Last month, I found myself in a bit of a parenting crisis. Was the world about to come to an end? No. Was anyone hurt? No, thank goodness. I just felt lost in a decision that was needing to be made, and since it was in regards to one of my littles, it carried the weight of world.
Before full panic mode set in, however, I reached out to five different women through four different mediums – Facebook, text messaging, email, and even the dreaded original use of the phone… a real live conversation. I knew that each of these women would be coming from a different place with their advice. Some had children my kids’ ages. Some of these moms had kids who were older than mine and had “been there, done that,” (so to speak) and one doesn’t have kids yet, but has played an important role in their life as a teacher.
I felt like I was using both my ‘phone a friend’ and ‘ask an expert’ lifelines like on the game show, “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.” After the decision- had been made, I was left with a feeling of elation and comfort. I realized just how lucky I was to have such an amazing group of women in my mom tribe. Every woman needs her own tribe – especially moms! We have all heard the saying “It takes a village to raise a child,” and this couldn’t be more true.
Eveyone needs someone to walk with through this motherhood journey. Friends aren’t just for kids! In the same way that we tirelessly work to make sure our kids are secure in their own social scene, always checking in to make sure they made a new friend at any activitiy we enroll them in, we should also be putting the same effort into making sure we have friends who will be there to support us.
When looking at my mommy tribe I realize that I fit into a number of different roles within my own circle of friends, and how those roles, and my friend circle, has grown so much over the years. I am no longer just the “new mom” who seems too young to even be having kids like I was when Ava was a baby. Now I am the “new mom again because I just had baby number 4, but this time I am much older than many of the women I meet who themselves really are “new, new! (aka first time) moms.” To those first-time moms in their early 20’s, I am the one with the experience and wisdom that comes from age. Gah!
I secretly love visiting Ava’s 6th grade classroom now, just to be the young mom again, instead of walking into Gwennie’s baby play groups where I am the oldest of the group. Same mom, different roles in the tribe. Not as much fun being the older mom from a vanity perspective, I have to be honest, but the trade off is that I get to be the advice-giver, and the one who seems like I have this whole ‘mom thing’ figured out. Little do these new moms know, though–I usually leave those meet-ups and ask for advice myself from those in my circle of friends who are ahead of me in the game!
This issue is dedicated to mothers of multiples, the superheroes of the parenting world. I always look forward to this issue, because it is filled with stories from moms who were double (or triple!) blessed. This group of women has their own tribe, and an amazing organization, The Northwest Arkansas Mothers of Multiples Club. The NWAMOMC is a non-profit support group for mothers with twins, triplets, and higher order multiples in NWA and the surrounding areas. Their club provides a platform for moms of multiples to discuss the challenges of raising twins, triplets (and more), as well as providing information and support through educational meetings and fellowship. If you are interested in joining, email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Until Next Month…..
– Kim Enderle