Today, well actually yesterday a very good friend had a birthday, we got to go out with a swarm of five kids (I can’t help myself, I collect them).

Being the silent introspective (don’t you laugh) chick that I am, I obviously got to thinking. See this particular GF of mine, I jokingly refer to her as the president of the cook for Joanna Club – she is super talented, organized, a great shoulder to lean on or cry on, but above all she can cook!

She’s eight months pregnant and she still dropped off some banana bread for me before she went on a two weeks’ vacation.

I hate cooking I only do enough to keep the kids fed, and instead of judging me, she just feeds me. Funny thing is, she isn’t alone in that club.

One might say, I attract chicks with ninja kitchen skills. I just think, I have awesome friends who step in and fill in my inadequacies.

I have friends who would clean my house, or spend days trying to organize my craft room before realizing it’s a never ending battle.

I know I sound like a spoiled brat with no life skills whatsoever, but the truth I have come to realize is, to have real friends, you have to be a real friend without any ulterior motives.

I often come across a lot of women who complain about having no real friends they can count on, so here are a few tips from the ahem …pro.

  1. Love you – You have to love hanging out with you. There is freedom in finding the real you, loving her, treating her right, seeing her finally bloom. Once you love you, it’s impossible for the right people not to be attracted to you. I’m serious, I conduct little social experiments all the time inside my head. There has to be a reason I’ll be out with my friends who are single, prettier and generally well put together than me, because I’m chasing an active child all over, and out of all of us, it’ll be me with the ring on my finger whose drink will be paid for by the guy standing by me and then proceeds to uncomfortably try to make a connection.
  2. Be the friend you need – remember we said have no ulterior motives earlier? Good! Here’s an example, I love kids, I love having them over to hang out (certain rules and conditions apply). I’m the girl who would grab my friends’ kids no matter the number, so they can enjoy a date night here and there, I don’t do it so they can watch my kids in return, and I just do it. What do I get in return? Happy husbands bearing gift cards, but most importantly, happy friends in happy relationships.
  3. The Sometimes Inevitable betrayal – I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes I let my ego get the best of me and I let the wrong person into my circle. How do you bounce back from a friend you thought was the real deal turning out to be a phony? Well, I’ll be honest and tell you, I don’t do my best thinking when I’m feeling blue. So first things first, play some waiting to exhale music, once you get out of that funk, remind yourself that to close yourself off from friends or the idea of making friends will be equal to letting the betrayal win, and we are made out of stronger stuff. SO just dust yourself off and start again at one.

Don’t forget, with the right set of friends, you’ll want for nothing, you’ll just gain sisters or bros who will laugh with you and help you hold your hands up on those trying days.

I want to hear about your circle of friends and challenge you to do something random and nice for each of them as a just because. Enjoy.

Joanna St. James

This Brit turned multinational, is a stay at home mum to two boys. She home schools, runs a business out of her home and writes. In her laughably spare time, she likes to be a church mouse, hoard crafts and books and her husband happily obliges her.