Friends

We’re all endlessly juggling a million plates, right? Being a parent means having less time and patience with of a lot more responsibility than ever. That’s getting older generally, but the pro to all this pressure of adulting means being forced to become more ruthless with your time and energy, prioritising which plates matter most.

Last year was a flipping hard year for me in many ways (a close relative was unwell but is thankfully now recovering) and it was thanks to my amazing husband, Peter, other relatives, and my close mates: my girls that I felt supported and able to deal with the tough times of 2016.

It’s awful to deal with relentlessly traumatic times particularly when you’re trying to keep everyone else together, on top of work (thank goodness for the distraction of enriching work, hey) and general day-to-day shizzle: packed lunches, school runs, play dates and more meaning you need people around you to lean on.

When you’re knee-deep in stress, you truly discover who you can rely on.

My two oldest and closest friends Carlie and Rebecca were my rocks, my 5 carat diamonds, along with a group of amazing pals (many I’ve mostly made thanks to blogging). Those gals buoyed me up whenever I felt I was drowning and gave me the space to breathe and feel myself again.

Quick shout outs to my ‘Big Sis’ Maria, my casting director friend Nicci, my filmmaker friend Amancay Tapia, I went to uni with and who persuaded me to start this blog back in 2010 and my blog pals Mirka, Uju, Nomita, JacquiLela and not forgetting my darling Jason I thankfully met two years ago and gained a great friend in the process. Huge love also to my sweetie Sharmin for coming all the way from Amsterdam for my birthday in November to cheer me up!

Big love too to my great friend, PR and blogger, Lucy who has become a sister to me and of course, there are so many more amazing peeps, so much so, I could fill a whole flipping post with you all which makes me feel so lucky. Thanks guys.

…There were many highs too last year (in fact many of you might be reading this totally unaware that last 2016 was hard for me) with lots of times I’ll always treasure- when Uju cried happy tears along with me when I won awards at BritMums Live, the advice my darling actress friend Harriet Thorpe gave me about the industry and life in general, I shall always hold dear, Maria’s endless support and home to stay at when I visited London for work last minute and needed a hug, the long chats and hours of fun with Mirka and Nomita as well as friends who partied the night away with me to celebrate life changing news: book deals, dream collabs and new projects I’d wished and worked for, for so long. To my girl Lela who always makes me laugh until I cry and Lucy for all the magical meetups which make me feel I’ve known her forever.

These guys got me through 2016.

I’m certain you must recognise your own mates in mine, the ones who always have your back and want the best for you, and you for them. The gems you just can’t live without. I’m certain I have so many real mates because motherhood helped me get a bit brutal on those I didn’t want in my life.

Post-kids, there’s literally no time for negativity and fair weather friends so you find yourself fleeing the friendships which just aren’t worth the work, and are left with all the good, golden eggs.

Funnily enough, as a director, pre-blogging, my job was to cast and direct TV drama and films. As a screenwriter too, I wrote screenplays and shorts, all universal stories which reflected real life, and in that I learnt so much about character, what drives others, until it became second nature. Thanks to that experience, I find I can usually suss people out the second I meet them. I’m not easily fooled put it that way.

It’s a great skill to have although living in ignorant bliss is no doubt as wonderful as it sounds. I’ve been outwitted in my time too of course, experiencing my fair share of faux friends in the past, those only out for themselves, ‘friends with agendas’ and other passive aggressive types.

We’ve all been there, right? Most often with people we knew we shouldn’t have trusted, our doubts proved us right.

Yet despite a few friendship-fails along the way (somewhat inevitable when you want to befriend the world by default), I’ve always had my true friends by my side, my real friends have remained a constant in my life, for the good times and the bad. Not just for the party- or the after party but the shocking, sh** times where you need an ear, a hug, a person to prop you up and promise you that things will be alright.

Vitally, you need the ones who know your strengths as well as your hormone-fuelled craziness each month, but love you anyway.

It’s the same with all relationships, really.

My husband Peter is my complete and utter BAE (he won’t even know what that means, opposites attract right). He’s my best friend for life. A best friend I fancy (obvs) who, despite our bickering, is my number one, my soul mate, my Mr Honest Mum.

