I recently read a post from Motherhood and More (one of my favorite blogs) called It Takes a Village to Raise a Mother and this post resonated with me so much. I cried. And I am not one to cry easily. But, it brought up so many emotions from my past, and made my heart full in gratitude to the women who reached out to me during my initiation period to motherhood. I wrote about my high dive into motherhood and its trials originally on August 1, 2012 (more than 2 years ago) and am sharing it for the first time with everyone today.Growing up I loved being with people and definitely considered myself a “people-person.” I wasn’t happy if I was alone for too long. I needed to be with people to be happy. I love talking, I love leading and helping and learning about others. I had a small to medium sized group of friends I associated with in high school and then in college. I made friends fairly easily. I was a confident person, comfortable in my own skin.
But as I got married and then had children, my associations with groups of people became smaller and smaller. I was still in college while married and then while pregnant, which served my need for human interaction fairly well as I was surrounded by awesome people in my classes and at work. But, shortly after graduation and the birth of our twin daughters, we moved across the country, from Utah to Indiana. After only two months of living with my in-laws in Indiana, my husband finally landed a job and we moved to an hour away to Indianapolis where we knew no one.
We had one car and my husband’s commute was about 25 minutes and he left early in the mornings, and came home in the late afternoon. And while he worked, I was a stay-at-home mom and I was alone, with two newborns, who needed me constantly. My life was completely different than I had ever known it to be – I was no longer in school; I didn’t have a job; I was a brand new mom to TWO babies; I was “trapped” at home with nowhere and no means of going anywhere (I was used to walking everywhere in college but now lived in a place that apparently didn’t believe in sidewalks or crosswalks); and had no friends or family nearby.
I desperately wanted friends. My only social interaction was with people at Church. Thank the heavens for Church. There were several people that reached out to us at church, inviting me to attend a monthly book club, and occasionally go out for a lady’s night. There was another family that picked me, my kids, and all of our laundry up every week so that I could use her washer and dryer since we still hadn’t acquired one for our new apartment (oh, I forgot to mention we were extremely poor with several thousands in credit card debt). People supplied us with things for our apartment – most of our furniture, a dryer, and some kids clothes. We loved and appreciated the help we received, but never felt like we made everlasting friendships with the people there, despite how much we loved them. We will never forget those who we spent so much time with and who often helped us so much.
After a year of living in that apartment, we decided that we had to move closer to my husband’s work. Twenty-five minutes of driving each way was guzzling gas in our 1999 Chevy Tahoe. So we moved, leaving that Church congregation behind, joining a new one, and absolutely love it. There are many more “young” people in our ward who are in similar situations as we are. Our kids have more playmates, and we often feel more social.
But sometimes, we still feel like an island, even though no man is (or should be) an island (Full quote “No Man is an Island” HERE).
This past Monday was my birthday. My husband was gone most of the day as he is now attending graduate school, second summer block, and the classes and workload are intense. But, after he got home we went out on a fantastic date and saw the new Batman movie which proved awesome.
While I know I have the unfortunate curse of a summer birthday and they are often forgotten, my sister was the ONLY person to call me on my birthday to wish me a happy birthday. Not my parents. Not my in-laws. Not any of my other eight siblings. And less than 15% of my Facebook friends wished me a happy birthday on my wall. But, my parents and in-laws did send me a card in the mail along with one friend from college, and I did have a joint Birthday party two weekends ago with friends, I guess my Birthday just reminded me that I indeed only have two-best friends.
My husband is my bestest best friend, and that’s why I married him! He’s awesome and I’ve been missing him terribly this summer as he’s often been gone for 10-12 hour days to study. My only other best friend is my sister Brittany. There a few others that are pretty darn close to that title, but none of them actually live near me and we don’t talk often enough.
Even though I see people often with Church on Sundays, playgroup on Tuesdays, and occasional other get-togethers, I still feel like an island. I guess it all just feels a little fake, a little forced. I have to get along with these people because they are my “brother and sisters in Christ.” Because I will continue to see them regularly. But, the truth of the matter is that we may not be “best friend’ material no matter how often we spend time together.
[Tweet “Sometimes all a mother really needs is a best friend.”]
My sincerest desire is to have that female best friend, the one I can call just to chat with; the one that I have no problems sharing personal experiences with and who share their right back; the best friend that cares deeply about me; who laughs hysterically with me; and who loves me for me, and not because our kids are playmates.
While there is one family in our ward that my husband and I greatly enjoy spending time with, and feel like they are true friends, they aren’t always there, as we both have our own families and things going on (and we still only have one car!). So, we are often left feeling alone, isolated, floating along as our own little family unit, left to the whiles of the sea, just the four of us.
I still spend most of my days home alone with my twins, now two years old. I’m still getting used to motherhood and the demands of raising twins. We’re still poor. We still only have one vehicle. We’re still far away from family. And I sometimes feel like I don’t know who I am as a person, an individual, as I am separated from what I often believed to be my core identity – being a People Person. But I am not around people very often. And most times when I am around other adults, many children are present too. We don’t have the chance to have those intimate, personal conversations that help you to foster true, deep, meaningful, and fulfilling relationships and friendships. Those develop with quality time, not quantity time, which is lousy for me as my primary love language is quality time.
While I love being a mother and I love my super awesome cute and funny twin toddlers, and my wonderful husband, we are often on our own to defeat life’s hurdles as we are on our own island out at sea.
And that is why we need the Savior alive and active in our lives again. We need another person (a super-duper awesome one!) on our team. We need Jesus Christ guiding us to a village. We need to feel His presence and His love. We need to feel the fire in our bosom to do his will more fully and to give back and serve others with 100% of ourselves and not just our presence. Because if we have Him in our lives, we will not feel like an island. We will more readily recognize and accept His blessings in our lives. We will get past our “woe-is-me” attitude and start thinking more about doing than waiting for things to change. And trust me, we definitely need this change in our lives and in our home. We have such a lousy attitude often about our situation and how hard things seem to be for us. But, I think as we come unto Jesus more, we will forget ourselves more. We will get over ourselves. May God bless that this is true and that we can have it again! Because I don’t want anyone to feel like an island.
Has Jesus helped you to feel more like you live in a village than an island?