the sisterhood
Mental Health

The Family We Choose

Technically speaking I have three sisters, one brother, a mother and two fathers. I’m also an auntie to five kids that I know of, and this year became a great auntie (not too happy about that title!) It’s complicated though, and I’m completely estranged from most of them, hardly see some of them and don’t even exist to a handful of them. As in they do not know of my existence. My father had an affair with my mother when he was engaged to the woman that is now his wife, and 34 years later hasn’t had the guts to come clean. I told you it was complicated.

With this kind of family set up it stands to reason that my friends have always meant a lot to me, but they have become even more important since I entered the world of mummy-hood. Lets be honest here – as amazing and rewarding as our little ones are, it can also be an overwhelmingly isolating experience at times. When we’re in the midst of suffering the worst end of the sleep spectrum, and my mind isn’t thinking straight, I’ve managed to convinced myself that I am completely alone. Even though I’m surrounded by people that love me.

It’s really easy to do though, and when the thoughts start spinning out of control they can propel me to a very dark place. Fortunately I’m a fairly grounded person these days, and that frame of mind doesn’t last too long. With baby #3 on his way in just three months time, chances are my world will get turned upside down for the remainder of next year. I decided this week that I was going to make even more of an effort to be in touch with (and see where possible) my nearest and dearest as often as I can beforehand. I set about calling, Skype-ing, emailing and have probably given myself RSI through texting. My calendar now doesn’t have a free slot until January. My lovely lot are worth their weight in gold though, and they must be cherished and made to feel as important as they are.

What are your views on friendship? Do you have lots or just a selected few? Are you super close to your family and have a best friend in a sibling? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section.

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30 Comments

  1. I’m completely with you on that Rhiannon, surrounding yourself with positivity can only be a good thing. It’s lovely that you and your hubby not only have close knit families, but also lots of friends 🙂

  2. I am very close to my family and J is very close to his also. J has a large group of friends and attracts new friends always! I have a few very close friends rather than a whole heap of them and have always preferred to have a smaller group of true friends rather than friends who don’t mean as much. When I recently wrote about my blue times I was presently surprised at those friends who reached out to me and those who didn’t. It makes me realise who my true friends really are and maybe question some friendships. I wholly believe in surrounding yourself in positivity especially in friendships and family.

    #PoCoLo

  3. The ultimate holy grail: a close knit large family and loads of mates you’ve known forever… You are one lucky lady 🙂

  4. Oh wow, you’ve got a lovely set up! Thanks for your wishes, three months to go xx

  5. Although tough to not have her close by, it’s great that we live in the Skype-era 🙂

  6. Great that you’ve got your family hon, it must be a god send when it comes to helping with the kids x

  7. I love hearing people say my husband/wife is my best friend. It’s certainly very important for people like us who have a complicated family history xx

  8. Sounds like a fab set up hon, you’re very lucky xx

  9. Thanks for your lovely comment x

  10. Being picky is a good thing! I’ve had many a cull over the years and if I’m honest, not one of them would have a place in my life today. Not everyone is meant to be around forever, it’s good to know when to say goodbye 🙂

  11. Ahhhh that’s lovely hon, great that you have a support network xx

  12. Very true Izzie! Certainly of my motley crew 🙂

  13. You’re too kind Denise. It’s funny because there was a time when I was very close to my mother and brother. Maybe one day they’ll come find me and tell me they’ve changed and turned it all around. I’m not holding my breath, but you never know.

  14. Reading your other comment I was thinking the exact same thing! I really enjoy having a diverse set of friends all over the world. Keeps things interesting 🙂

  15. Oh hon it sounds like you went through a rotten time with your ex! So pleased you’re out the other end 🙂 It’s lovely that you class your mum as one of your best friends – I hope this will be the case in the years to come with my girls & me xx

  16. I am very close to my family and am lucky enough to be able to tell my Mum everything – I class her and Ross my very best friends. The friends I have made over the years became estranged as a result of my ex who isolated me from them (he was very controlling). These days I class bloggers as my friends – it is easier to keep up with them and catch up on what they are doing. Apart from that I have Ross and Grace and I am happy. The closest blogger to me is Charlie (The Mad Mummy Musings) who lives 15 minutes up the road – she coming for Sunday lunch next week :). Thanks for linking to PoCoLo x

  17. You really are very like me 🙂

  18. It’s a shame your family doesn’t appreciate you more. They don’t know what they are missing out on.

  19. Hey, I see myself as independent too! I’m finding it easier to make an effort with friends these days but was often hampered in the past by feeling that maybe people didn’t really want to be friends with me.

    I think it comes down to I’ve had some really weird experiences in my life and find it easy to get on with people, but difficult to feel really close to people. I think I’ve had an upbringing different to many people’s, and have different interests from many people, and that makes me feel a bit distant from them.

  20. Whoever said ‘Friends are God’s apology for relatives,’ pretty much hit the nail on the head. Immediate family excluded from obviously. That pretty much sums it up here!

  21. In all honesty I’m a fairly independent soul, and have lots and lots of friends who I see occasionally. I have some lovely, much closer, friends, who I value hugely, but we all live in different parts of the world now, so I don’t see them often! I am very close to my mother, and have a strange relationship with my sister! My husband is my closest friend… You are lucky to have close friends x #PoCoLo

  22. Friends are important to me. I wish I had the time to spend more of it with them – the old ones… some of those that are still not mothers don’t understand why ;-( Fortunately, I’ve lived in an amazing community now for 7 years, and each day I realise that I’m surrounded by more and more incredible women… different sorts of friends. Us mums wholly rely on each other. I’m so very fortunate x

  23. Over the last few years I have become more picky when it comes to friends and the moment I enjoy having a small circle of trusted friends and I am totally happy with it. Maybe it is something to do with not having so much time anymore to keep up with everyone 🙂

  24. Building up a close knit, reliable circle of friends of support is really, really valuable. You’ve done a great job x

  25. I’m very fortunate in that I have some lovely friends, a best friend in my husband, and I’m very close to my mum and brother and sister-in-law. My husband’s sister is also brilliant, and she pops round for a cuppa every week. I know you don’t choose your family, so I can’t believe how lucky I’ve been with mine x

  26. My best friend is my husband, he is my everything. I also have complicated, very complicated, family issues and have been cut off from most of them. I was very close to my cousins growing up (I have 15 of them) and sad that I’m only really in touch with 1 of them – apart from on facebook. I have a small but quality set of friends locally and lots online.

  27. sarahmo3w says:

    It’s great to have such good friends. I’m pretty close to my family. I have friends that I really value, but I’m not the sort of person who spends a lot of time with them. I’ve done my parenting pretty much without friends as I had my kids before my old friends and never did NCT or toddler groups to make new ones!

  28. I have some great friends and with my closest sister moving to the other side of the world, they have become more important to me.

  29. Im very close to my immediate family and some of my extended family. I have 3 cousins who are more like my sisters and their mum is like my second mum, and we have always been that close. I dont have lots of friends but the ones I do have are very good and close friends. I do agree though that our friends are the family we choose. My friends are the ones I would talk to about my deepest fears they are the ones that have been there throughout. Good luck with baby number 3 xxx
    #PoCoLo

  30. I completely think friends are the family you choose. I have a very close group of friends that I’ve had since the age of 5! I have no sisters and I always wonder if that’s why but they’ve always helped me get through a lot. Lovely post 🙂

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