Thursday, February 18, 2010

To get by with a little help from a friend

We talked about our ambivalent feelings towards out lots as mothers in play group one day. Since I was the one with the longest track record as a SAHM, one of the other, part-time working mothers, asked me: how have you been able to do it for so long, without going absolutely completely insane?
Well, believe me, my sanity is long gone, and I am a mere shadow of my former self, but my reply was, without hesitation:
- You have to find a friend. Someone in the same situation, with children roughly the same age. But not only that. She has to be someone you would have been friends with even if you didn't have children.
That's the tricky part. You have to go out there and look long and hard until you find someone that you really can talk to. Where do you find this fellow mother?
Well, she's out there, somewhere you just have to look. Pushing a screaming toddler on the swing or doing the library reading time for the fourth day in a row - she's there.
Talk to her.
But if she insists on sharing teething traumas and best food mixers for purees, politely but adamantly steer the conversation away. You want to know if you like the same music. Watch the same movies. Knitting or crocheting? Cats or dogs? Camping or five star accommodations. Should Brad go back to Jen?
This is very important.
Because if you can't talk about the other stuff, you will never be able to really support each other through the baby-shit. This is someone you will spend a lot of time with. If you find the right mate, you might end up spending several hours, several days a week with this person. This will be the person that makes your life worth living. She will see your good sides, but more often, she will see your bad sides. So it is important that you are comfortable with her doing that, otherwise you won't be able to be your self. Trust me on this one. When the guards are down and you haven't had any sleep for five days and you're about to deal with the eleventh tantrum in an hour, could you really do this comfortably in front of someone who thinks Brad should stick with Angelina?
And when you are so baby-talked out that you will hit the next person who tries to share yet another cutesy story about some trivial baby revelation, you need to know that your friend will be OK if you move on to a quick re-cap of the latest Survivors.
Think about it. It has to be a perfect match for this to work.

Yep. Your fellow mother will be right hand woman, partner in crime, confidante and shoulder to cry on. She will become your new BFF through your journey as a mother and should be picked with great care and finesse. And if you find her, your life as a mother will suddenly have a new meaning. It will suddenly feel OK to be a SAHM.
She is out there, there is always someone for everyone. Take your time, try some on for size, see which ones fits the best and then make your decision. I am a great believer in soul mates:).
Dedicated to M and J - without you things back then would have been very, very different, xxxx


  1. "Should Brad go back to Jen? This is very important." <- LOL!

    And you are 100% right! These are important things. If you can't truly be friends then you will never ever find the support you need from each other.

    Great post.

    I am a new follower =)

  2. These are very important things to have an opinion about:) I personally think he should never have left Jennifer, but that he has now made his crowded bed and should sleep in it, but that's me:)

    Take care, hope to "see" you again,

    angry mother