Every girl needs that one friend. You know the one. The one you can call at 7 a.m. crying and tell her you can’t do it for another second. That you wish you hadn’t had children. That you hate your husband. That you’re going to quit your job. That everything in your life is a total mess.

And instead of responding in shock and horror, instead of saying something like, “You should be grateful for what you do have,” or worrying that you may actually hate your family, she just listens. Completely judgment-free. And she gets it because she knew you way back when and now your life is completely changed. You have a world of responsibilities you didn’t always have, maybe you have lots of little people or a colicky newborn, a career to balance, not a minute of free time, and maybe even anxiety or postpartum depression

She knows your kidsshe held your baby at the hospitaland she loves them like family.

She knows they’re the best things that ever happened to you and you don’t mean a word of what you’ve said. That you’re just overwhelmed, maybe sleep deprived, that you’re in a hard season.

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So instead of passing judgment or trying to solve everything, she simply reminds you that this too shall pass. Or maybe she shows up at your house and sends you to your room to sleep. Or she takes the kids to her house for the afternoon. Or perhaps she just brings you a bottle of wine and listens while you vent. And it’s your favorite because she knows everything about you.

She knows deep down you don’t mean a word of what you said. She knows how much you longed for a family. She stood up at your wedding, and she knows what an amazing man you married. So she quietly defends him in the kindest way possible at the exact right moment, and it takes a little bit of the sting away as you realize she is right.

She’s the friend who never judges.

She’s always there.

If she can’t answer the phone, she sends a text right away. And when you’re not yourself, she helps you get back to who you are.

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She’s seen the highs. She’s seen the lows. She loves you the same through all of them.

These friends are few and far between. Most likely they’ve been around for years, and they have watched you over the years dealing with stress and heartbreak. They don’t have to say a word, they open their arms, and later you don’t have to explain that you didn’t mean any of it because they already know that.

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She’s the sister you never had. She’s more like family then some of your real family.

She’s not ruffled by your emotions and the way you express yourself. She embraces it when she embraces you. In some ways, she knows you better than you know yourself.

For her, I give thanks today. For the friend who has always been there and always will be.

Caroline Murray

Caroline is a freelance writer, mama to two young children and one sweet baby.  She loves everything country and tries not to take anything too seriously.  You can see more of her at www.the-othermom.com.