I have been lucky to have been able to spend a couple of afternoon with one of my closest friends and favorite fellow moms. She is my idea of the best kind of "natural" mom. She is raising her family organically without being preachy or making others (ie me) feel like neanderthals. She also has my respect because she is raising three young girls (six, four, and 19 months). If I think my days are chaotic, try three little ones.
We have such a good balance going. No judging, just sharing and support. It is so hard to find another mom who doesn't make motherhood a contest. She doesn't judge me because my kids eat artificial cheese snacks and watch too much TV and I don't look down my nose at her.
As much as I admire her, though, she has doubts about herself as a mother. That floored me. Seriously, you look up mother in the dictionary and there's her picture! I think as mothers we never seem to thin that we've done enough. We go back and analyze every situation like Monday morning quarterbacks. As she and I confessed the areas were we felt we'd fallen down on the job, our offenses seemed so minor. I told her that I didn't feel I challenged lily enough. She countered with "Is she happy?" Valid point.
We also discussed how far we've come. I let her come into my house with five baskets of overflowing clean laundry in the middle of the living room. The old me would have shoved them into the closet. As we sat in the kitchen eating the grapes the kids left behind from lunch, I looked out at my sun room/laundry drying area and saw my bras hanging like a colorful garden, oh well.
Part of what prompted these get together was her husband calling me and asking me to come get his wife. He said she was doing too much and needed a break. So we got together with the kids and then without. Last Sun. morning we went to the movies, the farmer's market, and lunch at a Thai place. It was awesome! At first I felt almost giddy, like I was playing hooky. Then, we started talking and sharing and giving advice. Even though most of our talk was about kids, it was productive. We were talking about them for lack of anything else to discuss. Being mother is who we are; it's our job, having help navigating it only makes it easier.
I always say that I need to do this more often, but the reality is it's hard to find the time. We don't mean to give up all of our time, our energy, ourselves to our kids it just happens. Having another fellow mom direct from the trenches to listen and bounce ideas off of really helps. The proof? Sunday night our kitchen sink sprung a leak and I didn't even feel the need to post an entire blog about the insanity. Thanks, buddy!