There are certain pieces of advice that I repeat to myself over many months, sometimes years. They are mottos, reminders, inspirations, and butt kickers. And on some Wednesdays, I share them with you. Today’s Wednesday Wisdom is dedicated to all the sweet new moms God is placing in my life.
Be Your Own Social Coordinator
The first years of staying home with kids were lonely. I didn’t live near family. Most of my peers didn’t have kids yet. And we were in a sort of church limbo. Just when I started find friends, my second was born and the demands of infant care kept us home from story time, MOPS and most of the lifelines I had developed. We moved from Iowa in the cold of January, with a 9-month old and a 2 1/2 year old, to Montana, and the loneliness got worse. Family was now three times farther away. We didn’t have a new or old church family. My husband was deep in grad school and illnesses. And most of the parents in family housing were gone all day either working or schooling.
Before we moved, a woman who had raised 3 kids gave me some advice. She told me that many moms don’t realize that by leaving the workplace, you lose most of you daily social interaction. STAHMs have to be their own social coordinators. They have to be their own advocates. A three day stretch without adult interaction is not okay. It’s an invitation for Satan to start messing with your mental health. You need to plan social times into your days, even if it just on the phone.
I followed the advice. Many times, I’ve pursued connections, only to be disappointed by another’s refusal to let me into her life. Sometimes, I’ve found gems.
In Montana, I became a stalker. I kept seeing another mom, with kids the same age as mine (almost to the day). She would be at the chiropractor, the grocery store, the library at the exact same times as me. Over and over again for weeks. Finally, I invited her over for a play date. My new friend had a sense of humor and a laughter that was contagious and heeling to my lonely soul. And the day I invited her over was the day her husband left her (how brave she was to still come!). It was a divine appointment for a friendship with heeling that we both needed. Now we’ve moved to Michigan. I miss her but use the memory of our friendship to gain courage to take relationship risks.
|A life-giving group of moms. We had a weekly playgroup. And really,
if it hadn’t been for the age of our kids, I doubt we would
have been friends. We were all so different.
So join playgroups, classes, invite a mom over to connect. Take a risk and start a group. It is part of your job as STAHM (and really, if you work and don’t have friends, I am talking to you too), a kind of mental exercise.
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