Networked Mommas

Let's face it, this parenting business is hard work.  It is exhausting work and we often don't see the fruits of our labor for many months or even longer.  Parenting can even be lonely work when we are stuck inside for days on end with sick kids or inclement weather.  I've been reflecting lately on the various networks of moms that encourage me as I walk this crazy road of large family mothering.

The first to come to mind are always my oldest and dearest friends.  We became parents together, going on 10 years ago now and survived the crazy days of being married students, new moms, and wives of students (although I would interject that I seem to STILL be doing this role).  In some cases we stood up for each other in weddings and now share milestones of life and faith together.  These friends  are the ones who have had an angry grief filled Heidi slam doors in their faces and then sat with me on the couch only hours later as I cried tears of apology.   Even though I am far away from these friends in geography now, we are as close as we have ever been.   We can not talk for weeks or months and pick up right where we left off.  They support me in their constancy.  I know that they are rocks and if they have it in their power to help me through something they will.  I feel the same way about them.  I treasure the emails I get from these friends requesting prayers for the challenges in their lives and I am honored to pray for them.

Moving often, as we have, I am also blessed to continually find myself in the company of new friends.  Here in Utah I have my playgroup moms and my karate moms!  These are the moms sweating it out (literally in some cases) with me every day.  The ones that offer to hold a baby, bring a meal, and tell me how to navigate the crazy world of tae kwon do competitions.  They give me recommendations for health care, grocery stores, and things in between.  They certainly do not know me as intimately as the old familiar friends, but in walking this road together each day and week we are making new memories.  One of my favorite parts of this diverse new group is that unlike many long term friends many of these women became moms for the first time either much sooner or more more recently than I did.  They have so much to teach me!  I do not doubt that many of these new friends will soon be counted as old friends!

What kind of networking post would this be if I didn't acknowledge the many amazing people I have met through blogs and other online ventures.  Through this blog I have met many friends of friends who I now count as friends (that's a lot of friends in one sentence).  Through online groups, I have become connected with women from all corners of the country.  We have had the opportunity extend hospitality to travelers and been hosted by some of these women.  I have virtually been a part of supporting families in hardship in a variety of ways.  They are also a virtual sounding board for my frustrations and questions.  No matter what I am experiencing, there is someone who has been there that is quickly available.

When I am feeling frustrated or alone, it is comforting and helpful to think of the women who surround me in so many ways.  Take some time to think of your own mom networks and be thankful for them this holiday season!

(PS:  Can anyone name the babies in each of the images from this blog post?)


Angie said...

Logan, Caleb, doll, no baby in particular (I see toddler Logan,I think ) and Lucie ...
How'd I do?

Heidi said...

100 %

Nice work you faithful loyal reader friend you :)