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I will never forget when I found out I was pregnant with Landry and how the people in my life reacted to the news! Landry was a surprise, so to say I was freaked out would be an understatement. I was at, what I thought was, the prime of my life; living it up in Dallas with a close group of girlfriends, traveling, shopping, and focusing on my career. None of my closest friends were even in a committed relationship, let alone had kids, and there very few women in our circle who did. My news was met with mixed reactions. There were those who were supportive, loving, and said they had my back, and then there were those who actually told me I was ruining their good time!
Matt and I moved to the burbs and watched over the next year or two as our inner circle became smaller and smaller. Many of our “best friends” fully expected us to get back to normal after Landry started sleeping through the night. Yeah, cause that makes you so much less tired! Their patience with me not being able to get a sitter was wearing thin (I didn’t know any, and couldn’t afford one), and they did not want to spend every weekend at our house (with the exception of a few special ones who I love). Suddenly I was being ghosted! Or maybe not suddenly, maybe it was gradually, but one day I suddenly realized it was happening.
When the housing market crashed, I found myself going to a commission only job and not making any money. It was costing us more than we could afford for me to go to work, so we made the decision that I would quit my job and say home with the baby until the market picked back up. I should have been happy. I was spending every day with this beautiful baby boy, I had every gadget and gizmo on the market to guarantee a happy baby and happy mommy, I had a loving supportive husband, and family close by! But I wasn’t happy; I was so incredibly lonely!
The next few years were rough! I went back to work when the market started to recover and had about 3 women that I knew were true friends. My mom threw my baby shower for Luke, and I remember begging her not to because I knew that it would be all her friends there and none of my own. I had no one on my level to talk to, to share my fears with, to laugh with, or even meet at the park, and it was really getting me down. I didn’t even realize it at the time. You know how you get into a rut and you don’t see it? That’s how it was! I thought the way I felt was how it was supposed to be; you’re a tired, working mom so just deal! I look back now at pictures, and old posts and can see how down I was. So what finally changed?
I got my first real mom friend when my best friend finally became a mom too! She was one of the few who stuck around after we had Landry and was totally cool spending Friday nights on my living room floor sharing a bottle (or two) of wine. I remember when she told me she was pregnant, just days before I found out I was pregnant with Luke, and feeling so happy…for both of us! Finally, someone to talk to! I’m pretty sure I called her to tell her I was pregnant with Luke before I even told Matt! There was no hiding the excitement over having someone to relate to, going through the exact same things I was going through, at the same time! Oh yeah, and I was excited about kid #2 too.
Then, Landry started Kindergarten, and y’all I was scared! I had all the normal mom fears of my baby going to big school, but I was scared for me too. I felt like I was the band nerd in high school again in a sea of women who had it all together. I stood at the PTA sign up table, and my hands shook as I wrote my name down on the volunteer list. At the time, I was signing up because I knew that’s what moms do. My mom was the ULTIMATE PTA/Band/Hockey Mom. I had no intentions of taking it to the level she did, but I knew I had to put my name on the list and do something. I had no idea what would unfold for me between Kindergarten and 5th grade!
Our school had a large group of PTA volunteers that all seemed to be very close. They intimidated the hell out of me! So I started as a Homeroom Mom, and slowly got to know the other moms in our class. And you know what? They didn’t have it as together as I thought they did! During Field Day, I was watching the obstacle course, and one kind soul came up and introduced herself to me. Our boys had become playground buddies so she thought we might like a playdate over the summer! Once she found out we lived in the same neighborhood, she shared that there was actually a community mom’s Facebook Page and she added me on the spot! I went home on Cloud 9, feeling confident about myself for the first time in years! Someone liked me!
The following year the PTA Board had a few openings for different chairs. After multiple notices went out I decided to get outside of my box and volunteer for one. I wasn’t asked, no one approached me, I just signed up. I thought for sure they would reject me. There was no way I was cool or together enough! I made myself go to that first meeting and sit next to women I didn’t know. I was shocked when most of them immediately welcomed me and started to get to know me! My confidence as a mom and as a woman began to grow as I got to know more of these women, so I started interacting on our Facebook page and showing up to events our family hadn’t attended before. Women started asking me to help on their committees, asking me to lunch, and asking me to mom’s nights out!
Before I knew it, Landry started 5th grade and both of us were completely different people than we were just five years ago. I’m now just as involved in the PTA as my mom was, and not because I like laminating and handing out party snacks. I volunteer now because I LOVE helping my FRIENDS. I had no idea how much I needed my village until I found one.
When I need advice, I have other moms to ask. When my kid needs something totally random for a project or a costume last minute, I can bet someone has that totally random thing. When I mess up, there are people to help me laugh it off. And when the unthinkable happens like job loss or loss of a loved one, the village around me rallies with a hug, a lunch out, or just helping to pick up the slack somewhere without my even asking for it! Over the last few months, I’ve thought time and again about how I would never have made it through what I’ve been going through now five years ago without these women around me. And it is, of course, all reciprocal. When my best friend’s kids need to be picked up at the same time as mine on the other end of town because her husband is in the ER, you bet I spent an hour in my kids pick up line to ensure I was at the front so we could jet to the other school before her son started to worry. When someone’s fearful of a child’s potential health crisis, or someone loses a loved one, I’m right there with a meal or a hug because I know they’ll do the same for me! Or when I just need to text someone because I just don’t understand my husband’s obsession with Madden or whatever other Xbox game just released, I have a few solid friends who will message me right back with a funny quip about how their husbands are also lost to it!
So at the end of the day, the one thing every mom needs, aside from happy, healthy kiddos, are good friends! As humans, we crave that connection that our husband or partner can’t alone fill. We need friends to laugh with and to cry with. We need friends to volunteer and give back with. And we definitely need friends to share that bottle (or two) of wine with!
Need a friend to chat with? Send me a note in the comments, or an email! I would love to lend an ear! Like what you read? Be sure to follow my page for more posts just like this one. And if you see a mom off on her own today, get out of your box and invite her in! You have no idea how much it might mean to her.Follow Our Story
We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.
One day my career was over. What could I do next? The choice seemed simple…Follow Our Story 07/01/2019