S I S T E R H O O D.
One thing I’ve felt change since having children is the ability to meet with my witches coven, my dudes, my gnarly crew, my disturbingly honest girl-gang
AKA The Sisterhood
One of the best things about school is being able to hang, day in, day out with your personally selected life-team mates. It is almost nausea inducing how swift the change is once you produce offspring. Friends try to leave you in ‘peace’ (the irony is not lost on me), so that you can come to terms with your new role as a Mother. Sometimes the distance seems to grow between you, you both wonder where the common ground is now? Having a newborn you’re overly sensitive with the hormones and the lack of sleep. We are no longer a group of girls taking our first year exams together and shopping the stalls of Camden. Even the friends who already have children appear on another chapter to you. The gap widens. Commonalities shrink. It becomes difficult to make it to events and dinners whilst you’re breast feeding or horribly sleep deprived. Even if you do summon the energy you then have to have ‘THE CONVERSATION’ with your partner or log on to Mumsnet to solve the ever-present hunt for affordable childcare. All of this is worth it, to see…
But weddings, birthdays, baby showers and hen parties make for excellent ensured meet ups. Life does get more complicated when you have a family but there’s no point moaning about it (that doesn’t stop me). You can’t pop that baby back up into your uterus and even on your worst days you wouldn’t want to (maybe). What I have learnt is that a family-synced Google calendar goes a long way and having a background in coordinating multinational film crews makes it easier… at times. I have no words of wisdom I’m afraid. It is hard to find the time and energy to divvy up childcare between two adults who are still people within themselves, and would rather be out drinking tequila with their bessies on a Saturday night, and not bathing two tired, moaning children. All whilst doing it solo so that when you forget that nappy you have to drag a wet and grumpy baby up flights of stairs whilst your phone beeps an emoji laden text from a soon-to-be drunk co partner who is out in the company of other fully independent adults who can go to the toilet by themselves and are having “SO much fun” *margarita emoji* . But I’ve learnt to toughen up, I have to ask for help, I have to accept that his night will be worse for mine to be better. That sometimes I’ll have three nights out where he has none. That social lives aren’t balanced and evenly spread out over the year. That I have to make time. Planning, planning and a bit more planning (with some contingency options, an amazing Grandma and having Bloom & Wild on speed dial helps). All so that I can connect with…
So weddings take some of the guilt out of making time for friendship. We need our cultural traditions. We don’t have many left now we’re all left horribly disillusioned with religion. Cultural traditions provide some of the social glue that holds us together emotionally. Where once we lived in tribes and nestled in each others business all day long, now I have to WhatsApp the latest domestic row. Was I really unreasonable to my husband? (Plot spoiler; in the eyes of my girlfriends I’m always right).
It’s a true relief when I get to see a non-pixelated human face of one of my sorely missed friends. To realise that they too are having highs and lows, that their life is complex and dynamic and full. That commonalities still exist between vastly different circumstances. For realising they have an entire life past Instagram, Facebook or Whatsapp. I know we all laugh at that sentence but it is worryingly true these days that we often judge where someone is at by what they choose to post on social media. We’re not going to post shit days (unless you’re weird like me), and so we get a rose tinted view. We jump to conclusions, we don’t see the full story and we miss out. You can’t miss out if you meet up face to face with
your soul sisters
Female companionship is part of my life blood. Around my female friends I hardly need to explain myself. My sick sense of humour is well understood and my bitchy comments fall where they’re meant to, totally unnoticed. Husbands and boyfriends and civil partners in crime are great for couples holidays and supportive childcare but often he has that fearful look in his eyes when I start to cry at Cheryl Sandberg’s new book. I try to explain but I really need…
My Magic Mike homies.
My sisterhood are a crazy good mix of practical advice and off the wall madness. I’m in awe of each one of them, Christ they’re a good bunch. Most of all they’re authentic and true to themselves. Thankfully I’ve never told them this. If they ever got a handle on how needy I was. *Shudder*. Instead I divvy up the emotional support so neither one of them gets a full insight into how truly nuts I am. Who am I kidding? They ALL know I’m emotionally tipsy. The facade is long gone.
My comrades mean a lot to me. I’m ALL in.
So weddings are a time of coming together. Reconnecting. For making an effort. For turning up. For switching the phone off. They’re a time for putting someone else first, for listening to the love stories, for hearing the vows. For seeing your friend look the most effortlessly beautiful she has in her life. For being astonished at her humility and her strength as a woman. For feeling the nerves for her and for knowing when to pass the cool champagne. And when the make up is done and the dress wiggled into, it is for feeling breathless that you are privileged enough to be called her dear friend.
You pin the veil, you take a selfie. It’s her moment now.
You see her walk down the aisle with her mother or her father or her brother. The symbolism is not lost on you. The missing family members cut straight through your heart as you physically ache for her. That is sisterhood. For feeling intensely for someone else, for wondering if your hearts are connected somewhere. For seeing when they need a hug that they’ve not asked for. For turning up on a doorstep when they’ve gone through a breakup. For remembering her kids birthdays like your own.
Being able to have breakfast together the next morning, for sharing the curling tongs, for noticing the clumpy mascara. For asking after the parents and the siblings and the new job promotion. For sitting in silence, for squeezing an arm. This is the sweet spot.
This is my Tribe
Let the sisterhood gather, let the rituals commence. Secrecy, gossip and knowing looks are our real currency. Let’s fill our souls with hugs and photos and catching up on the more mundane activities that fill our days. We dance to Gangsta Paradise.
The toasts are made, the tears are shed. The weekend sadly draws to a close. Everyone is bored of my overflowing emotion. My job here is done.
Find me on Instagram at @wiseamum