Why every mum needs that special anchor friend

Why every mum needs that special anchor friend

I am sitting on a sofa across from one of my best friends. We are very similar in many ways, although very different in others, but our core values are broadly similar. We get each other in a way that many people don’t. She lives at the other end of the country from me so I don’t see her as often I used to.

She is in the area, travelling for business, so calls in to see us for a quick brew on the way to her destination about an hour further on. It’s lovely to see her as I’ve not met up with her for about three months, all good intentions to go up for the day to see her and her daughter put to bed due to a run of illness in Small Boy and a bunch of other commitments on both our parts.

Hubs is putting Small Boy to bed. I’ve already spent 20 minutes of walking and cajoling and false starts at getting him in. He used to be good at going to sleep (staying asleep was a different matter) but the past couple of months have been tough – illness, clocks changing and probably the onset of the terrible twos have all built up into the current horror of bed time. I long for the days when you could ” is it bed time” and he’d climb up the stairs, holding “Babbit”, and wait patiently by his cot.

My friend is telling me that she knows how hard it is. Her daughter, now four, went through a similar stage. I’m close to tears because I’m the most tired I’ve been since becoming a mum. I’ve had a tough couple of weeks in my day job and despite having to take time off to care for SB, I’ve still worked over my hours trying to meet deadlines. I’ve no idea how that has happened. I’m exhausted. My nerves are frayed. I know she went through it though and I know that I’ll be the person sat on a sofa reassuring another parent at some point in the future.

This friend is my anchor friend. Everyone needs one. She doesn’t know it but she is. I miss her terribly, as I know that she would move heaven and earth to help me out with SB if we lived locally again.

Although we’ve probably known each other for around ten years I feel like I’ve known my anchor for much longer. Everyone needs a friend like that. The sort of friend who comes along later in life but suddenly gets you and shares your views on big issues. You might have an anchor friend from childhood, but in my experience life can sometimes mean you drift apart on some issues. University, relationships, locations, jobs, they all have an influence in shaping you and sometimes this means that there’s parts of your life or experience that friends from your youth don’t always get.

I think an anchor friend is particularly important for mums. They’re the ones who knew you before you had kids. They help remind you of what you were like before you became a mum. They can help unpick how you’re feeling when you’re exhausted or emotional because they know what your baseline is. They are the yin to the yang of your new mummy friends, the other women who’ve only known you as a mummy, and are in the trenches, elbows deep in nappies with you. The balance is important.

But my anchor friend has become even more important to me since I became a mum as she is one too. We are both older mums, both driven in our careers but also remarkably relaxed about how they fit into the big picture. She knows the pressures of juggling it all, but also understanding the realities of compromise and trying to achieve a balance in rearing what is may be your only child. Her child is a few years older and that helps because I know when she says “this too will pass” it will. When she says she understands what it’s like to have a child who is “all mummy” and won’t go to sleep, she gets it.

My anchor friend lets me know that it can be tough but that I’m strong, that I will get through it and that she’ll listen without judgement. She will share her stories because she’s known me for so long that I will judge her – “we’re among friends here”, she’ll joke, and that’s exactly what I need to know.

I need to know that eventually things will change and while we all face new challenges as our kids get older, that we’ll conquer those too. Routines will change and our schedules and lifestyles will adjust. There will also be time for us and to talk about our plans, hopes, and views on a whole range of things – occasionally we might get to talk politics or restaurants.

Yes, I think every mum probably needs an anchor in her mummy tribe.

The Importance of that special anchor friend - the friend who knew me before I became a mum.

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21 Comments

  1. 24th January 2018 / 9:39 pm

    I loved this. It’s so true! I have an anchor friend and she definitely reminds me of what I was like before I became a mum, but as you said she is also a Mum now too so we still have lots in common. I don’t see her all the time, but i love our catch ups, they are so important! Thanks for linking this up to #thursdayteam

  2. 24th January 2018 / 12:06 pm

    I so agree with you. I have a couple of friends just like that but unfortunately we now live in different countries 🙁 We still see each other at least a couple of times a year and it’s like heaven. Thank you for sharing with #StayClassyMama

    • 25th January 2018 / 7:46 am

      Thanks Pat. I think with some friends it doesn’t matter about the distance or how infrequently you see them, you just fall into a groove and it’s wonderful.

