One thing that I feel personally blessed to have in my life is mom friends. Don’t get me wrong- my single friends, my married-without-children friends, my dude friends, I love them all. But there’s such a built-in sense of camaraderie, of “oh my gosh, that just happened with us, too!” with these women. Their kids are just as crazy as mine, they’re just as tired as I am, and they feel just as privileged to be raising their little humans as I do.
On the days that I get to have a “playdate” with one or more of these moms, I always feel a little better about how I’m doing as a mom, but not in the way it sounds. I don’t mean that I am a better mom than she is. I mean that it’s encouraging to see another mom, doing her best, loving her kids in her own way. There is hope for humanity.
One such playdate was on Monday afternoon, at my house. Two of my mom friends from church, Stephanie and Abby, brought their little humans to play together, and so we could hang out with each other. Total, there was a 4 year old boy, a 2 year old girl, a 1 year old girl, a 5 month old boy and a 3 month old girl. Even in the different stages of these kids’ development, they played very well together (or rather, some played and some just lounged around). And the moms? Well, the three of us get to share some stories (hilarious or sweet), complain about our difficulties (weird nap schedules and spit up woes) without fear of judgement, compliment each other on jobs well done (we all have cute kids, ya know?), and compare some parenting strategies (that day’s topic: using baby sign language).
Time spent this way is so valuable for moms specifically, but really for women in general. It’s nice to spend intentional time with people in the same stage of life as you. Whether that’s grad school, newlywed, new mom, first grandchildren or retirement, being able to sympathize and empathize with another woman who knows where you are, where you’ve been, and where you’re headed next is one of the most wonderful experiences. Knowing you are not alone. Knowing you will get to the other side of it. Knowing you will survive. Knowing you’ll look back and think (as my wonderful mother-in-law often reminds me), “That stage wasn’t nearly as long as it felt when I was stuck in the middle of it.”
I thank the Lord every day for the many women that I get to “do life” with. The women that encourage me. The women that I encourage. The women that I connect with every time we are together, even if it’s months in between those times. These are the women that I aspire to be like. Moms in the trenches, take heart! We’re doing life together. How did you connect with the women you get to do life with? How does it help you in your walk?