I wasn't blessed with sisters. I'm one of four children (number two) and I have three brothers.
I am close with my brothers despite the geographical distance that separates us, and whatsapp and speak often.
We call each other to work through problems and ask for advice, fight, make up, discuss our children, discuss our siblings, discuss our parents.
A relationship with a sibling is a super important one as far as I'm concerned, and while I have brothers who I am closer to at times than others, I love those guys and would do anything for them.
I'm also lucky to have good relationships with their wives. I remember when my older brother got married, my dad said to me crying "you finally have a sister."
I was just in my very early twenties and having an "older sister" seemed like a dream, one realised even more when I moved to live near them. I spent most weekends sleeping on a futon in their living room floor in Brooklyn playing with my nephews and nieces so my sister in law could rest, gabbing about my dating life, shopping, and doing basically what sisters do.
The truth is, for all of my sister in laws, I have also been a sounding board, and a place to discuss (and at times complain) about my brothers. After all, I've known them the longest, and know where they come from. I try to be neutral and helpful and hope to share insights that help to navigate rough waters.
But I digress.
In New York, we had an adorable young nanny named Alison who turned into my best friend. She was super sensitive to my having a hard time being away from my first born, and right around the time I got pregnant with number 2, Alison was married and expecting a baby of her own.
She stopped being my nanny and as best friends, we had a lot of fun--like we really had a blast. Our kids became best friends, we forced our husbands to be friends.
We were ying and yang. She was carefree while I was uptight, she was relaxed while I was more nervous. She didn't care if the kids trashed her house (which they usually did) and ate all her snacks (which they always did). She had a huge pantry she kept stocked and a generosity of spirit second to none.
Leaving her behind in New York was terrible.
I'm only proud to say we're still incredibly close--in each other's lives as much as we can be. We FaceTime at least once a week and have already arranged a marriage between our two youngest. Oh, and she named her youngest with my name which I pretend had more to do with just that she liked the name.
When we went to the States last year, she and her daughter flew to meet us for three glorious days of nothing but laughter. It was as if nothing had changed, no time had passed--for both us and the kids. It was beautiful. She is my soul sister.
Moving to Australia wasn't easy (and still isn't quite frankly) but I've been incredibly lucky to have surrounded myself by strong amazing women who have become my soul sisters here.
Women who know me, who get me. Women I can laugh with, women I can cry with, and most of all, women I can be myself with--like my real myself. Women who love my children and treat them like family. Women I can count on when everything is falling apart and I can't pretend to be okay anymore.
Life is hard. And finding a group of friends to lean on in a very honest way, may be some of the most important self care you can do for yourself.
Organic Mama xo