It’s difficult to make friends as an adult and most of mine have been around since primary school. They know me better than myself and there is never a need to apologise for a surprise fart or habitual legging wearing.
There have been times when I thought that I may be on the market for a new friend and initiated conversation only for my intended new bff to say something like “I don’t believe in vaccinations” and I’m out. The thrilling difference between making friends now than as a kid is that I have zero tolerance for bullshit (opposing views to mine). I am a 40 year old opinionated mother of 3 and by god have I earned my stripes and so I have a small but amazing group of women to rely on. The latest being Deirdre, a neighbour, and we met when our 5 year old boys decided to be besties and house hop all day long. We had a coffee and then realised we are the same person, although it has to be pointed out that Deirdre is a culchie and my TV and movie references are wasted on her. Coffee has often turned to gin/ wine and she has pulled me from the brink of despair many times as I hope I have her.
The reason, I’m telling you all this is to impress on you the importance of The Sisterhood. While pregnant and in the cocoon of breast-feeding it can be hard to maintain friendships and life can be very lonely; You need to surround yourself with people who have been through it or are in the midst. Men are great but they will always look for a logical solution to your despair when sometimes all you want to do is cry and for those tears to be turned to laughter.
Recently, one of my oldest friends, Susan (I’ve known her since we were 4 but she is in fact a good 4 months older than me and I know she would be pleased for me to divulge that) called to drop one of my kids home from school and she asked was I ok? I thought I was but found myself crying, then laughing because I didn’t know why I was crying. She didn’t dig for a reason but laughed with me and said she had those days too.
Then there’s Jen, my cousin who can always make me laugh… sometimes a little too much. We’re doing an evening painting and sketching course and when we left last week my picture blew out of my hand in the wind. I had been holding a pee in for the entire class and I just couldn’t chase it so she hopped all over the place as I crossed my legs and begged her to stop. She did retrieve the picture but I needed to sit on a jacket the whole way home.
We are all in a group message on Viber and when things get too much we put out the Batman signal (the wine one) and plans are furtively made for a night out. We normally go for dinner, laugh all night and go home feeling renewed and ready for another week of domestic slavery.
When someone has childminding issues, we’ll brainstorm and figure it out between us.
Susan and myself always joke about running away or slowly poisoning our husbands (mariticide seemingly) and moving in together to take care of the kids. She’s so good at laundry and I don’t mind cooking; She can be unfettered in her own room and when she has her period, I will dispense drugs and make a hot water bottle. I will also sympathise profusely and not say “AGAIN? Jesus do you ever stop moaning?”
I was shopping with Jen during the week and she said, “we really should live together” (I’m much sought after, it can prove problematic) and I had to tell her I was promised to Susan but could we start a women only commune? I told her my wish to wear long Anne of Green Gables nightdresses and swish about comfortably. She looked a little disgusted but agreed. I’ve been addicted to those things since button down nighties were on my hospital list for the babies; I wore them as long as I could until Ossie threatened to burn them.
Can you imagine how nice life would be in our commune?… the dishwasher would be emptied, toilet seats down and the children all playing fabulously, enjoying sharing their toys. Actually that last part seems wrong but there would be a lot of drinking and watching of great TV at night, we’d all be bra-less in ugly yet comfy nightwear, synchronised and hyped up on Feminax.