  3. 24th January 2018 / 5:46 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this with us for #ablogginggoodtime Just to let you know that sadly Catie (Spectrum Mum) will no longer be a co-host for #ablooginggoodtime, we will have a new co-host this Thursday and you can still link up through Katie or myself reflectionsfromme.com Thanks, love Mackenzie

    • 25th January 2018 / 7:47 am

      That’s a shame, but it must be a huge amount of work! I’ll still be on later and will be linking up (I seem to have some problems with the linky badge showing though so I need to have a look into that).

  4. 22nd January 2018 / 6:41 pm

    That’s lovely that you have each other. I don’t have an anchor friend and I definitely feel like there is a hole in my life. To have someone that gets you, supports you and would drop everything for you must be amazing. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

  5. 21st January 2018 / 12:56 pm

    I totally get this! I definitely have an anchor friend – she’s actually one of my childhood friends, and doesn’t yet have any children of her own, but loves mine, and is completely sympathetic to the struggles of being a mum. But there is definitely something in the fact that she knew me before I was a mum – there’s a really solid foundation to our friendship, she understands me so well, and we have similar takes on life. We can go a long time without seeing each other but we’re always in touch, and it always feels like it’s been no time at all when we do catch up. Thanks for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

  6. 21st January 2018 / 12:02 pm

    When I had Bluebell it felt like I was very isolated as I was the first to have a child out of all my groups of friends. They were still partying and I was exhausted, they till wanted to talk on the phone for hours and my baby needed me, it was tough as I felt like I wasn’t suer where I fitted in, and like I was letting them down or being boring. Thankfully that time passes and most of them have children now which makes life so much easier. Friends are super important, we go through times of change and adjustment, but friends truly are forever. #stayclassymama

  7. 20th January 2018 / 10:06 pm

    I love this. Having a friend like this is so very important. I hadn’t thought of them as being an “anchor” friend before but it’s a very good description. Having someone like this in your life that completely gets it, that you can be completely yourself with is an incredibly precious gift. #sharingthebloglove

  8. 18th January 2018 / 3:12 pm

    This is so true. I found it really hard when I had my first child. None of my old friends lived close by and you’re expected to join lots of mummy groups and magically bond with them just because you had kids. I felt like it was my friends before you really knew the real me. Thank you for a lovely post. #ThursdayTeam

  9. 18th January 2018 / 12:30 pm

    We truly do! I am glad you have found yours. Mine is also far away, I live in Melbourne and she lives in North Queensland, we have known each other since we were 11 years old, now 41! It is hard not getting to see one another or each others children as we would like too, but we try to arrange a holiday or a couple of nights away together each year as it is so different face to face. I have been blessed to have a great mummy tribe and have made a new friend, well not so new, but when my now 10 year old started school. Our families send loads of time together and it so great as I know we are there for one another and each others children. Lovely post! #stayclassymama

    • 18th January 2018 / 8:34 pm

      Thank you. I’m surprised how it’s resonated with people. I always assume that everyone has these really tight group of friends they see all the time, but I’m reslity some of your closest may be the furthest away or the ones you see the least.

    • 18th January 2018 / 8:34 pm

      I love the idea of holidaying together. We would all love that!

  10. 18th January 2018 / 9:04 am

    This is very true, I have a special friend who has been amazing since I suffered a stroke leaving me disabled, she takes me out for lunch once a month, I nominated her for a small reward in a magazine as a thank you #blogginggoodtine@_karendennis

    • 18th January 2018 / 8:31 pm

      You always know who your real friends are in a crisis. That’s such s lovely thing for her to do. I’m sorry to read about your stroke and its impact. I hope you’re doing okay x

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