How important is friendship to you is a good question to consider. Friendships are as important as you make them. The answer I personally choose is: very important. I am a first time mother, in love with motherhood and my 15 month year old daughter, Ninel. I also am in love with my friendships. I am grateful for an array of amazing friendships, one in particular with my best friend, Kelly. We met over ten years ago in college, her from Canada, me from Northern California.

Several months ago, Kelly’s husband called me the second year in a row to come visit and possibly surprise Kelly for her birthday in Oregon. Of course it was extremely challenging to make it happen the year before for her 30th birthday as Ninel was only two months old.

I received his voice mail returning from the gym and called him back and said that of course I would LOVE to come though I would have to check our financials and check in with my husband Matt. I also told him that it would be my first time away from Ninel.

Matt’s mom and sister were in California at the time from Hawaii. Also, I am a stay at home mom and not bringing in an income. So I figured it was not the best time to bring it up with my husband. None the less I went online and searched flights that I found were under $300. I texted Pax that I would love to come though we could not afford it. Instantly, his response was, “I’ll throw down.”

Later that night, my husband Matt noticed I was online flight searching and asked, “What are you searching for?” I told him, “Pax called me to go see Kel for her birthday.”

I told him that Pax was willing to put money into the trip and he said see what you find.

In conclusion, we made it work. My husband was great and missed one of his few paddling tournaments that Saturday to watch our daughter while I was away. I left Saturday morning and returned Monday afternoon. That Monday Matt brought Ninel to my parents before he went to work. My parents picked me up that Monday at the airport with Ninel. It was a group effort and was not easy to make it work. For me, it was worth all the work and planning to go see my best friend.

The night before I left after I put  Ninel down to bed, I came out of her room bawling. Matt said, “What’s wrong babe is, is it your grandma, is she okay?” I answered, “It just hit me that I am leaving Ninel for the first time.” Not only was it a lot of work to plan to be away though it was a lot of work on my heart to leave my daughter.

Again, I will ask, How important is friendship? For me, it is priceless. It is worth tears over missing my daughter before I even left her. Weeks before leaving my daughter I told my husband and Kelly, “I know this comparison is completely different, but similar: “It was the same reason I wanted to have a natural birth with Ninel. I wanted to teach her before she would be able to even realize that as a woman anything is possible, such as a natural birth. The same goes for this trip. How great it will be for Ninel to tell the story that the first time her mom left her was to go visit her best girlfriend.”

This trip will convey to Ninel when she is older how important it is to make an effort to maintain your friendships and have an independent, balanced life as a mother.

In all, so much in life happens: whether is it is children, marriage, new jobs, school, etc. To maintain friendships amongst it all is a choice. To choose friendships is such a great choice. It will keep your life balanced and make your life happier because of it. Whatever continues to come into my life, I know that I will continue to choose my friendships when I can. Thank you for your time to read this blog and have a wonderful rest of your day.