This post originally published on a previously-owned blog and was imported here to simplify my life. Please excuse any confusion due to this merge. I hope you enjoy the content!
What I’m Learning About Mom Friends
Even though my firstborn will be two years old in a couple months, I’m newly discovering the world of “mom friends.” We lived out of the USA until just recently and I’m trying to put my finger on this area of emotions, this challenge and this privilege I now have to connect with others in my time of life.
The internet is overflowing with [too much] mommy-friend stuff. Articles about their benefits, blog posts refusing to call friends “mom friends” or why it’s so hard to make them in the first place, blogs with activity ideas, websites and apps that actually find you mamas in your area that will be your future best friend, and so on… Most of this is too much for me – it’s not something I take the time to read and most of it is written with too much anger or sarcasm.
However, we moved back to an area where we knew lots of people before our time in South America. And many of us have had kids! I now have mom friends! It’s something I always wished for — ladies my own age with kids around my kids’ ages. In Quito, I would have occasional lonely days, feeling sorry for myself…and then I’d “splash some water on my face,” so to speak, and snap out of it. God had placed us there and that’s really all the encouragement I needed to keep a’going.
When we moved back toward the end of summer, this one particular group of friends met weekly in the park. I was so excited to finally take part in that! And then I started going and, well, it wasn’t always as “magical” as it sounded (the grass is always greener, right?). It seemed I always had to be away from the group because my young toddler son wanted to play in another area.
I started asking myself, “What is the point?” What’s the point in getting together if we’re going to be all separated and chasing our littles the whole time?
Okay, granted – I was increasingly pregnant, we were going through a lot of culture shock (still are to some degree), completely setting up a new home after our international move and so on. I had a lot on my plate…but who doesn’t?
I was feeling overwhelmed at the sudden influx of friends. I was also exhausted with the making of new ones. That is surely not the best way I could word that, but trust me, the biggest downside for moving a lot (for me anyway) is having to re-make friends. It’s not a fast thing for my type of personality.
So this “what’s the point” question kept popping into my prayers for a while. I think that God might answer that question in different ways for different people, but here was my answer that calmed my little heart’s storm: If you can stick through it now, persevere, make the effort to maintain these friendships, imagine what those relationships will be like when we’re older! Imagine having older kids who don’t have to be chased around and saved from constant catastrophe (I hear that will eventually happen, ha). Imagine when they’re graduated and you have hours to spend sipping tea with your friends who were with you from the beginning.
That’s the way I’ve begun to see this whole new scenario in my life.
I absolutely love something a friend said in a blog post a while back (see her #6 in “Fighting Mommy Fatigue”):
Do you have friends that you can text or call on a hard day? I am very thankful that the Lord has given me some of these friendships as I have become a mom. I have a handful of friends that I can text and request prayer from anytime I need to. I also have friends who are willing to come over or meet up so our kids can play and I can get a break. Don’t have those kind of friends yet? Then, start by being one of those friends. As believers, we are called to bear one another’s burdens and share in one another’s joy…
I am thankful I have friends, to an extent, that fall in this category — ladies who I can request prayer from and who I pray for when asked. Ladies who would definitely help me watch my kids if I asked. But I’m also challenged to even more solidify this type of friendship. It seems vitally important to have support outside your home since we are all in this world together. We need each other! C.S. Lewis said:
Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.
In the middle of drafting this reflection I began to realize other aspects of “mom friendships,” (so stay tuned!) but for now I’m letting the focus fall on my recent answer from God – this revelation that if I stick with it, if I pour myself into others, love them, depend on and trust them, then the future is going to be fantastic.
How about you? Does this idea encourage you? Have you struggled with this as a mom of young kiddos, too? Tell me about it! I’ll put the kettle on…