Adults need imaginary friends, too

Welcome to the August 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Friends

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared stories and wisdom about friends.


Please meet my imaginary friend. Her name is Emily and she’s a spy. Too cute to be a spy? That’s part of her disguise.


She has very special superpowers. Emily can find the most direct way to get from where I am to where I want to be. We’d have gotten there a long time ago if I didn’t keep on changing my mind on where exactly ‘there’ was. So our journey together looks more like this…


Why would an adult need an imaginary friend? Many reasons:

  • Imaginary friends represent a part of us. Often when we come up with great ideas, we don’t listen to ourselves. Instead, we immediately find reasons why our dreams and ideas will not work. With friends we’re usually much nicer (sadly). We listen to them, we encourage them and we do our best to help them make their dreams happen. It can take an imaginary friend to be able to hear your own great ideas and go after your own dreams.
  • We can’t always recognise our own superpowers. Sometimes it’s because they come to us so naturally that we don’t see them as superpowers. And other times it’s because we’re not valuing ourselves enough to see the good in us. When we have imaginary friends, we can use their superpowers, which, really, are our own.
  • When we’re trying to follow our dreams, we often find ourselves in a lonely place. Our family and friends love us and they want the best for us. They want to keep us safe and to them ‘safe’ may mean doing what everyone else is doing. Our imaginary friends can cheer for us until we’ve found our new tribe and after that (you can’t have too many cheer leaders).
  • Having an imaginary friend is fun!

Ready to meet your own imaginary friend? I’ve created a playbook for you so that you can get to know her/him better. Download it here and let’s play!

Big thanks to Dhevan Pratama, who created the image and made Emily come alive!


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:


  • Sibling Revelry — At Natural Parents Network, Amy W. shares her joy in witnessing the growth of the friendship between her two young children.
  • Making New Mama Friends — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama muses on how she was able to connect with like-minded mamas and form deep friendships both in ‘real life’ and online. Learn how these life-long friendships, both between Jennifer and other mothers but also between Jennifer’s daughter and the other children, formed and flourished.
  • Family, Friends and Family Friends — Vidya Sury at Vidya Sury, Going A-Musing, Collecting Smiles is reflecting on family friendships, past and present.
  • Arranging friendships in a modern world — From a free-range childhood to current parenthood, how can an introvert like Lauren at Hobo Mama navigate the newly complicated scheduling of playdates and mom friends?
  • Mommy Blogs: Where Moms Make Friends — Mothers make friends with other mothers in new ways. The options from earlier decades remain, but new avenues have sprung up with mommy bloggers. Laurie Hollman, Ph.D. at Parental Intelligence shares her thoughts.
  • Friendship and Sacrifice: Guardians of the Galaxy — Shay at 4HisGlory learned that friendship lessons can be found in unlikely places, like blockbuster summer movies.
  • Friendship – Finding, Forming, Keeping, and WishingLife Breath Present‘s thoughts on finding, forming, keeping, and wishing for friendships as an introvert.
  • Consciously Creating My Community: Monthly Dinners — How have you intentionally created community? Dionna at Code Name: Mama‘s goal for the year is to cultivate community. One way she’s done that is to help organize two different monthly dinners with friends.
  • Adults need imaginary friends, too — Tat at Mum in Search shares why it’s a good idea for adults to have imaginary friends. You get to meet Tat’s friend and download a playbook to create your own.
  • Friends Near, Friends Far — Kellie at Our Mindful Life helps her kids keep in touch with friends 600 miles apart.
  • Which comes first, social skills or social life? — Jorje of Momma Jorje frets about whether her daughter can learn social skills without experience, but how to get good experience without social skills.
  • Snail Mail Revival — Skype isn’t the only way to stay in touch with long distance friends, That Mama Gretchen and her family are breaking out the envelopes and stamps these days!
  • Montessori-Inspired Friendship Activities — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares a roundup of Montessori-inspired friendship activities for home or classroom.
  • How I used the internet to make local friends — After years of striking out at the park, Crunchy Con Mom finally found some great local friends . . . online!
  • My How Friends Change — Erica at ChildOrganics knows entirely too much about how to comfort a friend after a loss.

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