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What sisterhood means to me – Emma Hannigan

With Mother’s Day just a week away and sisterhood week coming to a close, we couldn’t say it better than Emma Hannigan. Long live strong women relationships.

Over the years, as I’ve taken on one of the hardest, yet undoubtedly rewarding roles in life, I’ve turned to the females in my world. I’m talking about sisterhood during motherhood. From the moment my son was born, sixteen years ago, followed by my daughter some eighteen months later, I was starkly aware of the fact that I knew absolutely nothing!

Babies don’t come with an instruction manual. Nor (sadly) do toddlers or teenagers! But there’s always been an incredible network there, all of who are ready, willing and able to help out. Whether it’s shared advice or a knowing smile and a sympathetic hug, I know for a fact I’d be lost without my sisterhood.

Going way back, I distinctly remember gingerly entering a variety of church halls with a wriggling toddler in my arms. I had a kind of out of body experience as I wondered how I’d come to be this person who attended morning sessions where I sat in a circle with strangers holding a mini tambourine and singing nursery rhymes.

Up until that moment, I’d only ever sung in the car while alone. Even the shower would’ve been too public in case my husband or a visitor might hear me murdering a favourite song. Yet, here I was, booming out raucous versions of The Wheels on the Bus without an ounce of shyness or remorse.

The women I met at those sessions welcomed me in and after several minutes in their company, I knew we all felt the same way. None of them neck-jerked and stared at me in a horrified manner when I sang either. They were too busy utilising their percussion instruments and channelling their inner Adele.

When the children went to school, I met a whole new nest of sisters. These women are still my go-to girls for everything from hormonal outbursts (both mine and the teenagers’) to how we should broach discos, parties and social events (all for the teenagers, as I am now a taxi service.)

I don’t think I’d cope with motherhood if I didn’t have my Mum and my girlfriends. There are new challenges all the time and I’m so pleased that I can vent and reach out.

I adore being a mum. I see it as my greatest gift and my most special privilege. But I am always aware of the ladies who are constantly jogging alongside me. Women are amazing and I am proud to be one. Long live sisterhood and the strong wise and incredibly capable ladies who belong to her.

Sisterhood, I salute you.


Emma’s new novel THE PERFECT GIFT is available now in ebook.

Liked this? Why not catch up on…

Emma’s quick fire Q&A

Sarah Duguid’s round up of her favourite portrayals of sisterhood – Part 1