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sisterhood

sisterhood, motherhood, similac

The sisterhood of motherhood, isn’t it a beautiful thing? Seriously, without it where would we be? My mom friends, that unbreakable sisterhood of motherhood, is what got me through those early days of motherhood. They were my tether to sanity.

When I first became a mom, it was the single most amazing and simultaneously most isolating thing that had ever happened to me. There is just something about bringing life into the world that takes a woman and elevates her expectations of the world. My first decision was to stay huddled in our home, safely away from any and all germs, until I absolutely had to leave the house; six weeks later for my check up.

Immediately, I began to hold everything to a higher standard, including myself. My mission in life became to not break the baby; the perfect, amazing, beautiful creature whom I had just brought into the world. It’s a lot of pressure.

Motherhood gives you a new perspective of the world; more insight, more tolerance, more love and bravery like you’ve never known before. 

Suddenly, I was fully aware that I was the keeper of this miracle. She was given to us perfect and any defects from here on out, was strictly on us. I was responsible for what kind of human being this sweet smelling, cooing, and loving little soul would become. It was overwhelming.

My first responsibility was to my child but once we left our bubble and went out into the real world, I realized that there are a million different ways to be a mom and how could I know for sure that my way was the best way? Keep the baby alive. That was my mantra.

Those first few years of motherhood felt like a constant “do I cut the red wire or the blue wire?” situation.

Only the ramifications were much worse than a simple explosion, I could ruin an entire human being’s life by making the wrong choice.

Okay, who thought it was a good idea to let me leave the hospital with this baby? I want to see some credentials because, clearly, they had no idea what they were doing giving a baby to me. Breathe!

I didn’t get much sleep in those days. It took a lot of time and effort doing the best I could and even more time comparing myself to other moms, not because I thought I was right but because I was sure I was doing it wrong.

By the time we started Kindermusik classes at 9-months, because a mom at the pediatrician’s office gave me a crazed look when I told her that my baby wasn’t taking any classes, I couldn’t get enough of what other mother’s had to say about the subject of motherhood. I wanted to be the best that I could be for my daughter so I was open to anything but there were so many conflicting parenting techniques. Every mom I met seemed to have a handle on parenting her child and still I felt like I was floundering, now more than ever.

Every other mom seemed to be better at motherhood than I was in those days. 

I took mental checklists in those days. Breastfed. Check. Tried to anyways. Had problems producing and used an SNS to help. Check. Drank all the Fenugreek. Failed miserably. Check. Formula. Check. Bad mom. Double Check.

I used disposable diapers. Check. Never used a binky but she could not be parted from her lovie. (Still can’t.)Check. Co-slept. Check. Never stopped. Double check. Rolled over at 3-months. Check. Rolled right off the bed. Double Check. Bad mom. Check. Sat up at 5-months. Check. Started crawling at 7-months. Check. Crawled backwards. Check minus. Started talking at 6-months. Check. Started walking at 10-months. Check. Never wanted to leave my side. Check. Frequently woke up during the night while teething and demanded the Wiggles. Double check. I let her because the crying at 3 a.m. was killing me. Bad mom. Check again.

But every mom I met seemed to do everything just a little bit better with a little more ease and looked a lot better doing it. I met several moms who went back to work and had amazing careers and parenting seemed effortless while I, on the other hand, was completely overwhelmed, always tired and looked the part. The only thing I knew was that I adored my daughter and there was nothing I wouldn’t do to be the best parent possible to her. Really, I think that is how every mother feels.

Motherhood is hard, no matter who you are.

 

We’re just scared to let the other mothers know that we don’t know everything, it’s not all easy and some parts we don’t like or even understand. We pretend it’s easy because we don’t want to be labeled the “bad mom” the one who doesn’t know what she’s doing or worse, the one who is breaking her perfect child. It’s our biggest fear.

I’d like to think in times of true need, we would all rush to one another’s rescue. As I’ve moved past the new mother stage to the mom of elementary school aged children, I realized the truth and that was that we are all exactly the same. We’re all just trying to do our best and it’s hard for all of us at times. Some parts are easy for others and some parts are harder but in the end we all just really love our babies more than we know how to handle. We all just need to give one another a break because if we helped one another out rather than compared ourselves or judged each other, we’d all be happier and better moms. You’re not alone. We all make mistakes. Just keep loving your baby and doing your best.

When is a time that you felt at the end of your mommy rope and another mom came in with a kind word or action and made your day better?

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This post about motherhood is sponsored by Similac. I was compensated for this post but all opinions are my own.

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We all know that our friends are priceless. A good friend to share your thoughts with and have some camaraderie with really can make life a lot happier.It makes things fun. You have a cheerleader, someone who always ‘gets’ you.Someone, aside from your husband, who you can be yourself with and they still love you…perks and quirks.

