Big Mama Shares 3 Tips for Strong Relationships in 2017
Melanie Shankle first began blogging to chronicle the memories of young motherhood without having to scrapbook. Ten years later, thebigmamablog.com has become a hub of commentary on pop culture, fashion and witty family stories with 300,000 readers visiting the site each month. Passionate about building strong friendships in a digital age, she offers the following suggestions for staying social in the coming year:
(NUMBER 1) Find your people. “You have to put yourself out there. We can be so isolated and get to where we just stare at our screens all the time,” Shankle says, but seeking out peers in similar life situations or with similar interests is key to feeling connected. If you don’t have a peer group at work or church, try a book club, a community Bible study or running club instead.
(NUMBER 2) Seek out friends of different ages. “God has really been faithful to put some older women in my life that have mentored me in how to be a better wife, how to be a better mother, how to pour into my community, how to give of myself,” Shankle says. “There’s so much we can learn from the people that are a few years ahead of us in life and even a few years behind.”
(NUMBER 3) Don’t view your peers as your competitors. Shankle’s most recent book, the memoir Nobody’s Cuter Than You, focuses specifically on celebrating the beauty of female friendships. Shankle suggests, “What if we encouraged everybody to run their race and didn’t feel threatened just because one person was called to one thing and another person was called to another?”
Based in San Antonio, Shankle will be in Vestavia on February 23 to speak at the Samford University Legacy League Scholarship Luncheon. For details, visit www.samford.edu/legacyleague or call 205-726-2247.
-Camille Smith Platt