My daughter is a sensitive little monster, and I mean that in the best way possible.
She is opinionated and strong and (sometimes) rather terrifying. But she is also a vulnerable, fragile, blessed ball of emotion. She comes by these personality traits honest. See Exhibit A: HER MAMA.
Quite frankly, I am so fortunate to call her mine, even on the days when she tries the very, very, VERY last of my frazzled nerves. And so, when I unintentionally hurt her feelings, my heart breaks.
The other day, I made an innocuous, off-handed comment to bébé H, or so I thought. Sometimes, parenting is stupidly hard in unexpected ways. Well, I was an accidental asshole parent (continuing the trend of accidental assholery) Truly, I have no recollection of what I said- I only know that what I said touched a nerve for my sweetly sour beb.
Enter THE GIRL GANG
That day, I watched as her girl gang rallied around her. They petted and fretted and lavished her with all the positivity that is so frequently missing in older school-aged children. And it was beautiful. The refrains of “Yassss, queen” and “You are AH-mahzing” were the sweetest and most endearing displays of female empowerment and solidarity I’d ever seen in humans so small. And that was when I knew my daughter was someone blessed by the friendship gods.
When I think about my very own adolescent friend group, I can’t see beyond the Mean Girl years. While I forged life-long friendships with quite a few of those ghosts-of-girl-gangs-past, there were more than a few years of ugliness and competition that were tragically toxic. To think that my daughter and her friends (those little Girl Power goddesses) are already banding together to support each other instead of falling into the trap of infighting is so epically inspirational- a lesson I think so many ADULT women can learn.
Mamas- YOU DESERVE YOUR VERY OWN GIRL GANG, TOO
You deserve to have a fiercely loyal group of friends who will be your biggest cheerleaders- who will celebrate you with all the fanfare when you succeed, and who will also prop your sad and dejected ass up when you inevitably screw up. You deserve to have a group of strong, powerful women friends who see you as an ally instead of the enemy or the competition.
I’ve always been very vocal about my opinion that #momgoals competition is toxic. Ladies, we are not in competition with each other. This isn’t the Shit Show Olympics- no one wants to win the gold there. We are all in this together- we are all just here trying to survive and protect our babies and OURSELVES.
Finding and nurturing adult female relationships is HARD, especially when you are rounding thirty and heading forty. Navigating new (old-ish lady) friendships is awkward, at best. But I can bear witness that some of those late(r) life friendships can be some of the most fruitful and fulfilling. I have been blessed to have my very own #girlgang at every stage, and may you be, too.