Friday, September 12, 2014

Why Moms Don't "Hang Out" (and why that needs to change.)

There was an article published not too long ago (a few months maybe?) about being a Mom and having friends and finding your 'village.' The author details her desire for a community to share the burden of life with- to laugh with, to cry with, and to do the mundane things with. It makes many of us tear up when we think about it, and with good reason. It makes sense. It's good to be around people, and it's hard and isolating to be alone at home with kids all day every day. So... I want to explore why, exactly, so many of us are lonely but still won't spend time together.

Excuse #1: It's easier to stay home.
In a way, it is easier. You don't have to get anyone loaded in the car, or get dressed, or brush your teeth. You don't have to think about what your house looks like should someone walk in. I wonder, though, if you could make a pact with your friends to NOT care about any of those things? The house being messy or your wardrobe made of exclusively sweatpants. Or maybe... get dressed and brush your teeth when you wake up. Pick up the house. Do the dishes that are sitting in the sink. It might make you feel better, actually.

Excuse #2: My kids don't get along well with others.
Mine either. No one's kids 'get along' with other kids all the time. In fact sometimes my kids can be absolutely brutal. Even though it's tough, its so worth it. How else will they learn to have friends if they don't have practice? Kids hit. Moms and Dads, agree with one another to address it, get over it, and move on with your lives when they do. Communication is so important.

Excuse #3: I have too much to do.
I have a whole lot to do, too. What can you do while you're together? Maybe you can prepare freezer meals for the coming week, or bake bread, or team-clean the downstairs. Here's a broom- you sweep while I clean up the kid's lunch dishes.

Excuse #4: I don't really have any friends.
The best way to make a friend is to ask someone to come spend time with you. Ask them if they'd like to grocery shop with you, make a Target run, or just have a play date. Maybe it's an old friend you haven't talked to in a while but got along well with in the past. Chances are they're feeling the same way you are and would be thrilled to reconnect.

Excuse #5: I feel like it'd be awkward...
You'd be right- at first. Its a little unnatural to spend a lot of time with someone when you're used to being alone. The more you do it the more natural it seems. You don't have to sit and stare at each other. Plan fun activities for your kids to do together! Bake something... Make a craft... Call up that friend you've been meaning to get in touch with and invite her over for the morning.

As a person created by God, I know it's not good for me to be alone all the time. One of the leading causes of postpartum depression is the sense of isolation you feel as a new Mom. It doesn't have to be that way. Reach out to someone... you won't be sorry. Take a look below inside a day with some of our friends. We played outside, played inside, shed a few tears, had some lunch, made some messes, cleaned them up together, and then... nap time. And who can forget the priceless conversations?

Oh, and if you scrolled all the way down here I leave you with this: 

I asked my friend Melissa to title this blog post for me. 
Here were her ideas... Laugh, everyone, they are jokes. 
And oh, if you could only read the inappropriate ones that I edited out ;)

"Community And Coffee- How I Make It Through The Day"

"If I Have Time to Watch Horse Movies- Which I Do- I Have Time to Spend Building Community"

"At the End of the Day, Why I'm Glad I Spent Time With Friends Instead of Watching Another Lifetime Movie"

"If You Don't Spend Time With People, Your Soul Will Shrivel Up and Die"

"Vegetables and Brushing My Teeth- Things I'd Rather Give Up Than Community"

"Horse Movies and Caring for My Children Properly- Things I'd Rather Give up Than Community"

"Hot Dogs and White Bread- Things I'd Rather Eat Than Give Up Community"

"If you have time to shower, shove food in your pie hole, and keep your children from playing in the street, you have time to build community"

"Why I Value Community over "Me Time""

"Why Spending Time in Community Is Ultimately More Refreshing Than "Me Time""

"Why community is ultimately more refreshing than eating an entire gallon of ice cream and watching horse movies"

"Why I choose spending time in community over being locked in my own home like a prison cage"

"Why I Choose Spending Time in Community Over Drinking Until I Pass Out Watching That Show About the Guy Who Girls Think Is Prince Harry"

"What Prioritizing Community Looks Like For Me"

"I don't get enough sleep or pay enough attention to my children, but I have found my tribe"

"Even Though I Basically Hate Everyone Around Me, I Hang Out With Them Regularly in Case I Ever Need People to Help Me Move"

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