The Sisterhood of Friendship

“You know what the secret is? It’s so simple. We love one another. We’re nice to one another. Do you know how rare that is?” — Ann Brashares, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
Perhaps you’ve seen the movie or read the book, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (After many summers together, four high school friends go their separate ways for a few months. They stay connected by a pair of jeans they take turns sharing — pants that happen to fit all four girls. The pair of pants is a symbol of their bond). While I saw the movie quite some time ago and don’t remember many of the details, what I do remember is the bond between the friends. And the idea that friendships can outlast distance, circumstances and many other relationships.
We naturally gravitate toward women who are in the same phase of life in which we find ourselves. Certainly though, we can learn from women in other phases, and we can mentor women who are in phases we have already, well, survived. The fun fact is that friendship transcends age limits. We don’t have to be in the same stage of life to form amazing bonds.
With this in mind, here is a humorous take on the phases we go through as women in which our friends can help us.

Sisterhood of the “hot pants”

Whether we choose hot pants and lash extensions or ponytails and flannel, we long to catch the eye of someone special.  So we go out of our way for attention. Or we’re terrified of attention and go out of our way to be a wallflower and we hope someone will find us anyway. This phase starts early — junior high for most of us. Those boys who used to be “yucky” come and go, but friendships outlast them all.

Sisterhood of the “diaper pants”

We found our someone special and started a family. Diapers, diapers, diapers! Will there ever be an end? The answer is “yes,” my friend, but you may even find yourself longing for these simpler days once  your children are teens. I’m just sayin’

Sisterhood of the “smarty pants”

Ah . . . the phase where any and all of your children talk back — and they do it every chance they get. Toddlers or teens, this phase seems to last and last . . . and last. If you are doubly blessed (a-hem) this phase will coincide with the diaper pants phase. This is where your friends really prove themselves by bringing chocolate and your favorite grown-up beverage. At any hour, day or night. Oh, that each of us has at least one friend who is willing to swing by the 7-11 for chips and queso at midnight!

Sisterhood of the “no pants”

You’ll always be a mom, but the end of the formal training of your children may be in sight by the time you hit the hot flash stage. This is the phase I have recently entered. Let’s just say, I have a small fan that I carry with me at all times. (I am seriously considering buying stock in a major battery company.) Co-workers think it’s unusual. My kids think it’s funny. My inexperienced friends are a bit confused. I never used to wear a dress or skirt, but have found myself scouring the clothing store for dresses and skirts to wear with tank tops. If you see me in anything else, it is under duress.

Sisterhood of the “empty nest pants”

To quote my mother, “Empty nest syndrome? What empty nest syndrome?” She loved that my brother and I were on our own finally. That doesn’t mean she didn’t miss us, of course. However, some moms are quite at a loss when their offspring fly the nest. A good friend will hand you her baby for some much needed snuggle time, look at baby albums with you, and hand you a tissue or two (or twelve).

Sisterhood of the ‘Where are my pants?’

I’ve already mentioned a couple of phases that often overlap. This chapter can show up at any time and become increasingly alarming. Don’t worry, you’re totally normal! It’s just “Mom Fog.” Our brains go a million miles a minute, barely registering the details. There are sure to be times when we forget where we put our readers, the bicycle pump, Junior’s application for college . . . This is also when we tend to find random objects in unexplained places. Keys in the freezer – yep. Grocery receipt in the tv cabinet – check! I once found that our TV remote had taken a trip down the laundry chute. I happened to be home alone for several days when this occurred. I wish I was kidding. “Mom Fog” — it’s a real thing. Friends can be a great help. They can help you look for missing objects (Ever “lose” your SUV in a mall parking lot and had the forethought to call a friend for help before you called the cops? I have!), commiserate with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s when the item is deemed gone forever, and rejoice with a second pint when you find it after all.

May we as moms find and nurture the sisterhood of all our friendships.

Can you think of other phases of Sisterhood I’ve missed? Share them in the comments! I’d love to hear your insights!

This post was originally published in 2018.

Jenny is a Northeast Ohio native who relocated to Council Bluffs in 2012. She is a single mom homeschooling her three teenaged children, Austin, Elliana and Jonathan. Her background is in Secondary English Education and Theatre. While homeschooling takes up a majority of her time, you may find her buried in a book, crocheting, working her home based business ( or eagerly writing YA and children's books. You can also learn more about her wonderfully ​quirky little family and her thoughts on her ever deepening faith through her blog, notes of jubilee ( where she shares the joys of everyday life as a mother and various product reviews.