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  • Megan

Expanding My Village

You know those Saturday birthday parties your kids are invited to, it seems like, every Saturday once Spring arrives? There's the birthday parties your kids are invited to and the sports activities you've signed up for, on top of all the routines and commitments you are already responsible for Monday thru Friday. Sometimes I think moms, including myself, are absolute gluttons for punishment when we commit ourselves on weekends, BUT I've reframed the way I think about these commitments so that I actually look forward to them. Crazy, right?! Hear me out:

Entertainment for my kids for HOURS

My only job is to feed them a healthy breakfast, pack a few snacks since food will be present, water bottles, diapers, and a change of clothes. My bag is always packed the night before and I clean out the car for a "clean slate". The car is by no means clean by most standards, but most of the trash, school bags, school artwork, mail, and clothes are out to make room for some more chaos. Luckily, both my girls are old enough now (5 and almost 2) to find their friends (or animals in the feral 2 year old's case) and forget that I exist. They're having a blast, eating delicious things, and getting a lot of exercise and socialization. While they're doing that, I get to

Connect with other moms, and occasionally dads.

If you have anxiety in meeting new people, this is a great opportunity to reframe that. A lot of people mistake me for an extrovert when I'm actually a pretty shy introvert, but in my old wisdom (haha), I've found that these times are really great ways to baseline myself. Let me explain:

  • the conversations usually start out by who your kid is, what other kids are saying about them, vice-versa (this is ripping off the bandaid during the first gathering of the season),

Women holding hands around the 4 Roses in Bloom logo with the quote "You are a part of my village and I hope I can be a part of yours."
Village of Motherhood

we talk about the funny things our kids are saying/doing and finding that our kids are all influencing each other - sometimes the collective parents have an ah-ha moment of whose household a saying came from,

  • our kids' latest antics is usually a segway into our imperfections as parents - the losing our shit due to overstimulation, cursing, crying, meltdowns, and general awful feelings we have about ourselves as parents. This is the most cathartic, sobering, humbling, and leveling part of my week during the Spring/Summer season. I live for these conversations with other parents (especially the moms who are typically the default parent), because I know that, even though unique, my experience in motherhood is shared by most moms.

  • every once in a while, a few mothers will break away and the shortcomings of our husbands will come up. Disclaimer: it's not about bashing our husbands, but it's certainly a time where we talk about our frustrations and struggles, and realize that, yet again, our experiences are shared. We hear eachother, we confide in one another, we relate to one another, we are compassionate, we share recommendations for counselors, podcasts, new ways of thinking about our partners during this time in our motherhood. For the most part, I don't think I've ever walked away from one of these conversations ready for a divorce - just the opposite, that there's hope and this is just a season for us as parents of two young girls.

So, if you've read this far and I've shared my Saturday's with you, THANK YOU. Your friendship and solidarity mean more to me than I ever realized it would. You are a part of my village and I hope I can be a part of yours. I cherish you all!

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