What is your social network? Where is your safe place? Who do you laugh with about those things that your daughter said while playing with her baby doll? Who do you talk to about the awful day you had and how you wanted to leave the house the minute your dear hubby walked in the door from his tough day at work?
I have this great group of women who are in exactly the same place in life. They, too, are all mothers of preschoolers. I'm not bragging. I promise you, too, could have the same thing, with VERY LITTLE effort. (No, it isn't instant gratification, but with a little patience, I promise you can have it too.)
I am apart of a group called MOPS (Mothers of PreSchoolers). It is coordinated solely for emotional and spiritual support of moms with young kids. You bring your kids, drop them off with some incredible volunteers (all screened and people I actually already knew through my church). Then you head off for a couple of hours of adult conversation (laughter, food, encouragement, and did I mention food?).
I used to scoff, not really wanting to be involved (secretly afraid of feeling left out). Honestly, a group of chatty women can be pretty intimidating, especially if your strengths are not social. I am a self-proclaimed wall flower, and happy to be so, no real desire to change. Didn't think I'd fit in. Besides I am a mom who genuinely looks for excuses to stay home.
I tried it. I confess, I didn't like it. (Okay, I admit this post sounds like it's going the wrong way. But, let's at least be authentic. Your experience might end up like mine.) I didn't connect with anyone in my group. My son was at a difficult stage and didn't want to go to his class. My kids slept in and it was hard to get them out the door and there on time. My attendance was sporadic at best.
Fast forward a year.
I determined to give it another try. The first thing I did was committed to myself that I was going to go EVERY time. No excuses. The second thing I did was decide I was going to look for someone to talk to who looked as uncomfortable as I felt. In a matter of weeks, it worked. I looked forward to go and that enthusiasm spilled over in my conversation with my kids, which made then more enthusiastic about going.
I love this special group of woman that I get to see at least every couple of weeks. I trust them. I laugh with them. I share my funny stories, crazy days, and frustrations. I choose to be vulnerable sometimes. I get to give, as well as receive.
I am still a wall flower. I still hate to make conversation with new people, because I'm not very good at it. But I try because I'm acutely aware of what being new feels like. But I love what I have received by committing to risking just a little bit.
Are you a lonely mother of a little person? Could you use a girlfriend? Encouragement? A break? Follow this link to find a MOPS group near you.