I love this time in my life. Yes, we all berate the muffin top, saggy boobs and not being able to find much in Topshop these days, but, I love my life.
There are various reasons for this. My three amazing children being a monumental one, Mr S.H.I.T. being another, having a roof over our heads and food in the fridge (perhaps only a mouldy old cucumber and some Dairylea Dunkers at times, but there’s always food).
And family who love us.
But another reason I love my life is because of the women in it. My friends. My tribe.
They surround me and they care. They really, really care.
We support each other, through the good shit and the not so good shit that life presents – as this blog is all about.
But I can always count on these women being there regardless, celebrating the high, and holding each other up through the lows.
However it’s not until now, in my glorious middle ages, that I feel the consistent glow of these deep female friendships. The unflinching security. There are no conditions, no pressures, no need to fit in. Just women who genuinely want you in their lives, for being you.
Childhood is blissfully ignorant. Gender doesn’t matter, colour doesn’t matter, size doesn’t matter. Friends are anyone who will play with you. It’s so blissfully pure and simple.
But the tweens and teens kick in, and sadly some things do start to matter to many girls.
Conforming is key. God forbid if you’re unique and stand out from the crowd. The ‘cool’ cliques start to emerge and division rears its ugly head. Whispering, ostracising, bitching, the silent treatment, peer pressure, fighting over boys and who’s wearing the ‘right’ gear.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all bad, these are fun and exciting times too. The world is your oyster after all. You just need the supportive girls who want to share it with you. And they will be there. There will always be a few though, who want to take all the oysters for themselves, trampling on you along the way.
In our 20’s, we’re all still working out who we are and where we’re going. Some fly ahead in careers, others get lost along the way. There’s competition and questioning. Why can’t I find a job? Are they really pleased about my promotion? Why did she flirt with my boyfriend all night? What kind of friend would say that about me behind my back?
Again, the supportive young women will be there, you just need to hold on to them.
The 30’s are a mixed bag with some finding love and settling down. Some going it alone and choosing a different path. Some having children and staying at home. Some having children and returning to work. As women we have tough choices to make.
But then the dust seems to settle, in a relieved little pile. Respect and appreciation for each other’s different choices come into play. Some are married, some single, some divorced. Career women, part-time workers, stay at home mums – there’s nothing more to prove.
New friendships are formed and some old ones float away. The important ones stick.
And here I am now. My friends enrich my life every step of the way. There’s no judging, no bitching, nothing but solidarity and respect. Rejoicing at the triumphs, and picking each other up through the bleak times.
We can all be who we truly are because, as my wonderful mum once said to me, we are women, we are enough.
So, on this International Women’s Day, I dedicate this to my mum, the woman I hold most dear to my heart, my two amazing daughters who will conquer the world, and all the outstanding women that I am lucky enough to call my friends. You know who you are.
We got this ladies.
As featured in Huffington Post.