14 May 2015

friends along the way

I am loving this song. For some reason it feels nostalgic and familiar, like a good friend.  

I haven't had a chance to write about the 30th birthday party from a few months ago, but it was really something. We weren't sure if the move would happen then so we hadn't shared the news yet, which made it all the more bittersweet.

I'm gonna miss these mama-pals.

They all bring such unique gifts to the group. and I have great memories of taking turns holding each other babies (sometimes fussy babies, sometimes sleeping) figuring out how we were going to resolve an argument between our kids (does it matter to you? are you going to make her eat that too?) Asking advice from other new mom's and gaining wisdom from mom's who are on number #4 and are so much more relaxed (seriously!) We've assured fellow mom's that their child's tantrum is totally normal and we do not blame them, that a full night of sleep will return, and we've gotta embrace these growing bodies because our stomachs will never (and I repeat, NEVER) be the same.
We've also celebrated adoptions, foster kiddos, mourned the loss of babies we'd lost too early and celebrated pregnancies and babies being born. 

I really love getting to know people. Their quirks, traits, strengths and history. There's just so much there to learn. These particular ladies have impacted my life and made this mom-journey a whole lot easier. Whenever I meet a new mom who is struggling I can't tell her quickly enough that finding a group of mom-friends makes all the difference. Keeping friends that aren't mama's is vital too, but when you're in the middle of the trenches at 11pm and your kid has a fever of 102, it's helpful to have a friend to text and say "is my kid going to die???" It is nice to send it to someone else who also may be up at 11pm nursing a baby who is fighting off something. Other texts that may be sent include:

"What does this rash mean?" (with picture.)
"Does my kid have pink eye?" (with picture)
"Does this dress look okay or do I look pregnant in it?" (with picture. and not pregnant.)
Along with other texts like, 
"It's 7:30am. Want to go to the library today? My kid's been up since 6."

I can't say it enough, if you are alone do EVERYTHING YOU CAN TO FIND A TRIBE! It may not be a long-term tribe, your dream tribe or the most life-giving for you, but do whatever you can to find some peeps who you can share life with and spur you on towards Jesus. This life is just too short to not have pals who challenge you, inspire you and grow you to be more like Jesus. No tribe is forever, but man, it sure is wonderful for the season when you do get to live life together, love on each other's babies, listen and carry each other's burdens, laugh when things are not so great, and laugh when things are going really great. (cause either way it helps to laugh.)

I'll be honest, when we first moved to our beautiful retirement city I had concluded that young families may not live here and that would be okay. But when I found a few, I was both surprised and so relieved. One of the first friends I met was on baby #3 and I had just had Jack. I went to a Bible study and met her and she was hilarious, inviting and was a serious pro at this mama-gig. We sat next to each other while we nursed, texted each other during those late night nursing sessions and still had time to catch up on our favorite shows, go out for dessert and a movie. 
I remember a moment after I had met her that I thought to myself, this is how I want to be. She reached out to me and treated me like we had been friends forever. She was so welcoming and made me feel totally normal and loved. I knew that motherhood wasn't for sissies by that time, and I also had learned that being a new mom is one of the hardest things I have ever done. Every single day you wonder, Am I doing a good enough job? Am I ruining my kid? Will I survive this? Will they hate me? But having a pal who looks at you and assures you, "you're gonna make it. You've got this." there's just nothing quite like that. and for that very reason, Jesus used her to change my life. I was done pretending like I was the mom-who-had-it-all-together, because…those mom's are annoying #1 and #2, aren't honest. But the mom's who are honest about how tough this job is? Yeah, those are the best.

So, kids, if I could give you any bit of advice on your journey through life, I'd say this: find some kindred souls who encourage and inspire and spur you on to Jesus. Run with those friends for as long as the season allows and when the seasons change, change with them. But forever treasure the season for what it was.

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