I call them my “mom’s group”. A group of strong, self-assured (well, most of the time anyway), successful women whose kids just so happen to be good friends with mine. OK, I admit it, the moms liked each other and we figured that if we got together often enough the kids would naturally select one another to befriend. And it worked (not sure if this strategy works on kids older than 4, but we’ll take it for now!)
For the most part, we all met through daycare. And work. And daycare. We’ve branched out two or three times, adding another mom into the group. I will admit, we’re a bit clicky. We have a dynamic that works really well for the 6 of us. Although we come from different walks of life, we have similar parenting styles, and like doing similar things. It works for us.
Two winters ago I started hosting Sunday Fundays. Everyone would embark on our log cabin around 9 AM for complete chaos, I mean, fun. Our open floor plan allowed the kids to roam free, picking out whatever toy suited their short-term interest, and most importantly, allowing the moms to sit in the kitchen and enjoy a cup of coffee while keeping a careful watch on the toddlers. As we got to know each other better and better, we opened up. We could confide in one another, share anything, and never feel judged. Even given our diverse backgrounds and differing views, we always felt supported and understood – no matter the issue we were sharing. Kids driving you nuts? You are not alone. Having trouble juggling work, kids, marriage, and house? You are not alone. Want to run away and hide under a rock after a bad week at work? You are not alone.
When I was going to counseling for my PPD, I often talked to my psychologist about my mom’s group. It was so good for me, that I thought maybe my mom’s group should become an open invitation for every mom I knew. Come one, come all. He looked at me and laughed. “Tiffany, you need this group. You’ve bonded with this group and it sounds like you are all pretty tight and comfortable. As much as you like to reach out and help others, you need to do something selfish for yourself. Keep the group the way it is. It’s yours. Keep it that way”.
I was a bit shocked to hear him tell me to be selfish about this fantastic group of women and keep them to myself. After all, they weren’t really “mine”, I just happened to be the planner out of the group with the largest room to play in. (One of my blogger friends termed it “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and it was a routine Sunday morning during the winter)
Just this morning, we reconvened our winter-time play dates at my house. We’d been on hiatus for a while with the nice weather and busy schedules taking precedent over hot coffee in our kitchen. As I was spilling my mind about everything under the sun to one of the other moms, I thought, “Wow, I needed that”. It wasn’t anything earth shattering, and it was just usual “mom babble”, but I sat there thinking “I hope they come back again next weekend!” It was just enough to help me feel balanced, centered, and normal again.
We talked about how our three-year olds’ time outs were lasting on average 45 minutes. Not because we would ever think of putting our kids in time out for 45 minutes, but when we asked for them to apologize every three minutes (one minute for each year of their age), they would say “No, I just want to stay in time out”. We were thankful that it wasn’t just “me”. We talked about the trials and tribulations of potty training. We talked about our kids’ illnesses and how we were coping with balancing work and sick kid duties. We talked about kids’ labels, consignment sales, clothing sizes, and Christmas shopping. Where do you get this toy, how do you save on that toy?
It was one of the best three hours of my week. And while it may sound like a mundane, everyday conversation to many of you reading this, it was much-needed and left me feeling balanced and satisfied.
A lot of people have asked how I “found” my mom’s group. I didn’t. We just all came together with a shared interest – being the best moms we could, while balancing the demands of life. I am truly thankful and blessed to have them by my side, and as always, find myself looking forward to our next Sunday Funday.