02 October 2009

The value of friendship

I'm really enjoying a time in my life when I can cultivate close friendships again... not the kind that's based on the fact that your kids get along well, but the kind that's based on enjoying the same things, on having the same interests and goals. You know, those things that you tend to let slip away when you first become a mom?

Finding friendship again has been such a blessing in my life, and I wonder how I got by for so long without it. It was very important to me as a child, I was kind of shy but I adored my friends. Came out of my shell finally in high school and then began forming my best, most lasting friendships. Staying in touch with friends has always been important to me, I not only loved writing letters but also calling them on the phone. Sunday nights my freshman year were for talking to friends and family. I looked forward to it so much! But I've written and called less and less, especially with those that did not go on to have children. Because motherhood is all consuming and for a good few years it really is all you can think about. So relating to others in your shoes is very important. And being reminded of your "former" life can be very discouraging, at least on the difficult days. But I still appreciate, am eternally grateful for, the value those friendships added to my life at that time, and in that season.

I think online forums, facebook, twitter, blogging and all those new forms of communication are so popular among young moms because it is much easier to sit down and type out a sentence or two at a time about what you are thinking than to actually get through a real conversation. As sad and impersonal as that sounds. Any mom knows how frustrating it is to get on the phone for 15 minutes only to discover that in that time your child has dumped an entire bottle of shampoo out on the bathroom floor. It's just not worth it.

But my children are older now, they are all in some from of schooling and I have time to myself again. They are also more independent, so if I want to go out on a weeknight with my friends my husband doesn't feel like I am dumping on him. There is a sense of freedom that comes with older chidlren, although it doesn't get any easier being a parent. Your focus just shifts from the physical needs to more of the mental and emotional needs of your children. And you can then put more physcial energy into yourself. I'm really loving that.

So to my sisters who are still in that phase of mothering where they feel like friendship has been squeezed out of their life, or that motherhood dictates where and to what extent their friendhips exist, hang in there. I know you know that it's worth the sacrifice. I know you are grateful for your children and that you love them. I know that you appreciate the women in your life who are going through the same things that you are. But I also know that you are wondering when the time will come again that you can run off for the weekend with your peeps. Your soul sisters. The ones that like to do all the same crazy things you do, read all the same crazy books you do, and listen to all the same crazy music you do. The time WILL come, and your conversations will stimulate your intellect and your creativity and have nothing to do with lack of sleep or potty training! And to my soul sisters, they know who they are, you are such jewels. Thank you for being there for me. Thank you for listening to me, encouraging, inspiring, stengthening, and reassuring me. Thanks for making me laugh until I cry. Thanks for the fashion advice. ;) And thank you for bringing true friendship back into my life!


Tannie said...

Amen Leilani! Love you! :-)

Lee said...

Lei you are one of those fabulous people who I feel blessed to call my friend. I love this post. It rings so true. Thank you for being my friend. Too bad we are like forever away.

Yvonne said...

Great post, Lei. You are always so wise.

As a mom who is the "no children at home" stage, I echo what you say--the time will come. And it will come quickly. I heard something the other day that made me chuckle--"Life is like a roll of toilet paper, the closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes."

You are absolutely right that your focus changes from their "physical needs to more of their mental and emotional needs".

An Ordinary Mom said...

It is nice to know that there are even different seasons in mothering :) !! I am trying to truly adore the stages my kids are in right now, but this post reminds me to do it even more.

SkylarKD said...

What a nice post. :) I'm in the friends-with-other-mothers-of-toddlers stage in my life, and it's nice to hear that one can reconnect with "soul sisters".

Love the crafty ideas on your blog! I wandered here from Someday Crafts.