A month after my 19th birthday, I pulled a hidden bag from under my bed, told my parents I was leaving home, got in my boyfriends car and we drove away.
I was five months pregnant. My parents already knew that part! 👶
I think I cried for four hours as we drove to Sydney, to a flat I'd never seen, and the life I was totally scared of. The next morning, my boyfriend went to work and I sat on our hand-me-down, couch that was held together with electrical tape, in front of a tv on a milk crate and thought:
'Oh my gosh'.
(or something along a similar shocked, scared, I-don't-know-how-to-be-a-mother' line of thinking)
Lucky for me, my anxiety-ridden car ride turned into a life-time of love and dreams come true. I'm still with my boyfriend (but now get to share his last name) and it turns out children can survive even when parents are figuring it out as they go 🙏 Phew!
But as I undertook this new adventure as a teen mum, I let friendships wain. To be honest, I'd let them fall away years before that. Being a teenager was hard for some of us, right?
Now, as I inch closer to 50 (😲hang on while I lift my chin from the floor...), a friend and I've been chatting about friendships. Adult friendships.
- why the heck do we STILL get the not-so-good-friendship-feels like anxiety?!
(insert a compassionate eye roll 'cause man, I thought we'd grow out of that 🤔)
But as we had this chat, we decided we could feel any way we want about friendships. We're adults, and with that privilege comes CHOICES. We are choosing to prioritise our friendships in this stage of our life. We can choose to have them or not, who with and in what capacity. And so can you.
You'll need to know
- your why
- your reality
- your expectations, for you AND for your friend
(Hint: these are the 3 steps of my Signature Coaching Framework EMPOWERED - Dream It. Own It. Live It. This framework can solve EVERY problem!)
If you're the woman who feels alone, and you WANT to make new friends, it's not too late. You don't NEED to make a good friend, but you never know; setting a goal to be curious about meeting new people could bring you a gift you didn't know was waiting. That gift could be a new friend OR it could be finding a stronger and braver part of yourself. That'd pretty invaluable, don't you think?
When I think back to my new mum self, I remember an unlikely friend I made. I was a naive, 19-year-old and I made friends with a worldly, 30-year-old German lady, who spoke broken English. We met in mother's group and stayed friends for over three years. On paper, we seemed totally incompatible, but we had some good times, and both got different needs met through this relationship. I don't know where she is now, but I still think about her, and I hope she's well. Maybe there's someone from your past thinking or writing about you too 🥰
Like life, some friendships are seasonal. And that's ok.
So, here's to those of you with life-long besties, those of you happy on your own and those who have decided to brave the land of adult-friendship-making!
Let me know your secrets, successes and lessons learned 👏
PS you might make a new group of friends inside my online, on-demand, there-when-you-need-it life coaching membership for mums, EMPOWERED. Join up and introduce yourself. We'd love to meet you.
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