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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It’s Happening!

We are moving back to my hometown of Lakeland, Florida at the end of May! Foxer and I will be flying down and meeting Dadu, Grandma and Grandpa there with the rental truck and our car. I just ordered a rolling carry on Fox picked out himself with a plane and helicopter on it.

One moment Fox is grinning about the move and the next he’s saying he doesn’t want to go to Florida. I think it’s the feelings of change and uncertainty we all feel when moving a thousand miles, in a 3 year old without experiences to draw on and with less control over his world. Helping him work through these feelings certainly isn’t easy, but I can’t bear to imagine how it would be if we tried to stop any acting out with a forceful hand instead of working out what’s really going on.

With any big change like this there are lots of feels. The three of us are cycling through feelings of elation, joy and hope, and then time of doubt, fear, and insecurity. Important to remember to pause and relate when it doesn’t come naturally.

I’ve been anchoring myself through yoga, pilaties, music, dancing, journaling, cleaning, organizing, purging all the necessary things just taking up space, and praying. I remind myself and we remind each other that this is totally the right thing to do. Then it’s back to work on my Etsy shop and more moving perpetrations. Trying to ride the waves. Getting back up as necessary without getting hung up on the falling part.

Dadu will have a nice steady job at the Chop Shop and we’ll be able to come back to visit our Indiana friends and family. Here we’ve been so strapped that we were only to swing one trip back to Florida in 5 years! Things should be more balanced after this move.

Getting excited about all the things we’ll get to do. The beach, (I am so not meant to live landlocked), feeding the ducks, swans, geese, and other water birds at the lakes downtown. Reconnecting with old friends and making new ones. Determined to NOT be a HERMIT! Going to get outside! Fox will get to play in the woods I explored as a child. I’ll even take some mama time to head down to the local coffee shop to blog and meet up with friends. Actually get to go on dates with Russ, more than sorta once.

Looking forward to this new chapter. It’s been real Indiana, there is certainly something special about Bloomington, but it’s time for us to go home and build on all we’ve learned, combining it with who we’ve always been.