I've been a mom now for 8 years roughly, and there is a distinct shift between the friends I had before children and those I've made after having them. Now, some of the shifts have come from moving to Memphis and back while the boys were babies... but follow me here.
There is (or there was for me) an intense time after becoming a mother -- slightly more intense because of having two babies in the span of 6 months -- of isolation and loneliness. Couple that with my extreme shyness around new people, and you've got a cocktail for a bit of depression. Just before we moved to Memphis, my doctor put me on some medications for depression because he was noticing signs of it with having two babies in itself... but that's a story for a different day.
Since that time, we've moved home... had a couple of brain surgeries that left 2014 pretty isolated for obvious reasons... we're now entering a time when I feel very centered and like I've found myself an amazing little group of friends. We are small in number, but mighty in heart and love.
I've found 2 women that I literally feel like I can call in the middle of the night if needed... allow them in to see the chaos and mess of our home, and they will love me right through it. Bottom line, I can be my REAL self with them. Bad attitude, occasionally petty, ungrateful at times -- self. We are from very different backgrounds, different stages of parenting, some veered away for a bit, but we just fit.
A few months ago, we came back together stronger than ever... the kind of friendship that doesn't skip a beat after not talking for a while. The kind that needs to be nurtured and grown -- because you cherish it as much as you do your family. These two women are my sisters in life -- every bit as important to me as the sisters I got from birth and marriage.
I hope that I bless them as much as they bless me on a daily basis as we do life together -- often through text messages and field trips with the kids -- but I look forward to our mom's nights away every month. I mean seriously, can you imagine spending 5 hours in a Chili's chatting -- and not even feeling like it has been 30 minutes? Yep... that's us.
I promise that my constant chatter about Lara Casey is coming to a close for a bit here. (click on the photos to be taken over to her shop) But I had to share about these amazing short books that she has created to help you cultivate a few specific areas of your life that are deeply important.
This friendship book is larger than the other two and has some amazing ideas for growing Fruitful Friendships. It tells you what that looks like, and helps you plan action steps to help your friendships grow and flourish. This is what I aim to do this summer!
I emailed my two friends about this book -- and we're planning to go through it together over the next few weeks. Lara and another lady from her office, Jess, are going to lead us all through it on Wednesdays this summer page by page on their Facebook page... every week at noon Eastern time beginning on May 31st.
This is the couples book -- which will help you set some goals for your marriage and work toward a better/deeper connection.
This one for Parents can be worked on with your kids, or just with your spouse... but it's another way to set some intentional goals for building the relationships in your family.
What I love about these books is that you get to make the goals fit your family, and Lara just helps you walk through figuring out what is most important to you in this season you are in... then set goals to build from where you are. I've got all 3 of them, and plan to make a point to do my best in these 3 areas this next year. In addition to one more area... which is caring for myself from the inside out... if I'm not running at my best health (both physically and spiritually), then I'm no good to these other areas of my life.
What tips and tricks do you have for bettering your friendships, marriage, parenting, and self-care?