Do you have an SBF?
She’s your lift club buddy and your playground pal – and knows the value of an olive in your martini...
Raising kids and running a happy home is tricky. Not because it’s not fun or wildly interesting and diverting... but because it takes up so much time. And most of us, rather than having a village, have full time jobs.

So we all find help where we can. Many have partners to share the load or extended families who help out, and lift clubs and really good teachers and sports coaches and au pairs and fairy godparents and of course, that much-maligned but stalwart babysitter, the television.

But last year, I stumbled across a new category of global village support. The Suburban Best Friend (SBF).

I’ve had a GBF for many years. His penchant for iridescent cocktails, manic dancing and making loved ones sparkle (both literally and figuratively) has been a fabulous help through the sleepless nappied years, when you just need a break and someone to make you feel fun and beautiful for a few hours.

But now GBF Bryan has also settled down, my sons have chosen him as a Fairy Godfather and we are more likely to be found these days playing elaborate German board games curled up in my lounge than tripping the light fantastic up and down town.

At this stage of my life, with school lifts and beach camping trips, sleepovers, wet towels and mouldering lunchboxes... in has sashayed Rosie, the SBF.

How do you tell if you have an SBF? She has keys to your house and stocks the Garfield plasters your son prefers. She also tops your cell phone bill as Most Frequently Dialled. But mostly, it’s because you spend a lot of time speaking in practical, staccato Mommy Code.

Take the conversation we had last Friday morning.

‘Gaah! Rosie? I have a last-minute meeting this afternoon. Any way you can pick up my sons after music?’

‘Sure, 4pm, right?  Then I can get my frozen food from your freezer, because my electricity is working again. Hey, how about you take out the frozen lamb now, so we can cook it at you and feed both families while you give my son a haircut?’

‘Done. And I have pitas.’

‘Great. Later. Love you, love your work.’


And yes, I know many of you have easy intertwined family relationships, but I come from a Protestant family where you don’t broadcast your domestic problems (yes, I am a bit of a breakthrough sheep in the family) and I don’t have any sisters. So this relationship is a revelation to me. And I am just hoping most of you have a Rosie in your lives too, because wow... I don’t know what I would do without her.

But you know what truly makes Rosie an SBF? The fact that last Friday night, after we had all eaten our fill of schwarmas, she leant over and said.

‘Hey, the husbands are watching sport happily, the kids have decided to all sleep in the bedroom fort they made... why don’t we phone Bryan and go try out that new martini bar? And let’s take a taxi; I have a craving for more than three olives, if you know what I mean.’

Aah. Gotta love the BFs, in all their guises.

Do you have an SBF? 

Read more by Sam Wilson

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