Things have been a little stressful – hectic, even – around here for a couple of weeks. I am feeling the pressure in my business, baby E has been fighting some mysterious virus and just this morning woke up with her first-ever cold. Connor is forgetting to do his homework, Sam is still trying to find his footing as the middle child. MOMD has several projects that are all peaking at the same time and his days fly by in a haze of meetings and revisions. So you know, life hasn’t been the idyllic picnic I prefer.
And as you may have guessed when I wrote this whiny complain-y post earlier in the week, I hit the end of my rope.
And I know: my life is pretty amazing. I want you to know upfront that I know that. I am grateful for my partner and helpmeet in MOMD, for my hysterically funny children, for my patient and loving family… all of it.
What I am most grateful for though are
good great friends.
For as long as I can remember I have been surrounded by peers who I love and adore. When I was just a little kid, my best friends were my cousins. And of course my sister. We were together all the time, getting into all kinds of mischief. And then in school I made some awesome friends some of whom I continue to share amazing relationships with.
Have you ever come to the point though where you stop making friends? I don’t mean casual acquaintances like people you work with but never see outside of work, or parents you see at the school but never go for coffee with. I mean friendships. Just you and another person or two talking about your day/ife/kids and being together in the spirit of friendship. I hit that point in my 20’s I think.
I am a mover and a shaker, I am always chatting with people. In grocery stores, in lineups, on the street, at the park. If you’re in the same space as I am you can pretty much bet I’m going to say something to you. I stopped adding people to my life though; I didn’t take it beyond the acquaintance level after like 1998. I never thought twice about it. My life was full, there was always someone to hang with in a bar on a Friday night, I was happy.
Once Connor was born in 2004, I wasn’t really looking for people to hang in bars with anymore. Lucky for me though, my dear friend Jill had her baby 6 weeks before I had Connor, and my sister was pregnant with my niece too. We were all on maternity leave together, and Jill had a mini-van, and the 3 of us and our babies spent the year together, going where ever our hearts desired. It was awesome.
Then when Sam came along in 2008, no one else was having a baby. I was alone. MOMD was working a 45km commute from home (which is a fair distance when you live in the economic heart of your country) with a 4 year old and a new born. I was going stir crazy. MOMD would get home from work and he would want to take the baby and have bonding time with him, thinking that this was also giving me a break. Which it was – what I really wanted though was someone to talk to who would talk back to me. I was starting to become depressed…
Enter the greatest thing to ever happen to me that year (aside from Sam’s birth, of course): MumNet.
I started joining things. Groups for Moms. Specifically Mumnet and “Songs by Sally“. And I mean it: this was the best thing that I ever did. I established some deep bonds with several women who I would have otherwise never met. And these women are so important to me now. Some of them have had other children since 2004, some of them are pregnant now. Some have returned to work, and some others are staying home. We really don’t have a connection to each other aside from our kids, but man… in 2004 these women were literal lifelines for me. And today, they are just as important.
So like I started to say, it’s not been a great couple of weeks. MOMD is truly a darling; on Tuesday he called from work to say he wanted to take some vacation time so that I could get the hell outta doge and just rest and recupperate, “Whatever you need to do,” he said. I had spent time with a couple of these friends I made when Sam was born on Monday and I tell you what: it was a godsend. They reminded me that it gets better and I don’t have to be the only one to provide comfort; Miss E had a lovely nap on Suzy’s chest. Tuesday night I met up with another group of women who I collected when Sam was born and man… I haven’t seen most of those women in a year – one of them more than 2 years – and we picked up like no time had passed at all. My soul was restored. I was built up. I built up others. We connected, we shared, we drank wine and ate wonderful food and it was… good.
MOMD can use his vacation days for something else. It turns out, all this girl really needs is her Girls.