needed so fiercely. My support system, my squad, some of my favorite people. I struggled adjusting to motherhood, and the addition of baby number two found me in a dark place for some time. While I was still craving female connections, I realized I no longer had space in my life or heart for women who weren’t truly invested in our kinship. I needed friends who would encourage and guide me through the valleys and celebrate my accomplishments.
You know, the sort of friends who don’t bat an eye when I show up in torn sweats and no bra or who shun me if I forget to bring an appetizer or bottle of wine to Thirsty Thursdays.
Friends who will pick up an extra white tee shirt for my daughter’s zoo feed trip because I literally cannot do ONE MORE DAMN THNG THIS WEEK.
Friends who respond immediately to my texts when the desperation for validation or affirmation is dripping between the lines.
Friends who still love me the morning after I drink too much red wine and beet juice and throw up in the driveway like a drunken college girl. (For the record, hot pink vomit stains concrete.)
Friends who will toss my water-loving son in the pool 34 times in a row while I drink a cocktail because they know I need a break and who will show up with Starbucks when they know I’ve got a long day ahead.
Friends who listen to me rant without a lick of rationality when they know damn well I’m acting like a total shithead. Bonus points to the ones who don’t call me out until I’m relatively calm.
Friends who will drop off an arsenal of cleaning supplies when I’m knee deep in kid-vomit and diarrhea and fresh out of paper towels.
Friends who let me bring my dog to dinner because he’s been home all day and dog guilt is second only to mom guilt.
Friends who stand quietly by while I proclaim my veganism even though they know damn well I ate cheesy bread at 11:56 last night after five cocktails.
THIS. This is what I crave in my life. People who love and accept us as we are while shouldering our tears and fears. Women who makes us smile and who’s kitchens feel like shelter from the storm. These women, these wonderful, wild, beautiful people bring endless joy and peace to my world. For that, I am so grateful.
Go on, now. Find your people.
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