Motherhood, a doorway to friendship
Motherhood, it all starts with our kids. Really, where would I be without my children? They were the reason that I became part of our baseball team, the homeschool co-op, ballet and yep, those online mom groups. I was there because of my children, but today, this is not about them. This is about us, the moms. It is in each of these places, through my kids, that I have met other women and formed friendships. These are the very people who have sharpened, encouraged and grown me. I didn’t plan those connections, but I accept them as a divine gift!
While we are waiting for class to end, we have moments to get caught up on the day, the weeks behind and the weeks ahead. The review of those mundane moments of motherhood are the basis of relationships that can become so much more. I love looking back at where I met people. It never ceases to amaze me. Sometimes it is through the craziest situations but God has surrounded me with friendships for my good and for His glory.
Are there times that you look at your life and think, “I’m just a mom”. It’s so easy to do. Take another look though and consider what that really means. If you are a mother, you are a cook, chauffer, teacher, mentor, nurse, organizer, counselor and countless other things! Each of these aspects of motherhood are necessary and a blessing to our children. But it doesn’t end with them. Those very things are a catalyst to more. The act of motherhood ripples out beyond our original intent and focus of devotion. Our connections through our children’s interests and events have purpose.
The awkward beginning
As a mom, where do we find friends? Well, often we start out seeing each other at our children’s shared events. Then, we become acquainted at a distance, connecting each other with which child belongs to whom and what car we see in the pick up line. At some point there is an actual opportunity to meet. There is a connection and you wonder what took you so long to get chatting in the first place! As you begin to share your lives the friendship grows. It could be that your first meeting is in your own neighborhood as you open your mailbox at the curb. Or maybe, you meet online because some post or comment catches your eye. You do a little mom style “cyber investigation” and realize you have a lot in common. Soon after, you end up chatting and building a rapport with one another. No matter how it gets started, once you have a good friend, your days are gonna be a little brighter.
We tend to rank our friendships in some sort of hierarchy though. There are the friends that you meet for coffee and you pour out your heart to, sharing your deepest dreams and darkest thoughts. Then, there are accidental friends. The ones who you visit with when you just happen to be in the same place, you know… you weren’t really planning on talking to them but you walk away richer for the conversation shared. Let’s not forget the checker at the store that you have grown to seek out each time you are there. She doesn’t know you but you are disappointed when she is absent on your shopping day. The niceties exchanged with each meeting bring a smile to your soul. These are my friends! They are there, interacting on some level and for some purpose. No matter the level of your friendship, each one of these people is in your life for some special purpose.
Where have I made friends?
- Children’s activities: sports, music lessons, homeschool groups,
- The park, just start talking!
- The doctor’s office
- Grocery stores
- Church and Bible study
- Online mothering groups or groups for a particular interest
- Friends of friends
The benefits of friendship
I know it seems too simple but do y’all realize what a blessing friendships are?! All friendships! On days when we stay home and don’t connect it’s easy to feel alone. Sure, we have our children and even our husband. But, having another woman to talk to makes all the difference. We understand each other on a different level because although our lives may be different in the details, we share many of the same challenges. We can celebrate the parenting wins with each other and encourage one another on the hard days. Parenting is the great equalizer. We find that it is not only in our own homes but in all homes that the perfect child does not exist. It is in the hearing of someone else’s reality we understand that our own world is not as strange as we once thought.
The depth of a friend
Often our hearts long to understand each other on a deep level. We dream of the bosom friendship like Diana Berry and Anne shared. Sure, in certain times of life we have those type of friendships. But don’t miss out on the simpler ones. So much of the richness of life can be enjoyed through women we don’t even know well. Lifelong friendships really take lifetime to develop. Embrace even the surface friendships because you do not know where they will lead. It could be that your paths crossed because you could be the encouragement that another woman needed today. Offer the smile and a wink of connection when you see that little one resisting his mama at the end of a park day. When you hear of a need, step up. Laugh when you have the opportunity. Life is good. We will never arrive at those profound and serious conversations if we don’t first offer our friendship. Take the next step.
Do you need a friend?
Are you lonely in your parenting journey? Do you long for a friend to share your heart with? Someone to come along side you to pray and to challenge you in the things of the Lord? Perhaps those friends you need are already surrounding you. Who do you interact with? Stop shopping for who you think may be the ideal mentor for you or the younger woman who aligns in perfect harmony with your own character. Just jump in.
You may be a talker like me, a total extrovert who shows up ready to go from zero to deep in five minutes or less. Or, it may take you a little longer. Maybe your approach will be a handwritten note or interactions on social media. But take a step forward. Be a friend and you will, in time, find the friend. It may not be one person that you connect with but a wonderful array of women that breathe into you and you into them in unique ways.
I’m praying for you!
I know it is hard to start those friendships. It seems a little awkward to get the ball rolling. Kinda like clumsy pick up lines as we try to find our mom friends. Be praying for the right connection and that the Lord will orchestrate friendships in your life. Above all, keep your eyes open for the Lord’s work. He is even now preparing a divine appointment for you! Just keep talking to Him and trust His plan.
I want to invite you to join my tribe. If you are on Facebook, join in on our conversations both light and thought provoking over at the Less Than Perfect Christian Mamas group. If you homeschool, you can also join me in the Less Than Perfect Christian Mamas group on the Homeschool Hub!