Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Parenting Survival 101: Establish Mom Friends

Having Mom friends is nothing I ever thought about until I became a stay-at-home Mom to Simon. I was so excited to stay home with Simon in many ways and yet scared to death. I crave structure and predictability. I thrive on working with people, hello Extrovert.  It only took me a few days of being a Mom to realize there is little structure and hardly any predictability.  And yes, trust me I still try to achieve it! You can only do so much to get your kids to conform to your structured schedule.  In addition to those challenges, I am the not- so-typical woman who does NOT like to spend money and I dislike running errands and shopping.  To this day I strategically run errands by combining trips so as to limit my time running around. So much for buying time running errands and shopping!

In the beginning of my time at home I can remember Eric leaving for work on many days and just feeling a pit in my stomach. Oftentimes, I would cry. If I was feeling very resentful and Eric would wish me a good day I'd shoot back "You have a great day working. I'd do anything to go to work!" On some of Eric's not-so-smart moments he would respond saying "I'd do anything to stay home with Simon!'  Not a good thing to say to a very lonely and struggling new mom.

Here I sit though, almost three years later, and I can honestly say I am so blessed to stay at home with Simon, and now Walker.  The Lord has been so faithful to me and has continuously laid a fruitful path before me.

I have even gotten to a place where I have had to strip back our activities and play dates so that we could stay home more.  Some days Simon just wants to stay home in his pajamas and not be rushing out the door all in the name of a "play date". He can say that to me now, so I listen. I wonder how many times he would have asked me if we could just stay home before he had the voice to.

Even though I have a supportive husband and a loving community, I needed to develop more Mom friends.  It was one of those things that I had no idea I needed until I was desperate.  Who else wants to hear about poop stories, failed attempts to get kids to sleep, how do I get my body back, nursing struggles, lonely days, etc. Rest assured, the whole world doesn't need to hear it on Facebook.  But good Mom friends do care to hear your experiences.  Good Mom friends offer encouragement, even when you are being 100% irrational. Good Mom friends bring spontaneous coffee and food deliveries! (Yes, that's happened to me and it was amazing!)

Two years ago I felt a prompting to seek a Moms group and at that time my church did not have one.  When I inquired about it at church I was offered the privilege/task to start one.  After having Walker I realized that over half of the meals we received were from families we met through the Moms community group. What a huge blessing of community that Moms group has brought to me.  I have connected with so many women through this Moms group. And recently have begun to see the joy of extending those connection to our whole families.

Moms, do whatever you have to in order to develop your Mom Friends!  We need each other!