There is something even more precious than a friend and that is the rare mythical creature called a Mommy friend.I’m not referring to the ladies in the  drop off line that you share nothing with other than being mothers of kindergartners. I am not referring to the ladies in the Moms Groups that have to be nice to you because you go to church together.I’m not even referring to those Stroller Striding, Gymboree, baby wearing mates that you spend your days with. Hell, I am not even touching on the Moms you met through common friends and who you have coffee and gossip with while the kids run a muck.The group I am referencing is that very small piece of the population that you meet through some kid like function, your eyes meet, she looks normal, your kids like her kids, her kids like your kids, and you actually can have a conversation outside of your children about, you know, the other things in your life. *gasp*

I know its verboten to speak of such things but it happens occasionally. You know the lady you unsuspectingly meet at ballet class or while at the library checking out dvds books and you have the same parenting technique, you are both drowning in the velvet sea of children and someone takes mercy and tosses the other a flotation device…you know, to save her life!And its like falling in love, but without all the sex to mess it up. You recognize her by her nervous smile and exhausted sighs. In that moment, she rescues you from the isolation that was your island of parenting solitude.

I’ve always had a lot of friends.That’s just who I am. I come from a large family and that’s what we do..people and relationships. When you’re from a large family with not a lot of money, you have to develop a personality.It’s the only thing that you’ve got to offer. I noticed as I had children, loads of my friendships fell to the wayside. Not because I chose it, or even they did, but we grew apart. Either they didn’t have kids or our kids were at vastly different stages in life, leaving us in vastly different stages of motherhood.It makes a difference.It’s like being at the beginning of life or the end of life. Of course we could benefit from that relationship but who has the time or energy when you are trying to chauffeur, cook, fold, clean, wipe asses, comb tangled hair,stop littles from eating the toothpaste and running into the street, and about 2000 other things simultaneously.

Its a little scary. I have two children and in the 5 years that they have been alive, I have made 5 in real life Mommy friends. Yes, of course I’ve met plenty of wonderful ladies to have play dates with or chat up during drop off and pick up but only 5 have I shared a real connection. Only 5 do I want to sit down and talk about whats really going on in my life. Only 5 that would want to share a glass of wine and  get my advice. Only 5 that I can unleash my verbal diarrhea on and them actually engage with a thoughtful answer and not a head shake, blank stare and a “Right, right”. These ladies are my village. These ladies are the ones who have seen me at my best and my worst and don’t judge me for it. Don’t think less of me for being human.These friends are worth double their weight in gold. They are my tether to sanity.They are amazing.

Who are your Mommy friends?How and where did you meet them? What do you think qualifies a true Mommy friendship?

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We will resume ot our normal schedule tonight! I have not abandon you! Road trip today to Davenport. I am sure I will have lots to tell you tonight! P.S. Truthful Tuesdays, I was running around like a maniac..so here goes…. Sometimes,hmmmhmm, wish my husband could calm down a little and not stress so much. I know, pot calling the kettle black!
Wish I was a better Mommy!  Feeling like I don’t do nearly enough constructive things with the kids. Decided to make schedule! We will see if that helps! I promise to limit tv to a minimum.
Thats mine. See  ya all tonight!!!

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OK, Truthful Tuesdays….once again, we are gathered here to expunge our psyche’s of all of this unnecessary bullshit that we’ve been carrying with us in tortured silence and not so silent misery.No judgment, no ramifications, just support and love from those of us who are exactly where you are….the brink of insanity, the end of our rope, a not so high ledge. No matter the circumstances, we are with you. Today, I’d like to confess that I wish my 4 year old, who has just learned to whistle, would stop whistling! It is incessant and relentless!I actually have started to hear it, even when she isn’t doing it. I have developed a raging case of phantom whistling.
I, also, wish that my 2 year old would stop asking me, “Why?” about absolutely everything!!!Argh!!!I do mean everything! Example: “Gabs, please put on your shoes” Gabs:”Why?” Me: “Because we need to go somewhere.” Gabs:”Why?” Me: “Because we have an appointment.” Gabs: “Why?” Me: “Because I said so!” (oh yeah, I have become ‘that’ Mother) Gabs: “Why?” Oye vey, this kids gonna break me!
And I am peeved that, though I know we are fortunate, I hate the idea of my husband being “out of town” for 3/4 of the week for his new job. I can’t tell him or anyone else because I would seem like an unselfish wretch…but I can tell you girls anything! Happy Tuesday!

