Mama’s Circle

So I’ve mentioned before how amazing The Crybaby Club is. How affirming it is to belong to a wonderful group of human beings who get what it’s like to be tough and tender. A safe place to be vulnerable and make real connections. As wonderful as they all are, most are physically far away, around the country, around the world. Super cool and real, but there’s also a need to have people to meet up with in the real world and do life with.

I recently experienced one of those magical moments when the stars align and the universe brings you exactly where you need to be. I reached out to a friend from high school, (I used to drive her to school in my ’66 Mustang – how I miss that car), and got real about how lonely I had been, especially since becoming a mother. She mentioned a friend of hers she thought I’d get on well with, so she connected us and I invited her and her son over for a play date. We connected on many levels and before she left she mentioned the mom’s group she’s part of and their upcoming park day, inviting me to come meet them.

I felt an instant connection with these lovely mama’s. They were authentic and awesome and they welcomed me with open arms. Cue happy dance!

Suddenly I have friends again! Places to be! Things to do! People to see! Mama’s Circle has park days once a week, moms’ night out about once a month, play dates, and friend time scheduled on our own. We stay connected via our group’s Facebook page, but the focus is on getting together in real life and it’s glorious.

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Dear lonely mama’s out there, I highly recommend finding your local mom’s group or making your own! Your fellow mama’s will be so very glad you did, I promise you.

I hadn’t realized just how lonely and isolated I had become, until it reached critical levels. Now I’m learning to balance my introverted nature with my social needs. Not burrowing for too long, remembering to also bloom. Taking time to recharge alone, but not staying alone too long. Not letting it get to such critical levels again before reaching out.

We’re not meant to do this alone. We need people to listen who understand because they’ve been there too. Friends we can talk to and be our vulnerable authentic selves with. The validation is invaluable.

I’d begun to doubt it was possible to find my people. I thought maybe those times were behind me or yet to come again – in about 18 years. This season of life can be so hard and isolating, but it’s easier when we come together. The burden gets lighter and the joys brighter.

It’s also a surprisingly wonderful way to collaborate and share our talents with our small businesses. You may think you’ve thought of everything, but simply getting together with a friend can reveal all sorts of “why didn’t I think of that” ideas and connections. Just talking about my shop with someone else keeps things fresh and growing. The honest feedback and “you can do this” support makes it easier to stay motivated and inspired. I’ve also traded doll slings for photographs with my friend and fellow mama, Lee Anne of Petal & Vine Photography. (Her birth photography and family portraits are particularly amazing).

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When I was little my mom was in a similar mom’s group and that allowed me to grow up with lots of friends and adults I could trust outside my own family. I’m so glad I’ve found these lovely ladies. I needed them and my little guy needed friends around his age. Now we both have a community where we belong. It feels so right to be back in my hometown doing life with this wonderful community of brave mama’s of all kinds. I am so grateful for these wonderful mama’s and their sweet little ones.

Are you part of your local mom’s group? What do you guys like to do? How do you stay connected? Has it changed your life the way mine has changed mine? I’d love to hear your stories! 

 

 

 

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Must Break

Even though there may be an ever-pressing list of things to do, like all that comes with running an Etsy shop, I’ve learned the hard way how it is imperative to take time to recharge when the opportunity arises.

It may not be often, but it’s necessary. It’s true what they say about a happy woman making a happy home. We are the heart and hearth of our families. If we’re not in a good state, our families aren’t. I have to take the time alone to recharge and center myself. It’s a good thing for all.

Besides, they can always call for me at any point. So I try to enjoy it. However long, (or short), it may be. So I try not to feel guilty or selfish for having the need and taking the time to do what I need to to be whole. Time alone with music and art, reading or writing, making something, putting something together. Weaving thoughts and ideas together, turning them over in my mind. Processing.

Before my break today I was in a charged fog of frustrating anxiety, worrying about money.

Russ got home, I ducked into the bathroom, put my headphones on and worked on this blog post. Alone. For a moment, no demands. Space to think and feel. Recharge.

Being a mom has taught me just how important time alone to recharge is for me. Ever the introvert.

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I stepped out into the backyard to find a sunset picnic dinner made by my guys. Afterwards, Fox wanted to look through the pantry, asking what everything was and where it came from.

With my short, pre-break, fuze I may not have had the patience to talk about each item with him. I would have missed his showing me how much we do have. Thanks for teaching me, little Fox.

Recharging makes me grateful to Russ for taking the lead while I tap out for a spell. Once I’m recharged I’m able to see him with clearer eyes. Apart from all the things on his honey-do list or the veil of my own anxieties. Instead, there are the sweet things I sometimes overhear when the two of them are playing in the other room. Makes my heart smile.

So no guilt. I still keep having to tell myself that. Do you?