I energise the heck out of him and he calms me the f*** down. One can’t exist without the other.

He (frustratingly) knows what I’m thinking about without me opening my mouth (we’ve been together since uni) and he always knows when I’m anxious because apparently I pout.

More than anything, our relationship is, for the most part, easy as pie.  Come to think of it, it always has been. No drama, just two people who crazy-fancied then madly loved each another and still do today. We still make each other laugh and have a long history of silly, wild times back in the early days and mostly tons of food and chill times today, just how we like it. #ClubDuvet and on reflection it’s always run smoothly.

That doesn’t mean we don’t argue or ever annoy one another, that’s a daily occurrence here, we just never stay mad at each other for long. We always make compromises and simply, work sh** out.

We share values, love collaborating together on creative projects and have the same big dreams. One day LA baby, he we come!

It’s just easy together. It works.

Real friendships feel exactly the same. The key is the humility part, recognising we’re all just human beings trying our best and sometimes failing. At the crux of it, it’s understanding and overcoming one another’s faults whatever the relationship.

Yes the majority of the time, those in your life should make you feel good, not awkward, drained or at worst, unlovable. They should lift you up and give you strength but equally where bonds are worth preserving, issues should be worked at, and overcome.

For anyone reading this who feels consistently drained by other’s actions and generally s*** around certain peeps, then please trust your gut and find a new mates (or a partner) because real friendship should feel easy.

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64 Responses

  1. Mummy and the Mexicans

    You’re right, of course, real friendship shouldn’t be hard work. Unfortunately, sometimes it is. I’ve never been good at making friends and it seems to get more and more difficult as I get older. I still consider my best friends to be the ones I made at school or uni, even though we’re not constantly in touch. Catching up is always easy when we do occasionally meet up. #brillblogposts

    Reply
    • Honest Mum

      I think being open to new friendships too can bring some amazing friends into your life. I know time is short with kids but maybe don’t limit yourself by feeling you’re not good at making friends. I love my oldest friends too, that shared history is amazing x

      Reply
  2. Amie

    This is really true, real friends are hard to come by but are the most helpful people when you do find them 🙂 #Brilliantblogposts
    Amie recently posted…My K: New Season Must Haves!!My Profile

    Reply
  3. Laura

    Love this and it’s so true, sometimes it takes years to realise who your real friends are but once you do, you need to get rid of the no good ones, which is what I have found myself doing the older I get and it feels good! I have no time for negativity in my life xx

    Reply
  4. ohmummymia

    Friends are the family members- I can relate to that:) I have one true friend and I leave my country 5 years ago but always when I’m at home me and my friend feel like I’m there all the time:)
    #brillblogposts
    ohmummymia recently posted…Just do it! For yourselfMy Profile

    Reply
  5. Lisa Pomerantz

    What an honest and tru post about relationships. It’s so important to know when thet are toxic and when they are terrific. It sounds like you do and you have support in many ways. You are one lucky lady! #Brilliantblogposts

    Reply
  6. Emma Peach

    Real friends are those people who you feel completely comfortable with, whether you last saw them yesterday or a year ago. I’ve moved several times and now live the other side of the country to my family and oldest friend who I met at infant school, but it’s always easy when we do meet up.

    Ema xxx
    http://www.style-splash.com

    Reply
  7. Mrs Mummy Harris

    I love the saying that Friends are the family members you can pick. It is so true and since becoming a parent I have noticed the lack of patience I have for those half hearted mates who show their true colours and really werent friends if they wont even contact me to see how I am or how Ben was after being in the NICU unit.
    The ones i have are godsends who keep me grounded and support me when needed.
    We are lucky ladies to have some truely wonderful friends by our sides! #Brilliantblogposts

    Reply
    • Honest Mum

      Aw we are lucky, how is Ben now, so sorry to read this. You really discover who your real friends are when you need them in tough times. Thanks for your comment xx

      Reply
  8. Gail

    It sounds like you have a lot of lovely friends and family – it’s wonderful to have all that support. My closest friends are my family and those people I’ve known for many years. Like you say when friendship is easy it just comes naturally x
    Gail recently posted…The Truth About Adding a Puppy to Your Family – A Survival GuideMy Profile

