My friendships have always been important to me, but as a mother, I treasure them now more than ever before. I need my friends and hopefully, they need me too. As they grow, I want to teach my children the value of friendship…
Even now as toddlers, it’s beautiful watching Arabella and Lottie interact with their friends. They don’t understand what friendship is yet, but soon they will. They’ll learn about the importance of leaning on one another and helping each other. Of laughing and crying. Of sharing their feelings and listening to those of others. I hope they’ll find friends as good as the ones I’ve found. Friends who they will travel the world with. Friends who they will share their first apartment with; dance the night away with; and eventually, share the highs and lows of motherhood with.
I remember when I discovered what true friendship was…
I was in primary school sitting on a wooden bench in the playground with my now oldest childhood friend. She was upset. I don’t remember how I knew, but I knew what she was about to say: “My parent’s are getting a divorce”. We didn’t really know much about divorce at that age, but we both knew it meant that her mum and dad wouldn’t be together anymore. For some reason, that moment has stayed in my mind. She had confided in me because I was her best friend and as her best friend, I felt her pain. A few years later, my own parents divorced and that friend was there to hold my hand. In our early 20s, we travelled around the world from Cuba to Tibet together and laughed the whole time. We’re both busy mothers now who spend more time chasing after our children than we do together, but there’s something very special about the childhood memories we have created together.
My closest friends have been collected throughout my life…
At school, university, living abroad, at work, through kids. Some I see more than others, but friendship isn’t about how many hours of face time you get in each month. I’d love to see my friends in Sydney more, but we’re all time poor and the weeks get away. Real friendships last no matter how much time has passed or how often you catch up in person. Some of my dearest friends live overseas and I very rarely see them, but when I do we pick up exactly where we left off. Really, you just need three things from a friendship: love, loyalty and laughter. Motherhood is wonderful but it’s also relentless. For me, the newborn stage was tough, but toddlers? Wow. I know that very soon they won’t be toddlers anymore and a new phase will start. But it won’t start today. Or tomorrow. And some days are simply more challenging than others. But a little love and laughter from a girlfriend makes the day somehow seem easier. It snaps me out of my mood and gives me perspective. So often when I’m about to cry, I’ll call one of my girlfriends who will make me laugh. It’s amazing how five minutes on the phone to a friend can completely change your perspective and energy.
Real friends don’t judge either…
On the days when the fighting and tantrums get too much and my children push me to my limits, I know my friends won’t judge me when I tell them how guilty I feel for yelling at my kids. They won’t judge me for feeling like I can’t cope. For the record, I often feel like I can’t cope. And I feel like I’m the only one who feels this way. But my friends make me feel like I’m not alone.
You’ll also need your girlfriends when you’re trying to become a mother…
I didn’t realize this part was difficult. It’s the stage you expect to be easy. You just have lots of sex, right? For myself and many of my friends, the journey to motherhood hasn’t been easy. Instead, it has been a long, drawn-out and emotional process. When I started bleeding when I was pregnant with Arabella and my husband was overseas, I called one of my best girlfriends at 11pm. She told me to get to the hospital and she’d meet me there. We sat in emergency drinking hot chocolate until the early hours of the morning when I was given the all clear. And when I was on bed rest with Lottie for almost three months, my girlfriend in Hong Kong would call me every other day to see how I was. Other friends would drop off food from my favourite café and sit there with me, keeping me company.
When it comes to friendship it’s the little things that make a difference…
Dropping a lasagna off when someone has a baby, remembering a birthday and doing something special, sending a text message to let them know you’re there for them. We’re all in this motherhood thing together and it’s now more than ever that we need to lean on one another.
The wonderful thing is we’ve got so much ahead of us…
So many memories to make, so much laughing to do and I’m sure a far amount of crying too. I watch my mum and her friends get together and it makes me realise that no matter what age you are, your girlfriends will always be your rocks. So cherish them because while career and personal fulfillment is important, friends and family are ultimately all that matters in life.
So what's happening on the site this week?
I’m so excited by how much The Grace Tales is growing and what’s in store for the future. When I launched the site, my vision was simple: inspiring stories for inspiring women. And there’s about, oh, a gazillion more stories to tell and women to profile. This week we’ve profiled the talented Dolly Jones – she’s the digital strategy director of Conde Nast. Talk about impressive. She’s also refreshingly honest and real in her interview – hope you love reading her inspiring story. Sarah Brooks-Wilson talks quick anti-aging fixes and Evelyn Lewin talks about parenting as a road rather than a rollercoaster. We were also at magazine editor Katarina Kroslakova’s baby shower – what a chic affair. See the story here. As always, I’d love your feedback and hope you enjoy the site this week.
Photo: Grace Alyssa Kyo
what a wonderful letter! it made me reminiscence on my own childhood friendships. i also love reading the tales about beautiful and inspiring women. last but not least, photography on the website is just superb!
thank you for a beautiful website inside out.
Thanks so much Yulia – we are so happy you love the site! 🙂 xx