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Sisters: Staying Connected When You're All Grown Up

Heidi is one of four sisters who maintain a close relationship with each other despite busy schedules and family life.

Staying Close

My fist playmates were my siblings. Before I had other friends, my sisters were there to play with, fight with, and share secrets with. Once school started, I found other friends, but my sisters were always home afterwards. They were the people I spent the most amount of time with until I went to college.

When I was away at college, it was hard to be away from my sisters, but we stayed in touch. Years later, after we each started our own families, it became more challenging to stay connected. Even though we are each very busy, we know it is important to maintain our family bond, and we have developed a few ways to keep in contact with each other that I would like to share with you:

  1. Regular Phone Calls
  2. Writing Letters
  3. Sister Day
  4. Girls' Night In
  5. Family Dinners

1. Regular Phone Calls

By talking regularly to each other, you share news, but more importantly you listen to your sister's voice. Her tone tells you if she is tired, stressed, bursting with bottled up news, or pissed off. How she is talking is usually more important than what she is saying and would not be relayed in a text.

2. Writing Letters

This may be a bit old-fashioned, but I love it when I receive a letter in the mail. Letters take time to write and are therefore more thoughtful. Also, when you receive a letter, you know the writer took the extra time to think about you, so you automatically feel special.

3. Sister Day

Sitting down face-to-face is extremely important. Usually, our sister days only consist of having breakfast or lunch together and spending a few short hours chatting. Talking about kids, jobs, spouses, stressors, and good news allows you to stay involved with each other. Teasing each other over habits and laughing over silly little things will keep you close.

4. Girl's Night In

Having a girl’s night in can be one of the funnest ways to stay connected to your sisters. It’s easy to accomplish a fun, sharing atmosphere. All you need are a few bottles of wine, snacks, and various hair, nail, and skin products. Sisters take care of each other, and the night is about creature comforts and sharing. Enjoy the evening before heading back to your own family or make a sleepover of it and have breakfast together in the morning.

5. Family Dinners

This is an opportunity for all of your families to get together over a simple meal. Not only do you visit with your siblings and parents, but your children get to visit and play with their cousins. Cousins playing together is important for them to develop relationships with their family and to make friends.

Family dinners can take place once a month, and rotating the hostess distributes hosting responsibilities to everyone evenly. It is best to plan a simple meal and have each sibling contribute to the meal. Family dinners are a recreation of your family dinners as a child, and they help to keep your family ties close.

These Tips Have Worked for Us

My sisters and I have been using these simple techniques and family get-togethers for years, and they have helped keep us close to each other. While we have other friends that we spend time with, we still enjoy getting together as sisters and as a family to have fun.

Why Is It Important to Stay Close?

Your parents had the thoughtfulness to provide you with forever friends, and although you may have love/hate relationships with your sisters, they are still yours. Your sisters helped you develop during your formative years, and—besides your parents—they are some of the longest friendships you will ever have.

Staying close to your sisters is important because:

  • They are part of your support system.
  • They are part of your family history.
  • They are your family.

Your sisters are your family, and nothing is more important than your family!

Why Do Sisters Drift Apart?

Before I left for college, it never occurred to me that I would have to work to keep in contact with my sisters. They are my sisters; how could I not see them? My view was a little naïve. Even after moving back home, our relationship was not the same as before I left. We each had grown up and were developing our own separate lives. As our own separate families grew, our close ties as sisters drifted a little, and we realized we needed to work a bit harder to keep it together.

A few reasons sisterly ties drift:

  • Work Schedules
    It can be extremely difficult to coordinate schedules, especially if you have more than one sister.
  • Individual Family Responsibilities
    Not only do you have to coordinate work schedules, then you have to figure out schedules with your kids and other family matters. It can be hard to squeeze in the time.
  • Forgetfulness
    Work, kids, school, husbands, OH MY! Next thing you know, a month has gone by, and you haven’t heard from your sisters in a long time and you didn’t even realize it.
  • Contact is Not Maintained
    It is a sad fact that once you forget to call or visit your sisters, you forget more often, and soon it is harder to reach out to them than it is to forget about them.

As children, we had no choice but to spend time with our sisters. When it was time to leave the house and make our own space, we developed different relationships. It is all part of growing up, but as we change, we still need to remember our first relationships that helped to form us into the awesome adults we are now.

Sisters remember who you were as a child, and although you may want to forget a few moments, those moments helped to shape you into who you are, and they should be remembered. Your sisters are your family, and there is nothing better than having a sister to cry with, fight with, and laugh with.

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