8 March 2018

International Women's Day: My Female Support System

Happy International Women's Day! Oh yes, it's that time of year where we really appreciate the women in our life that have made us who we are today, inspire us and shape us. So I wanted to throw in my two cents.
2018 has been one shocker of a year so far. Without going into too much detail on here, my husband and I have had a lot happen all in a short space of time, and it's those events that have really allowed me to see who is there for me, and who really isn't. And whilst some of these have been men (namely my wonderful husband, my Dad, my brothers), it's the women in my life that have helped to lift me up and keep me going.
And I couldn't be more grateful, or feel more lucky to have those women in my life. What I was going through was so linked to being a woman, and feeling like a woman, that it would have been hard for any male to understand or empathise with. Don't get me wrong - the men in my life were amazing, especially my husband, but it's the women that helped me more than anything. So I dedicate this post to them - the ones that helped make me feel whole when I only felt like half of myself, the ones that were there with kind words, support, or colouring books.
My Mother is an incredible woman, and an incredible mother. She has been there for me my entire life, but even more so in the past couple of months. I honestly don't know how I would have come out the other side without her. Even when she has so much going on herself, she makes time for all of her children - even those that aren't biologically hers, whether it's helping my brother get his flat ready for his new baby, or helping me through my current emotional baggage - she's wonder woman. If I'm ever lucky enough to become a Mum, I hope I can be as amazing as her. She deserves all the Maldives trips in the world!
Oh Amber, Amber, Amber. What can I say about her. For years she's been my rock, my twin flame. I know it doesn't matter what I say to her, or when I say it, she'll be there for me and support me. She will lift me up, encourage me and always see the good side. We're just always there for each other to help us be the best versions of ourselves. We're too similar in personalities to do much else! When I hurt, she hurts, when she hurts, I hurt. And again, although she's been going through her own stuff the past couple of months I couldn't have asked for a more supportive, amazing friend. Now it's time to pamper and spoil her!
Some people hate their in-laws, but I'm so lucky to have in-laws with hearts of gold. My mother-in-law is always there for us, no matter how big or small the problem. She's there with kind words, advise if we need it and always support. It really is like having a second Mum, and I'm so lucky to have that in my support system. She loves her family with a fierce passion that I hope to emulate one day, and she will do anything for them - and I always feel like I'm included in that.
One of the strongest women I know, she's been through so much and has spent years caring and looking after my Granddad and I don't know how she had the willpower to do it. But she's always been there for me as well, especially in the past month or so she's been amazing and always there. Whether it was just to talk, to help Adam and I have some quality time, or sit with me in A&E for 6 hours waiting for my lip to get stitched up. She's always there, and an inspiration.
I have a few friends that don't live near me, however I always think it's not an excuse to let a friendship die. In particular I have two friends - one in Gloucester and the other in Cardiff - who I know I can always count on if I want to talk, need support or just a chat. Beth (Gloucester) is my oldest friend, and someone who has lived away from me for 10 years now, and we've never let our friendship suffer. We're always there for each other should we need it, and I know it'll never change - no matter how far apart we might be. Hannah (Cardiff) has been in my life for over a decade now, and again although we've been in different parts of the UK for most of it, we're always there to share good news, bad news and Prosecco. When she's not pregnant that is. I feel so blessed to have friends out there that I know I can always count on, no matter how far apart we are and it just goes to show you don't have to live near each other to maintain a friendship.
It's so important to have a trusted and reliable support system, and if you're a woman I feel it's so important to have women in that system. Women that inspire you, support you and make you whole again. This is the female support system that I have and I couldn't be more grateful. So Happy International Women's Day to these lovely ladies, and to your support systems.
Whose part of your female support system?
Much love, Lisa May x


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