The Family We Choose

There’s that well-known saying…

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I am truly blessed with amazing parents who would move mountains for me, and I them. In fact these past few years would have been impossible without them and I will forever be grateful to them for their unwavering and fierce love. I love my own little family more than life itself. But life itself these past few years has been… just… a big whole lot of something dreadful at times.

I’d like to tell a story of some of the family I have chosen. There’s a special group of women who have been by my side through these recent awful times and many years before too. Today, they utterly surprised me, I’m talking gob-smacked level, with the most heart-felt and touching gifts delivered completely unexpectedly (but who ever expects gifts?!). I recently confided in my chosen family about the struggles I’ve been having and they listened. They let me ramble and cry and be angry and helpless, and they listened. They were firmly there. They showed love and empathy and they listened. They again became my rock and I again began to mentally collect myself and heal with their help and support.

There’s all this pressure when you’re a new mum to immediately find and fit in with a set of local new mum friends. You’re supposed to meet up and go to local play groups and try to chat about all those new baby things that are hard and exhausting and take up so much of your every day life, while the babies distract you away from any kind of meaningful conversation, warm drinks, warm food… basically anything that isn’t their (beautifully) distracting selves. Some people are lucky and find their chosen families in this way.

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I tried, but I never really found that. I had my beautiful best friends spread across England who I am so lucky to have found through school days, who were (and still are) a constant support and beacon of light in my heart. I also had a group of women, from all over the UK snuggled in a little secret group hidden away on Facebook. I can’t even place how we all found each other but somehow we did. We had our fair share of drama in the early years as you tend to find with parenting-type groups. Certain personalities, lifestyles and stuff clashing too extensively to be able to hold on to friendship bonds creates negativity and loss but eventually, this little secret group settled and became a true safe haven. I can honestly say I love each and every one of these women. I cry with them through hardship, heartbreak and loss, I celebrate both their outstanding achievements and the little everyday goals with a gigantic grin on my face, I take pure joy in the faces of their amazing children, I feel with them, my heart illuminates with their love like the comforting and steady glow of a phone screen in the depths of night-time insomnia. We’ve had it all, it seems… and through that all, we are there for each other in the small ways as well as the big.

I am unbelievably lucky to have these women in my life and I will strive every day to make sure they know that. Ladies, if any of you are reading this now, thank you for being you. Thank you for understanding. Thank you for not judging me. Thank you.

I promise to be around more for all of you.

I love you.

Do you have a friend or group of friends that are as dear to you as family? I’d love to hear about them, please feel free to share the love below.

4 thoughts on “The Family We Choose

  1. We couldn’t love you any more, you are a huge part of our beautiful hidden away family and we would be equally lost without you. We are ALWAYS there x

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  2. Thank you chosen family for bringing some sunshine and smiles back to our beloved Julie, she knows we’d do anything for her as she would us but sometimes you need something extra – that’s what you are chosen family – we thank you from the bottom of our hearts xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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