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  9. Rebecca

    I totally can relate to this post at the moment… you absolutely on point (as always!) I am planning my wedding (March… eeeeeek!) and I have definitely regretted putting certain people as my bridesmaids as you don’t know who your true friend are until you are going through stressful time! We have a lot going on at the moment, the plates you mention include blogging, working full time, my little man, lots of appointments with EP’s, speech and language and health visitors, planning a wedding (of which everything is being handmade by me!) and those who I thought would be right there… are just not. Ive been told I can’t change bridesmaids this late on but I wish I could!!

    “When you’re knee-deep in stress, you truly discover who you can rely on.”

    Amen to that! <3
    Rebecca recently posted…Get organised and rock 2017 with MUMs Office: A ReviewMy Profile

    Reply
    • Honest Mum

      Oh no, sorry to read this, why can’t you change bridesmaids, you want people by your side on your big day who are true friends. Stressful times are when you know who you can count on for sure. Amazing you are hand making everything for your wedding, it’s going to be amazing. I can’t wait to read about it on your blog xx

      Reply
  10. Deepa

    Post-kids, there’s literally no time for negativity and fair weather friends so you find yourself fleeing the friendships which just aren’t worth the work, and are left with all the good, golden eggs.- Completely agree with this. As a mom, I know how hard it is to get time for anything else and most certainly we need good friends to rely on. 🙂
    Deepa recently posted…Why am I thankful for nature? #ThankfulThursdayMy Profile

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  11. Lucy grace

    So very true… it should always feel easy, even if you have an argument, the knowing that deep down you love and get one another regardless of the faults and the issues…. that’s what makes it easy. My best friend and I have known each other since we were 3, so almost 30yrs. We know one another inside out and back to front. Sometimes so much so that it overwhelms us and we take a break from each other because the intensity that comes from how well we know each other can sometimes feel to honest. We are each other’s emotional mirrors and we can’t hide from it even if we don’t like the reflection. But even after a break, we slot straight back into our way and our friendship is always stronger than ever. I’m so lucky to have such an important friendship like that in my life and am grateful for it every day 🙂 #brilliantblogposts
    Lucy grace recently posted…Me, Being Mummy: Weekly Update #88 Development!My Profile

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  12. Peachy and her Mommy

    You are very lucky to have so many great people around you. Finding those worthwhile relationships isn’t always easy. Maybe that’s why people tend to hold on to those worthless relationships for far too long. Always hoping to find value where there is none. #brillblogposts

    Reply
    • Honest Mum

      Sad but true, so important to sort the wheat from the chaff though, few real friends are better than some which aren’t true

      Reply
  13. Susan Mann

    They really are and what a lovely bunch of friends you have. Blogging has allowed me to make so many wonderful real friends that are amazing. You included x
    Susan Mann recently posted…Snow Fun, Snow Scooters And A Full Moon – Our Weekly Photos Week 3My Profile

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  14. MMT at mummuddlingthrough.com

    It’s so hard to let go of old friendships that no longer feel natural, but we have to constantly assess what our priorities are as busy parents. Life moves forwards, not back.
    Xx
    #brillblogposts
    MMT at mummuddlingthrough.com recently posted…#coolmumclub Linky week 53My Profile

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  15. five little doves

    I LOVE this. You sound as though you have the most amazing friendships and marriage, and I agree with everything that you say. I recently realised that a number of my friendships were hard work and for that reason, I let them go. #Brilliantblogpost
    five little doves recently posted…You know you’re getting old when….My Profile

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  16. Tooting Mama

    Sending you a big hug! Real friends are truly to be treasured. I’m back in London for a flying visit and meeting up with uni friends. We can go months without seeing each other, but when we do it’s like we were never apart….I just love that. Having moved to Paris and had to start over making friends, I really value my friends, new and old #brillblogposts
    Tooting Mama recently posted…Are you a good enough parent? Science says you probably are!My Profile

