Today we have a guest poster on the blog! I was fortunate enough to connect with Brittany via Twitter. Brittany graciously agreed to write this post for my site after I approached her asking if she would like to join this community. Please read about Brittany below. I hope you enjoy her post!
From Brittany : My name is Brittany. I’m a stay-at-home mom, blogger, coffee addict, and wife to a very patient man. My blog celebrates life and motherhood. I write about family and kids’ activities, recipes, tips and how-to’s, thrifty living, and homemaking. You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and WordPress!
It was a beautiful spring day; one of the first since the daytime temperatures had consistently stayed above 50 degrees. I decided I would take my daughter, barely 5 months old, and our dog to the park for a walk and to soak up some sunshine. As I walked in the park, pushing the stroller and trying to keep the dog’s leash from getting tangled up, I felt an overwhelming sense of loneliness. My first instinct was to push those thoughts aside. After all, I’m not at the park alone! I have my beautiful daughter and sweet little dog with me! But just like the first few weeks after a break-up, when you realize everyone else is paired off with a significant other, I started to take notice of the moms.
I saw fit moms in skin-tight Nike outfits pushing jogging strollers two-by-two. I saw a group of moms chasing toddlers on the playground and dusting off mulch from their most recent tumble. I saw picnicking moms watching older children playing with a soccer ball in the grass. I felt utterly and completely alone. Sure, I knew other moms at church, but in all honesty, those girls just weren’t in the same place I was. They either had children much older than mine, or they worked during the day. The only stay-at-home moms I knew were my friends in other states, other time zones.
I have a history of clinical depression and I could feel it creeping up on me like a ghost from my past. The pressure I felt in my chest, the negative thoughts, the feeling of being trapped by loneliness. I left the park determined. I was going to find community, I was not going to settle for loneliness.
Thankfully, God knows my heart; He heard my plea, and had intervened even before I knew my need. I had been to a few monthly meetings of our local La Leche League chapter. If you’re not familiar with La Leche League, it’s a group of pregnant and nursing moms who meet monthly to discuss breastfeeding, ask and answer questions, and share wisdom. The next meeting was that week and I went with a purpose this time; not to ask questions about nursing, but to really connect with at least one mom there. I made more of an effort to talk to the other moms and get to know them. And then I overheard a conversation that I know was the moment God was leading me to. One mom was telling another about a group called The Mother’s Club. It’s a local group of stay-at-home moms that meet weekly for play-dates, activities, and even a monthly mom’s night out. As soon as I got home I looked them up on Facebook and got in touch with the group. I went to my first play-date and knew that God had brought me to the community I was looking for.
It’s been 10 months since I found these girls, and they have changed my life. They love their children fiercely and I have learned so much about what it means to be a mom and a friend. I have learned that it’s ok to mess up, it’s ok to parent the way I see fit, and it’s ok to be real. They will still be my friends if I show up to a play-date without makeup on or if I show up late because of yet another blow-out diaper on the way out the door! They understand because they’re in the same place as I am, and it’s a beautiful thing!
Are we all best friends? Of course not. We have closer relationships with some of the moms and not as close relationships with others, that’s just being human. But I know that I can count on these girls if I need them. We come together to celebrate the birth of a new baby and to mourn the loss of a loved one. We celebrate birthday parties and poop-in-the-potty occasions with almost equal enthusiasm!
Momma, I want to encourage you- your community is out there. Don’t discount yourself- you’re a good mom and a great friend and there is at least one other mom out there looking for someone just like you. This crazy roller coaster of motherhood is hard, almost impossible, without the support and encouragement of other moms. Make yourself vulnerable and watch how God will use it to bring you amazing friendships.
And to the mom who has her community, I want to urge you to look around you and seek out the mom who needs a friend. You might just be instrumental in her life. Sure it can be awkward to approach someone you don’t know, but wouldn’t it be such a blessing to be used by God to encourage someone with a friendly conversation or gesture?! I know He will use you if you allow Him.
Below are just a few resources and ideas on where you can start to look for your community of moms. Please don’t be limited by this list, it’s here to inspire you!
La Leche League- A great resource for pregnant and nursing moms.
MOMS Club- An international organization made up of local chapters, see if there’s one for your city!
YMCA- Meeting other moms that enjoy yoga or Zumba is easy at a place like the Y! Most of them even offer childcare!
Mommy and me classes like those offered at Kindermusik are a great way to meet other moms with children the same age as yours!
Local libraries almost always offer a storytime for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. Check your library and see what programs they offer.