A young mom needs to know who her people are. It’s important. In a season where you mostly show up with no makeup on, hormonal outbreaks on your face, emotions that range from A to Z, and very few hours of sleep at night….you need to know who you can count on.
That’s why I used this wonderful time of postpartum craziness as a time to find out who I was. Maybe you already knew who you were before you were a mom. I kind of knew who I was. But then I had kids, and I realized that I really wanted to know who I was–because I wanted them to be able to grow up fully as themselves. And it was in the process of finding myself while also nourishing them that I was then also able to find new friends and regain friendships with old ones. I realized that in many ways I had a few long-time close friends, those people who knew my whole story without me feeling like I had to divulge a chapter book with about 200 pages of ugly crying. These people are my people, the one’s you consider family and who figure out life with you through all the ups and the downs. They stick tight, and they don’t get scared easily. Or if they do get scared easily, they still come around until they aren’t scared anymore. They’re faithful. You can make new friends like these ones but it’s not for the faint of heart, and those relationships become special glue for the rest of your life. Because if you’re going to go back and reveal the whole story, it’s for a bigger purpose and it’s intentional.
Then there are other friends that bring comfort and comradery; the one’s who are in the same stage of life as you and who can meet you in a common place for the kids to run a muck, and you can all laugh and enjoy each other. They are simple friends; no strings attached. They help you bring out your pretty in the simple things of life. They get the in the dirt with you and you get in the dirt with them. They form your sisterhood. It’s like a good club that gives and breathes life to each other through the everyday living that is………young motherhood.
And then there are those outer acquaintance circles. These are great, too, because I like a big ole group hug, and I like a giant circle that still feels like a tribe but also leaves a lot of room for growth and for bumping into each other at the right places at the right time. Sometimes they help fulfill a career goal or a bigger dream, and sometimes they are just a familiar face that makes you smile when you see them.
I love all these layers of friendships. Women need connection, and these types of sisterhoods make the world go round. We were born relational, and we need friendships to thrive. I’ve gone through seasons of life where I was a lonely bird, where I had to follow a path where few would go, and it felt like the walls would cave in. I’ve also had seasons where my cup was overflowing with relationships, where love was a river, and I was in the middle of it all overflowing with gratitude and joy.
Both seasons are important, and both seasons taught me something about minimalism in friendships:
*If you want a friend, be a friend.
*If you don’t have a community, then create the community you want.
*Be your own best friend. If you can’t, ask a friend to help you.
*A few good friends can be the perfect set up for healthy, daily life.
*A larger community can be a great source of fulfillment and service.
I included this friendship dialogue in my series on Minimalism because healthy relationships are important. In fact, over the weekend, several of my friends kept repeating “Relationships are a primary food.” And it’s true. We are what we eat. And if we want to strive for a life that is minimal clutter, with quality over quantity, and with healthy relationships instead of toxic overload, we need to look at our layers of friendships. I’ve found this extremely important–specifically at the time where nourishing family and children are involved. We need good support in order to support children. We have to have some fresh manna coming in while also managing a home and spending our days raising little people.
I hope this was helpful in defining some of your relationship layers! To be able to see friendships in a bigger light really helps me move forward in freedom, set healthy boundaries, and be intentional about who I am really able to be there for, as well as who I know will be there for me. I think it also helps limit girl drama…let’s be honest. 🙂
Next up, we’ll talk about how connections cross over into the life of social media, how Pinterest is both the best/worst of everything, how we can use social media to connect us but not feed us, and how we live life off the grid but can share some snippets on the interwebs. It’ll be fun and full of wisdom all at the same time, you won’t have to de-face yourself, and you’ll feel the freedom to be fully you!