I went to a baby shower recently and several people advised the mom-to-be to tap into a network of moms. They will be your saving grace, everyone said.
I love my mom friends. I love how having kids the same age can bond and connect you with so many women–give you instant, deep topics of conversation; lend you the unshakable certainty that this woman, if left in charge of your kids, would guard them with the same fierceness you would. (And possibly more, a topic for another post.)
But I didn’t feel the need for my own network until I was a mother of two and my oldest had just turned four.
A lot of people would say this was a long time to go with out any stroller clubs. Or coffee outings. Or even just take-her-for-a-half-hour-while-I-shower breaks.
I did have one very good friend who had kids, one close in age to my oldest, and we spoke all the time. And I had my own mother, who listened to each tidbit from my baby-filled days as only a rapt grandmother AND child psychologist can do. I wasn’t utterly alone in the tundra. My husband is a perhaps unusually good parenting partner, and I relied a lot on him.
Those first years seem a long time ago already, and I’m trying to remember how each day passed. In a slow, lazy loop from nap to bath to feeding to story to shake a rattle because this is supposed to be good for her/no, I really prefer to read, to silliness to dance around to I need some food, you can watch me eat, back to nap again…I’m writing it now and it sounds like heaven.
Maybe that’s why I kept to myself so much. Or maybe I just used to be more of a loner.
I’m still glad to be where I am now, though. Until my daughter was four and went out into the world without me for the first time for preschool, I didn’t know what everyone was talking about.
That the moms you meet will become some combination of best friend and family without your even trying.
I live in a new neighborhood now, full of moms.
There are so many communities for us to find, real and electronic. One of the ones I began to visit when I finally poked my head out into the world along with my daughter was Baristakids. This site offers everything from laughs to day trips to take with your kids. And today they’re publishing one of my own pieces on parenting.
It’s a moment I can’t wait to share with every one of my mom friends.