Do y’all have a friend who does everything? One who just finds the way to make everything work? Buying a car while your husband is out in the field and unavailable, go ahead and call her — she’ll go to the dealership with you give you the pros and cons on leasing and buying and let you make up your own mind. Need a pedicure, go ahead and call her and she’ll do it herself, watch your kids while you go to get one, or go with you and get it done. Need help with that assignment you’ve waited until last minute to start? She’s a whizz with words. Moving to a city near her and can’t make it down to look at homes? She’s got you, she’ll meet your realtor and go look at the houses – give you her opinion and tell you about the neighborhood, she’ll go to the home inspection and Facebook video your husband. Need childcare to run to the store, a doctors appointment, for a little free time? Home improvement project you need researched? Running late and need someone to grab your kid from gymnastics? She’s got you.
I’m that friend. The one who just wants to help – people ask why I get so involved, what the benefit is to me, why do I care so much? The answer is I like to help. There have been so many times in my life where I wish someone, really anyone, would just step up and out of their comfort zone to help. I’ve been called nosey, bossy, told I’m all up in people’s business for no reason, but I really don’t care. I feel like people need to care about each other and help each other out – they say it takes a village to raise kids, and I want my village to have the best that it can. Often it takes me a minute to warm up to people, I’m not the social butterfly my husband and son are – I’m awkward and never know what to say (Exhibit A) having the two of them as ice breakers is amazing (they have no idea what stranger danger is). I have learned to let them mingle and to just wait for my turn to become part of the picture — I know it’s cheating but it seems to work so well.
Over the last four and a half years my little family has not spent more than a year and a half in the same home, we have moved with the termination of our leases and when we finally decided to purchase a home only lived in it for eleven months before putting it back on the market and moving out of state. Many of our friends have been in the military and so we have experienced a lot of change when it comes to who is in our lives. There are some bonds that seem to last (i.e. Amber) no matter the distance or the circumstances and others that seem to fizzle away as soon as the convenience of being right down the road expires, no matter the promises that are made.
I am blessed; along with Amber I have a small community of moms I know I can count on. I’ve got Keaira who is my sounding board whenever it comes to anything fashion or difficult (thank you for my hair) – I haven’t seen her in four years yet the texts fly back and forth whenever we need each other and the Google Hangouts sessions last for hours. Kristynn was my Baby J’s second mother for over a year and a half: planning a baby shower I had to bow out of, feeding him, changing his diapers, making baby friends with him all while I pursued my career in retail – her timeline for life seemed to match up perfectly with mine until she left me for Texas but some bonds are just a little too hard to break. This brings us to Carissa who I currently can’t be more thankful for – as fate would have it her little boys are less than a year older than mine, Kristynn threw us together on her way out the door, ensuring that Baby J had a friend and that mommy had another mom nearby to depend on. She has watched my kid on so many occasions I’ve lost count and as fate would have it will be less than an hour away from me by the end of next month! We go on so many adventures together toting our kids and trying to ensure we’re doing this parenting thing correctly. I’ve got Amy – she is the sweetest, kindest, most selfless person I know. I strive on a day to day basis to emulate her kindness, patience, and love – watching her with her three boys gives me the hope that one day I will be able to handle my own boys like she handles hers, she is always there to make me laugh with a ridiculously timed snap and to give me advice about how to handle the tough things like potty training.
As my journey into motherhood has progressed I realize that my mother has become an instrumental part of my daily life. We spend hours every day on FaceTime; she helps me cook, answers any questions I have about caring for a rambunctious two year old, and has become my day to day lifeline. As the days progress I seem to become more and more thankful for her. I realize many moms don’t have such a community, they don’t have people they know they can call on a day to day basis and that no matter how tough my life gets my community of moms is something others wish they could have and I understand the struggle. The best advice I can give is be genuine, be yourself – not everyone is going to like you (heaven knows most people tolerate me at best) but don’t hold back. Life is short and people forget rather quickly, dance with the punches and remember it’s not your job to be everyone’s cup of tea: the most important thing you can do is be true to yourself and your family (a lesson I learned from my Js). I always bring all of me to the table, my talent seems to be that I am the Jack-of-all-Trades; Google is my best friend when I have questions, and I have an opinion on everything (just ask my husband). It took me almost two years in Savannah to make my first friend and that was by accident (thank you lack of work-life balance) I’ve been in Phenix City for a month and have already started my little community of mom friends (my son ran over and asked if their daughter wanted to ride in his truck, completely bypassing both parents who stood their in relative shock), I have no idea if it will last but I can tell you that library dates are so much more fun when your kid knows another kid. Whether you have your own community or understand the struggle of not knowing what to say I hope you join mine, I hope you come by to stay and share your stories, your fails and your victories, your pride and your doubt with me – because life is better when we all understand that no one is perfect and that failure is part of life – go ahead and leave a comment, send a message, shoot me a tweet, however you want to tell me your story.