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Doing Life Together
Creating a Friendship Network
November 01, 2010With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I find myself taking stock in what I am grateful for as a mother. Of course, at the top of my list is family. It is easy to forget between folding laundry and endless hours of running the kids to practices and lessons that, as moms, having a support system outside of our children is vital to maintaining our sanity in the daily chaos of motherhood. Sometimes we forget to be thankful for those who make us feel like, you know—ourselves. When I am in my most worn down or exhausted state, a phone call or an evening out with a special friend can give me the boost I need to have a fresh and new perspective. As I get older, I realize that it is not the quantity of friends that I have, but the quality.
I recently went to a fundraiser that honored a woman who battled Ovarian Cancer. Her four best friends stood up in front of hundreds of attendees to talk about their dear friend that they had lost to Ovarian Cancer. There they stood on a stage, locked arm-in-arm, facing the crowd. One took the microphone and said, "We are here to honor our friend, Susie. You see, the five of us "DID LIFE TOGETHER." I was taken aback by her choice of words – "did life together"—that phrase moved me and I quickly began to tear up. These four women, now in their mid sixties, had decided 40 years ago to lock arms and probably made an unspoken pack to "do life together." They leaned on one another when someone lost a job, they fixed a meal for one another when someone lost a loved one, and they helped babysit each other's children when needed over the years. They laughed in the good times and huddled together and cried during the bad times. No matter what the circumstance, it was apparent to everyone in that room that they had each other's back. No questions asked – they knew who they could count on. There they stood with sullen faces, missing their lifelong friend, but dedicated to honoring her memory and making a difference in her name.
Upon leaving that event, it made me reflect on who are the individuals in my life that I "lock arms" with to "do life." In the madness of motherhood today, we moms, need to lock arms with those we trust and love as we raise our children. I am thankful, of course, for my family. I am equally thankful for those few special friends who help me with the journey of motherhood.
I have to admit, it is easy to get caught up and invest in casual friendships out of convenience. It seems that I see a lot of the same "mom friends" due to my children's activities. Much of the time it feels like I have connected to a lot of different people. At the end of the day, I am too tired or it is too busy with my kids to make the effort and make plans with those friends that truly understand, love and inspire me to be my best, both as a mom and a friend.
Seeing these women locked arm and arm at this fundraiser reminded me that now more than ever, during this busy time of my life as a mom, I must make the time with those special friends. So, with that, this Thanksgiving season, I encourage you to connect with those friends who inspire you, make you laugh and just flat out understand you. It may be a phone call to a friend in another city, it may be a lunch with a friend who lives close by—whatever it is, make that connection with them, thank them for their special friendship and decide to lock arms with them as you "do life together" as friends. May you have a blessed and wonderful Thanksgiving season!
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Mary Susan Buhner is a Life Coach for Moms and author of "Mommy Magic: Tricks for Staying Sane in the Midst of Insanity." Visit her Web site at www.Mommy-Magic.com.