As my husband and I started our family and I became a stay at home mom, I struggled with finding others in the same stages of motherhood that I was in. Sure I talked to neighbors and chit chatted with other moms at church, but all those moms were so put together. They were precisely dressed, had diaper bags full of every imaginable item they may need, and a list of what they needed to purchase at the grocery store. They surely would not be able to relate to my disarray and insecurity about motherhood. I had joined a national pregnancy website, but really wasn't sure how I could gain friendship from someone with whom I would never be able to meet face to face. So I went online in search of a local moms group and found The Mommies Network. I registered for membership and wondered if I really might be the only mom who struggled with getting a shower each day.
As my membership was approved, I sat back and read more than anything. Hesitantly, I began posting about myself and before I knew it we were discussing more than our names and children's ages. Together we talked about the reality of being a stay at home mom....accidentally walking around all day in clothes that had spit up on them, wondering how it could be 3pm and we hadn't even gotten a shower yet, struggling with even getting to the grocery store in between nap times and feedings, and trying to figure out how we were not like all those moms that seemed so much more capable. Do you know what I found out? We were those moms that we were comparing ourselves to. It was then that it occured to me that I was not the only one who was trying to find my path through motherhood. I opened up even more and began hosting play dates and going to moms night outs, and that was when the friendships really began to blossom.
I had not understood the true connection I had made with these moms, until I began to suffer from post partum depression after my third child was born. I found that as my family grew, so did my isolation. I started to lose my sense of self and was finding it hard to even continue the relationships that I had just made. I was reluctant to discuss my struggles with them, in fear of compromising our friendship. If I couldn't even understand all these strange thoughts and feelings, how in the world would they be able to? Finally setting aside my reluctance, I reached out and again found that I was not the only one. Together we talked openly about our insecurities and strangest darkest thoughts. Simply by being able to talk openly in a judgment free zone, we were helping each other through this rough time in our lives and securing an even deeper friendship with more moms.
With our family complete and our three boys rapidly outgrowing our first home, my husband and I made the decision to move to another state. I feared having to start all over again with no friends and limited family around. However, The Mommies Network had grown as well and there was now a local site in the town where we were moving. My fears subsided, as I knew that with this local site the opportunity for friendships would be abundant. As I have changed from a mom fumbling through sleep deprivation, battling post partum depression, and potty training; to registering for Kindergarten, finding ways to get my kids to do their homework, and trying to balance motherhood and a career, The Mommies Network has given me a wide variety of friendships and one lasting realization.....I am not alone.
This post was written by Sue, a member of YorkCountyMommies.