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I cried at preschool pick up last week.
We were on day 2 of epic tantrums from my middle son, and I could not hold it together any longer. I almost never cry, especially not in public. So, I did what any normal person would do. I went home and texted my girls for support.
These fabulous women are the reason I’ve been semi-successful at raising children. I lovingly refer to them as my sister wives. You may be more comfortable with community, village, people, etc, but whatever the title, these ladies know me better than almost anyone else. We do life together. We are real. We don’t pretend to be perfect moms because we all have evidence (locked in the vault, naturally) that proves otherwise. We don’t agree on everything, but it doesn’t matter because we love each other too much to care. There is no judgment amongst us.
As I write this, one of sister wives is moving out of state. She will be the fifth friend to leave in the past eight months. While I have always appreciated all of these women, I am just now realizing how dependent I have been on them.
When we moved to Las Vegas four years ago, I did not plan on having such a tight knit group of friends. I am an introvert by nature, so I thought I would be content just going to the park and getting to know a few people. And then we had a knock on our front door. It was my neighbor (the one who is abandoning me, I mean moving). In her hands was a bag of homemade cookies and a list of her contact info. What?! Seriously, who does that? Those cookies started a friendship unlike any I’ve had before.
It is rare to find a group of women who you trust implicitly. Who would drop whatever they are doing if you need help. Who bring you dinner after you have a baby. Who invite you over for some wine, when they know you have had a bad day. Who take your kids when there is a family emergency. Who encourage you through the tough seasons of parenting. Who know you would do the exact same thing for them at any given moment.
Now that so many of my friends have moved, I’m left wondering how I will rebuild my community. Obviously, I will stay connected to each of them, but it’s so important to have friends like this nearby. Don’t get me wrong, I am connected to amazing women, but it’s rare to find a group like this.
Why is it so hard for us to make friends? I have a few theories, based solely on my own issues. First, I think we tend to revert back to our high school selves, and are terrified that we may not be accepted. What if I don’t have the right diaper bag? What if she can tell that I formula-fed my baby? Mom-shaming is at an all time high these days, thanks to social media.
Second, it is HARD to trust people, especially if we have been burned in the past. Most of us want someone to confide in, someone we trust wholeheartedly. How many of us are willing to put our ugly on the table? It’s risky!
We aren’t meant to go through motherhood alone. I thought I could because that I how I do a lot of things, but being a mom is a much different beast. Now that I’ve had this community, I can’t imagine doing it any other way. I hope you are able to find these friends, if you don’t already have them. It may be scary to initiate something, but it will be so worth it if you find a soul sister in the process. There are so many places to find other moms (like me) looking for friendships. We’re part of local mom groups. We’re at the park with our kids. We’re sitting in pediatric waiting rooms. We’re browsing the kids clearance at Target. Strike up that conversation. Ask them a question. You don’t have to do anything huge. Remember, sometimes all it takes is a bag of cookies.