FRIENDSHIPS really are important. Just ask any child. As soon as they venture out the front door to childcare, pre-school, primary and so on, their world revolves around friendships they make with their peers.
The ups and downs of these relationships often present kids with their best and worst days. With the teenage years, this all steps up another notch.
As young adults, our friendships are often paramount as we socialise, party, spend weekends and holidays with mates and look for a life partner.
But that can all change when we settle down and, all too often, friendships can be one of the many things that fall by the wayside as the demands of everyday life overwhelm new parents, especially in the early and demanding years of raising infants.
Parenting can be isolating. Increasingly, we fall back on a quick text or email to replace what once would have been a much more meaningful phone conversation.
Having friends who care about you and you really care about, is vital. Even with the advent of emoticons, it’s hard to know how a friend is travelling and what is going on with them unless you actually spend time together.
Moreover, being so caught up in family life that you never take the time to simply stop and have a chat over a coffee, can be detrimental to your mental health and well-being.
As a parent, I benefit from having a good mix of friends with and without children. Friends without children tend to remind you that you are more than a mum or dad. Conversely, friends with children are invaluable for the shared experience they give.
Whatever the day-to-day demands of family life, it’s worth putting aside time to maintain and invest in friendships, and maintain a broad network of substantive relationships. After all, no man/woman or family is an island.
Maybe next time, don’t text or email your friend; give them a ring and make time for a cuppa.