The Power of Female Friendship
Every two months or so, I go out to dinner with five other ladies, all moms of kids of similar ages, all whom I've known for several years now. We don't talk every day or even text regularly, but when enough time has passed that we haven't seen each other in awhile, one of us will put out the call for the next dinner date and everyone does their best to make it happen. These have become the most fun dinners - we typically close down whatever restaurant we've chosen because there's so much to say and share with each other. Waitstaff must hate us. These are the friends who not only talk real-talk about parenting their kids and the disaster it can be, they also real-talk about themselves. Last dinner I came home with a recommendation for a good neck cream, which was shared sandwiched between a discussion about divorce and the best hair removal methods. It was a great night.
I have another very small group of friends who I text and message constantly throughout the day about everything, a crazy running dialogue that will bounce from plans for the day to a kid who dropped a whole bottle of oil on the floor, to what's for lunch, to life goals or lack thereof. It's punctuated with emojis and GIFs and has me cracking up multiple times a day. It's this banter that helps keep me sane when things are driving me bananas.
Female friendship - TRUE friendship - is a powerful thing. It's a connection that provides us with support and helps us grow. Every woman should have a pack of friends that they can rely on to tell them the truth, share their honest thoughts, and make them laugh. There's this belief that women can't be really good friends, that they are secretly nasty to each other and that women feel jealous and competitive of other women. But I find that when you find a true friend - someone you immediately click with - there isn't any of that. There is just an endless amount of support and cheering on and inappropriate jokes.
I'd been thinking about this type of connection since that dinner a few weeks ago, when I picked up this great book that I'd had on hold at the library: Text Me When You Get Home by Kayleen Schaefer. In it Schaefer discusses the state of female friendship throughout history and in pop culture, and provides endless stories of her own friendships and how important they have become to her. Women need other women for their similar experiences, for their caring nature, and for the pure fun of being together.
Strong friendships still need nurturing, though. Both women need to be as invested in the relationship as the other for it to work, and making those friends a priority in your life is key. This means checking in, listening, providing advice, sharing your experiences, getting together, helping when it's needed in big and small ways, setting aside time, and generally being there for each other. When you invest the time and make your friendships an important part of your life, the benefits you get back are boundless.