(Inside: Mom friends are needed as we navigate this parenting journey. Parents need mom friends. Here is a story to inspire.)
It all started on the noisy yellow bus filled with excited kindergartners and longing-for-coffee grown-ups all heading to the aquarium.
“I wrote a novel,” my fellow mom chaperone said as we passed the time with introductions and small talk.
A novel. Who is this woman?
Lady Amazing Mom?
Surely she has a title. I liked her instantly.
The next time I ran into my new novel-writing friend, Liz, she scolded me, “Why didn’t you tell me you write too? Laura said you’ve been published.”
I don’t know if my two big debuts in MomSense Magazine can even count because I’d been rejected so many times since I’d forgotten what success tastes like.
But here was this mom – this dreamer like me – with similar goals unleashing a world of ideas and if-she-wrote-a-novel-I-should-go-for-my-dreams-too thoughts in my head.
Apparently, Liz didn’t just validate all my crazy dreams – she did so with other moms. Liz went on to form a group of creative hearts: Our Writing Club.
This is going to be awesome, I thought, but it’s going to last for 2 weeks. It’ll be like when my neighbor and I declared we were going to be uber-fit-she-women in 90 days because, OF COURSE, that’s what happens when you name it and claim it with P90x. Yeah…ten days. P10x for me as I went straight back to my mint chocolate mocha with whole milk and extra caffeine, please.
But…six years later – and this group is still on.
One member has gone to grad school to pursue creative writing. Another member was picked up by an agent and has a series of three romance novels coming out. A third member has written and directed many local plays.
We all feel like we’re on the edge of greatness when we’re together.
Power hovers in the air.
But after the evening is over, that She-Power I feel with my girls is quickly forgotten, just like I forget how good my body feels until AFTER I force myself to exercise. And soon I am back to the girl that just wants to stay home.
I’m in the season of life where I’m not a great friend. I can’t drop everything and hang because one son will be left on the ski slope and the other won’t get to basketball practice. That’s my life. So, when I’m invited out, my first response is, “I’m too tired.”
So, I have to consciously tell myself how good friendship is for me until I arrive at my answer: Yes, let’s do dinner. Yes, let’s pause and have a conversation. Yes, let’s meet with our kids at the park.
There are so many benefits to friendship.
A sense of belonging.
Being heard and understood.
Friends enrich my life in ways I never expected. I always leave my group writing group with my shoulders back and a little extra bounce in my step.
Mom friend, I know you have dreams. I see you and your ambitions. I know thoughts are swirling in the back of your head just waiting to be unleashed and put into action.
I know finding friends sometimes is very natural and other times can be stupid-hard.
But, even so, know that there are other women out there needing a friend.
So, pursue your power squad.
Your squad can be a group of ladies or just one. She can be any age. Meet occasionally or often. If you have little kids, make it a playdate. Meet over a shared interest: writing, crafting, books, working out… This is your design, your thing – there are no rules here, do what works.
Then…did you just feel that? Your stress just dropped and years were added to your life. Your happiness grew; your goals became realities, and you’re feeling ready to conquer the world.
Moms, don’t underestimate the awesome impact strong women can have in your life.
And don’t underestimate…
The power of a simple conversation started on a field trip bus with a mom you’ve never met.
Shopping for your family?
45+ Inexpensive Stocking Stuffers for Tweens and Teens
Best Booklist for High School Teenagers
Best Booklist for Middle School Tweens
Inspirational Books Moms Will Love to Read
Gift Ideas for Moms of Tweens and Teens
Gift Ideas for Teenage Boys
Gift Ideas for Teenage Girls
Join this community of moms raising big kids.
Your brain bounces between your day at work, what time(s) your kids need to be at practice, your teen’s missing school assignments, that you haven’t called your mom lately, the load of the laundry to be switched, “What’s for dinner?” and “Why are 3 of my brain-tabs frozen?”
You are raising tweens and teens and college-age kids – the unique parenting phase where everything gets easier…and harder.
Join our community of raising big kids and get occasional email encouragements in your inbox including instant access to the freebie library. It’s free and you can unsubscribe at any time.
Cheryl is a mom of 3 boys, wife, speaker, high school teacher, and author of Empowered Moms & Kids. She has a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and is passionate about learning and teaching. On www.empoweredmomsandkids.com you’ll find inspiration and encouragement for moms raising tweens and/or teens. Read more in the “about” section of this page.