When I was pregnant I felt like I had arrived. I was an older Mom when I started my family and I know that I knew more about a lot of things compared to “those younger Moms” that were now my peer group. It was true that I had an entire life filled with lots of accomplishments and successes but motherhood levels the playing field. I can humble myself now some 10 years later but not so starting out.
I read all of the books about having babies and taking care of babies. I watched all the shows that were on TV at the time about popping those babies out. It all seemed so easy. I was the Mom who could tell you (according to the book) on what day my babies eyelashes were developing and how many times I felt movement that day. I think about it now and realize how I must have driven friends and family crazy. I really thought that I was an expert on babies and by the amount of reading and time spent with kids up until having my own. I was determined to be a good mom and convinced myself that if I studied everything from nursing to child development I would achieve supermom status. I was prepared. I thought.
What I was not prepared for was having 4 kids in under 6 years. I found that the books did not prepare me for the everyday demands of taking care of my babies. The books really didn’t help me with my self-imposed idea of what I needed to do to be super mom. The books didn’t tell me that my kids don’t need a supermom they just need a mom who is present and loves them no matter what.
The books didn’t tell me about friends. Friendship is hard no matter where you are in life but when you have young kids it is no longer about you and another person, it is a package deal. Finding a mom who has the same values, goals, ideas can seem impossible.
The books didn’t tell me that my friends would be determined by:
- Whether you are a “boy” mom or a “girl” mom–my first was a boy but I would meet Moms who had girls and would say “oh, I have a girl” and for that reason we could not be friends.
- I had a child who was a biter–that is isolating.
- I have a child with special issues–when you have a kid who is different in any way you immediately find out who your friends are NOT.
- Having a bigger family– people either embrace it or reject it.
- My parenting style and the choices we have made for our family.
- What activities my kids are involved in.
- Where they go to school.
- Our choice to homeschool.
- Where we are on our faith journey.
- Where I see myself going not where I’ve been.
Finding and keeping friends when you have smaller kids can be tough but not impossible because everyone needs a friend–your potential friend is looking for you! I have found great lasting friendships from my churches Mom’s group, from our homeschool coop and from our school. I am very blessed by a small group of women. That is all I need to feel supported.
Thank you God for giving me the gift of motherhood. I pray that I might be open to serving you through the challenges and demands of this incredible vocation. Thank you God for my friends that have loved me, friends that needed to leave me and friends that stay with me even on the hard days.
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