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  17. Michelle

    I have some amazing friends who have got me through the last year. Friendships are so important #brilblogposts
    Michelle recently posted…Thai style squash soupMy Profile

    Reply
  18. Aleena Brown

    Oh my goodness I totally agree that the right friendships are so important. My best friends are the ones I can go days, weeks, sometimes longer without speaking to but we know that we are always there for each other. Inspiring, thank you! #brillblogposts

    Reply
  19. Mess and Merlot

    I’ve always been pretty happy in my own company but have a small group of girlfriends from uni who live around the UK. On the rare occasion we all manage to arrange a get-together (almost impossible now we’re all parents!!) it is easy, authentic and a total blast. 🙂 #brilliantblogposts
    Mess and Merlot recently posted…She Loves Herself – Motherhood:The Real DealMy Profile

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  20. Catherine

    I’m definitely a quality over quantity kind of girl when it comes to friendship (the same can’t be said for chocolate). Although, recently I’ve been in the new mama trying to make new friends place (it can sometimes get pretty lonely being a SAHM when all your friends work or don’t have children. My daughter’s 18 months now and I’ve managed to level up one new mama friend to the ‘easy’ category, and its wonderful.

    Reply
  21. Kim

    Ah a lovely post, its good to actively acknowledge the positive people in our lives x

    Kim

    http://www.ifthebabyallows@blogspot.co.uk

    Reply
  22. Kirsty Hijacked By Twins

    This is so true Vicki, I think the realisation of how friendship should really be comes with age. My hubby is also my best friends, he is my everything. True friends do not expect you to always be there, true friendships last the test of time and go on through our manic lives. A true friend is a special person to have xx

    Reply
  23. Eb Gargano / easypeasyfoodie.com

    Gorgeous post Vicki – and so true. Loved what you wrote about your hubby. I could pretty much say the same about mine. We also met at uni and have been each others’ bestmates/soulmates/BAEs ever since – and no he wouldn’t know what BAE means either…or rather he would – he’d say it meant British Aerospace!! 😀 Eb x
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  24. Lizzie Roles

    Ah this resonates with me on so many levels Vicki, my word for 2017 is trust and as you’ve touched on here when we don’t go with our gut inevitably that gut instinct generally proves right, and somethings it surprises us too! I think it sounds as if you have incredible people around you and have your back in good times and bad, and who can ask for more than that Lizzie xo
    Lizzie Roles recently posted…My word for 2017 – TRUSTMy Profile

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  25. ema

    Lovely post. So important to appreciate the relationships and what is important in our lives.
    ema recently posted…polenta pizza with braised leeks, yogurt and sumacMy Profile

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  26. Alex

    I totally agree with this – room for golden eggs only in my life. Sadly I think some of the fairweather stuff can creep into family too, but making room only for the people who build you up and truly support you is the answer. We’re hard enough on ourselves without letting others make us feel bad too – good people = good feelings 🙂 Lovely to read how you’ve made such strong friends through blogging too – the virtual world is powerful indeed xx

    Reply
    • Honest Mum

      So true and really important to have distance and boundaries with anyone who makes you feel bad about yourself. The virtual world is amazing huh and we all see each other lots irl, friends for life, everyone here and more xx

      Reply
  27. Mirka Moore @Fitness4Mamas @Kahanka

    Loveeeeed this post lovely, and so happy to have you as my close mate despite not being to see you very often in reality. You are a true inspiration to me, and cannot imagine not having you in my life. So true “…..because real friendship should feel easy” exactly! xxx LOVE YOU XXX

    Reply
  28. Lucy At Home

    I’m sorry to hear that 2016 has been such a tough one for you, but I’m glad that your relative is on the road to recovery and I hope that 2017 is kinder to you all.

    Growing up, I had lots of friends and was popular, but I moved away from home to go to uni and in my 2nd term, developed a chronic illness which left me pretty much housebound for 6 years. My new uni friends were too new and gave up on me pretty quickly. My friends from home seemed to take the view “out of sight, out of mind”. For about 10 years, I didn’t have any close friends. My only rock was my husband (then boyfriend of just 2 months). He stuck at my side through it all, and loved me when I was totally unloveable.

