Please tell me I am not the only one applying lipstick driving down the road, while simultaneously texting my sister in law to make sure she can still watch the kids so I can make it to a ladies night while my husband works 80 hours a week. As I pulled into my sister in law’s driveway, yelling at my kids that they all better have shoes on, I had this major epiphany. Why am I stressing myself out, and yelling at my kids, to get to a ladies night with people I am not even sure like me.
I am 35 years old and I am still trying to figure out my tribe. Friendships are always changing. Ladies night 13 years ago, meant a late night out with my 3 besties, hitting up the most trendy clubs in the city. Or after a long week, we could drink wine in our dress yoga’s and binge watch Gilmore Girls, on DVD of course.
I had my first child at 25 years old, my besties ooohhhed and awwed over her, they helped me navigate the first year of motherhood. I did not really belong to any “mom” groups, and I was ok with that. By the time she turned one year old, I was pregnant again. My husband travels a lot for his job and I relied heavily on my besties. However, the chaos of 2 kids under 2 eventually took its toll on our friendships and we drifted apart. I was devastated, I loved my babies and I loved my friends. I could literally make a bottle, prepare a snack, pour a cup of coffee and pick right back up mid-sentence with my friends. I put a lot of energy into making it to their weddings, baby showers, and BBQ’s but that wasn’t enough, my main focus was always my babies and they knew it.
As the kids entered preschool, we made some new friends. It was so cute; we had little picnics at the park and signed up for gymnastics classes together. The kids were making friends, and I thought I was, too. When my second child started preschool, we had some different hurdles. He was diagnosed with Childhood Apraxia of Speech. He had so much to say but just couldn’t get it all out. Our family dove all in to helping him. Our friends were people we met at Speech Therapy, our friends were people that had walked in our shoes, our friends were his teachers. We were surrounded by people who loved to have playdates, enjoyed all the kids, enjoyed drinking coffee and having superficial conversations. These years flew by, but reflecting back, I was longing for a true best friend that loved me and my kids.
I read all the meme’s and blogs about mom friends; Cat and Nat are my heroes. I never had anyone show up at my house with a bottle of wine and cry with me. Now if you know me, this might be surprising to you. I have lots of “friends” on social media, I know lots of people throughout my company, I am very social with my husband’s coworkers, and I have an open door policy at my house.
My kids are school-aged now and they are navigating their own friendships. I desperately want them to fit in, I want them to be included, well-liked, they are amazing. And so am I.
I am loud, I talk entirely too much, foot in mouth should be tattooed on my body, I love country music, I don’t mind the mess, I excessively drink coffee, I love Jesus, I refuse to eat non-organic meat, I am chronically late and I really don’t tolerate bull. When I was driving down the road trying to apply my lipstick, I thought this is my chance, in order to “fit in” I need to change. I am internally telling myself, don’t say too much, say bless her heart, don’t drink the wine, don’t drop the F-bomb. WHY ?! At 35 years old, I am who I am.
Really getting to know someone takes time, really getting to know their kids takes time. I think we are pretty cool people; we are so much more than you see on the surface. Make time to get to know someone, be their friend, even when it’s hard.
I now have a couple ladies that truly “know” me, they don’t mind the mess and the chaos. They discipline my kids as their own, the love them as their own, and I love their kids, too.