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It seems everything we need to know in life we learn in preschool. My 4 year old has been repeating, “Mommy, to have a good friend, you’ve got to be a good friend!” No doubt a piece of sage advice bestowed upon her by her wonderful preschool teacher.Anyways, Bella tends to like to share these words of wisdom with Mommy. Normally, I say ,”Yes, sweetie. That is right!” But, this time I actually took the advice to heart and examined some of my own relationships.I’ve come to the realization that you get out what you put in and if you don’t then cut them lose. So many of us go through life making acquaintances that we let pass for friends, but there is definitely a difference, as one of my closest friends told me, ” It’s like coming home.” It’s the feeling of being safe and secure to be yourself and be accepted and loved unconditionally. I don’t know about you but that’s what I want out of a friend. I’m not one for superficial friendships, I don’t have the time or energy to play that game at this point in my life.If I call you my friend, I genuinely think of you as my friend, as family. I know that acquaintances have a place and I do have those relationships but I don’t call them my friends. I don’t want to spend inordinate amounts of time with them or subject my family to them. I don’t call them, text them, email them. I’m a Mommy, my time is precious and few, so I decided that I need to put in what I want to get out and if its not there I gotta cut it lose. It’s always disappointing though when you put it all in, only to find out the other person is only half way in. It’s actually very sad and you feel let down. I don’t want to be responsible for doing that to someone, and I don’t want to be that kind of an example for my daughters.
I learned a lot of life lessons from my daughter and her wise preschool teacher, and those wonderful women in my life who are my friends. We have just recently moved home from spending time in a delightfully beautiful part of the country called Chesterfield, Virginia. I am convinced that it must be the closest thing to heaven on earth; it is gorgeous and the people there are amazing human beings. I don’t know how they go there or why, but it works.Its like a vortex for goodness:) I hope I don’t embarrass anyone but this has to be said. I don’t want to spend my life wasting time and not telling people how important they are to me. When we first arrived, I was new and knew absolutely no one. The people I met there, were by far the most wonderful and genuine women I have ever met. They invited me into their lives, their hearts, their families.They were supportive and amazing. They made me feel like I was at home, even though I was hundreds of miles from where my “family” lived. I have never experienced anything like this before in my life. Who knew you could form true friendships and bonds with other women in such a short amount of time, especially as an adult. We left Virginia without a job but much richer people. I left with a heavy heart, and will miss these women and their amazing spirits . We may be geographically apart but they will always be in my heart.They took me in , extended friendship and sisterhood, when they didn’t even know me. It wasn’t for any reason other than to be kind to another human, but they will never know how much that kindness meant to me at that time and will always mean to me. I will miss our talks, long walks, saying hi in the hallways, sharing our childrens firsts in life, our laughter,prayers, the cocktails when we needed to decompress, but most of all I will miss their sisterhood.
I don’t need to mention names, but you all know who you are and you know how you touched my heart. You have taught me that to have a good friend, I need to be a good friend. I just hope I can live my life living up to the standard that you ladies have set. If all Mommies, women , could have that kind of bond that nurtured and supported one another like you did me…the world would be a better place. Thank you, my friends, all of you. I must be doing something right, to have all of you wonderful women as my friends! Just remember, as my 4 year old once told me, “To have a good friend, you’ve got to be a good friend!”

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I sometimes forget how important it is to have friends. I get so wrapped up in my own mind, with my day to day activities and errands, children, husband, that I completely become oblivious to the things that I need, as me, the person. There is so little time left for that part of me that I forget what makes her tick, her wants and needs. A long time ago, before husband and kids, when I was just “Me”, I used to have a plethora of friends. I was every ones friend and everyone was my friend. I don’t mean those superficial acquaintances that we let pass for friendship , as we get older, but honest to goodness, tell all your business to friends. Now, they are pretty far and few between and damn near impossible to make a true friendship.First of all because who has the time and energy to get above a dull murmur of attention to first finding and then investing in a real friendship.I mean once you are an adult with all these other responsibilities, who has time to form friendships, real ones? Secondly, now its not just you. You have to like them, the kids have to get along, and almost impossible, the husbands have to like each other and not annoy the hell out of the potential friend. So, we are looking at what , a 1 in a million chance?So, definitely near the impossibility level. So, we must cherish the friends we have who knew us when we were us, before we became who we are:)We also must be open to new friendships, no matter how impossible they may seem. Sometimes friendships find us, when we least expect them. I still have my friends from when I was “Me” but we have either grown up, grown apart, moved apart or moved on.Some of the friendships have grown together and evolved into deeper more meaningful friendships and some have devolved or disappeared completely. But every once in awhile, someone comes along and they feel like a forever friend and those are the ones who usually end up in it for the long haul.I have a friend that I met in college and we have been through holding each others hair in college and going to frat parties, being in each others weddings, pregnancies, children, jobs.A hundred years could pass and we always can pick right back up where we left off. That is true friendship. To find that in adulthood, is amazing. When you find a friend, a real ,honest to goodness friend, who you can talk with, laugh with, and most importantly be yourself and not feel like you are being judged or on an interview;nurture those friendships, put your heart and the time into them.They will grow like a garden if you give them the attention they deserve and you will be happier having done so. As adults, we let a lot of the luxuries of life disappear because we feel like we have to give all of ourselves to our families and careers. But if we don’t keep something for ourselves, really what do we have to give them? So, don’t underestimate the power of a good friend. Sometimes they can be your lifeline back to the real “you”.

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