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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Awkward Social Situations

I sometimes think myself out of social situations before even giving them a chance to play out. Imagining how it will go I skip to the part where I just don’t. Do you ever do that too or is it just me?

The phrase “social situation” always reminds me of this episode of The IT Crowd: Watch Video on YouTube

Why is it that making and being friends is so much easier when you’re a kid? Oh, you like that too? Best friends! So organic.

Now everyone’s so busy. Getting together has to be scheduled and probably rescheduled at least once. Friend time has to be planned around nap times and adult obligations. It’s not like someone just happens to be sitting beside you in class or at lunch. I like things to happen organically. Go with the flow and hey, friends!

Guess you just have to find new ways of doing things in new phases of life. Easier said than done.

When I think of reaching out to new friends, for instance, I can easily think myself into awkward situations where I can’t seem to express myself, fumble it all up, and they think I’m nutty. Ever happen to you?

I also feel like if someone wants to hang with me they’ll ask. Maybe they feel the same way, so we just never get together. How silly would THAT be?

There are wonderful surprises when I stop myself from overthinking things and just reach out. New friendships to start and to grow. It really is so much better to try than to regret not ever branching out. I even find that, in the actual moment, I often feel the opposite of awkward.

Part of me felt like I needed to figure out who I’ve become since moving 1000 miles from home, just year prior to becoming a mother, before making new friends. But I just have to just be who I am now and things will fall into place. Besides, a good conversation can help you understand more of who you are.

So invite that mom and her little one over for a playdate! Meet them at the park! Maybe even go to the party! You just might be glad you did.