    I have now been back to full health and strength for 4 years, but I am only just beginning to find my confidence again. Over the last few months, I have found some lovely friends, but it is hard to trust again. I worry that if I’m ever in a mess again, these friends will do the same as my previous set. However, I am determined to push those fears aside and get on with my life post-illness and hopefully develop some friendships like the ones you’ve described here. #BrillBlogPosts

    P.S. sorry for the waffley comment!
    Lucy At Home recently posted…Bloggers Bluff #13: This Is Me NowMy Profile

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    • Honest Mum

      Oh darling Lucy, this has moved me to tears, I am so sorry your friends couldn’t stick by you. It’s not an excuse but perhaps they were too immature to know how to deal with it all. It is hard to trust again. This reminds me a little of my first week at school where I made friends with a group of girls who all abandoned me a week later and I was friendless for what felt like ages. I used to ring my Mum at break time because I had no one to talk to. It was awful and took me a long time to trust friends again. I think you need to remind yourself you are not at uni now as in that time in your life where people want to party and can’t handle responsibility or others not in the same situation as them. Thanks for sharing this here. I would love to meet you, mean that xxx

      Reply
  29. tots2travel

    All so true. The less drama, the fewer BIG stories the better. Here’s to a good 2017.
    tots2travel recently posted…Costa Brava with Kids – Top Activities in the RegionMy Profile

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  30. Jacqui Paterson (@Jax2000)

    Awwwww, this is SO LOVELY! I live half a world away from my family, so my friends are my psuedo-family. I’m also a Capricorn and a textbook natural introvert, all of which mean I select my friends very VERY carefully. If I’ve gone out of my way to catch up with someone IRL it means they’ve already passed my big, loooooong ‘Potential Friend Checklist’. Top of the list of must-haves are a great sense of humour, positivity, authenticity and a real zest for life: in return they get total loyalty and a genuine friend for life (whether they like it or not, haha!). And drunken laughs. LOTS of drunken laughs. 😉 xx
    Jacqui Paterson (@Jax2000) recently posted…THE TOP 4 BEAUTY PRODUCTS I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUTMy Profile

    Reply
    • Honest Mum

      Aw you are an amazing lady Jacqui, so glad I passed the test. You are exactly like my husband Peter in that respect, you have to earn that friendship and love and it’s so worth it when you do. All about the drunken laughs. We need another of those nights arranged soon! xx

      Reply
  31. your DIY family

    So true. And as you say real friendships should always be easy. Feel the same about you – so happy to have gotten to know you and really feel a connection there. A really good friend of mine calls her best friends ‘framily’ and it’s a word I’m totally stealing – my good friends feel very much like family to me, except I get to choose them. So from now on you and the girls are my blogging framily. Fabulous post and wise words – has Peter figured out what BAE means yet? 🙂 xxx
    your DIY family recently posted…10 minute DIY: Ikea towel rail hackMy Profile

    Reply
    • Honest Mum

      Aw I love that term and I feel the same, it is totally that isn’t it, a connection, that chemistry, it just works hey. Feel so lucky to have you guys. Peter probably won’t ever read this post! I’m going to read it to him tonight actually hahaha xx

      Reply
  32. Babes about Town

    Absoeffinglutely darling. I’m actually giggling at the vision of either Peter not even reading this post or speedily Googling to figure out what the heck BAE means? Haha! Opposites do attract indeed. You’re so right in that true friendships (and that includes life partners) are not just easy but generous, in embracing fun, love, enjoyment but also grace and compassion for each other’s flaws and f*ck ups… because it always comes from a place of love. One of my best friends (whom you know well of course, the fabulous Ms C) came to London last year and we hadn’t actually set eyes on each other in 15 years, but it was like no time had passed at all. Easy Peasy. Love this post and big squeezes to you V, thanks for being a true friend x
    Babes about Town recently posted…London Kids Weekend Scoop (January 12-15, 2017)My Profile

    Reply
    • Honest Mum

      Aw I can’t wait to meet China, sad I’ve missed her twice now. You are spot on, Peter won’t read this (bahaha) and true friendship feels a breeze, love you lady xx

      Reply

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