They say "having a child changes everything". My experience verifies this idiom and I often find myself lamenting the changes, especially the loss of freedom. I used to go see movies, for instance, and not just animated ones. I woke and slept at will. Once upon a time, I regularly stayed seated through an entire meal.
I recently tried to look on the bright side and realized that I have more female friends now than pre-mommyhood. It's not that I was unpopular in high school and college, but my relationships were tenuous, as young adult friendships often are. I hung out in larger groups and rarely had intimate conversations.
Now, I find myself in a place where I have dozens of friends. I am supported in my parenting and personal growth by friends in the Columbus Attachment Parenting Village. I chat with other moms from my daughter's preschool, the School for Young Children. I knit once a week with a group of moms in the evening. At least once a month I go out with mom friends for coffee, drinks, or dinner without our little darlings.
If you are not so lucky to feel connected with other mothers, I encourage you to get out there and try. Visit library story time regularly. Walk in your neighborhood. Search out an online forum for local mothers. You might not happen into the perfect group right away but eventually your will find your tribe.
Sometimes I question how it came to be that I am surrounded by great women. Was it the dawn of social media that just happened to break light right around the time I was nursing 24 hours a day and had to do something to occupy my brain? Is it that parenting has made me humble enough that I now will introduce myself to anyone? Is it the common struggle of raising children that makes women yearn to vent and learn with other mothers?
Whatever the reason, sharing friendships with so many moms is a truly unexpected reward of parenting. It's a wonderful feeling to know I can count on my friends to support and celebrate with me. I learn and laugh with them, showing my daughter what healthy adult relationships can be. I foresee these relationships deepening over the years, hopefully lasting a lifetime.
This is an original Ohio Moms Blog post.
Rachel Tayse blogs about gardening, cooking and simple living at Hounds in the Kitchen.