I was the first of my friends to have kids. I hadn’t made any pregnant friends. Subsequently, I had a really hard time when my first son was born. I read about postpartum depression and it sounded like a frolic in the flowers compared to what I was feeling. You see, I’m technically an introvert, but I thrive on friendships once I’m in them. I had the same friends all throughout high school, college, and marriage… but then I got pregnant and I simply couldn’t keep up with my old friends. I had never had to actually make friends, at least I hadn’t needed to for the past ten years, and now I found myself responsible for a little human and all that that entails with no one to talk to about it. My husband acted as my biggest support, but he couldn’t go to the park with me in the mornings or have tea with me during nap time because he was working. Sleep deprivation, sore nipples, and an increasing detachment from the world lead me to face a hard truth: I needed to make some tired, sore, messy mama friends to match my new life.
So I went to church. Seriously. Okay, I had been going to this church since high school, but I now started going with fresh eyes. There, I was introduced to another new mom whose daughter was born only three weeks after my son. Bam, instant something-in-common. I can’t describe for you the utter relief I felt at hearing someone say “me too.” Suddenly, I wasn’t alone! It sounds silly now – I mean, of course I wasn’t alone. Women have babies all the time. But there is a transformative power in having personal conversations with someone that is in the same season of life as you are, and especially in fostering that relationship further and growing together.
Meeting that one mom was the first domino to fall. It took a while, but my heavy heart slowly lifted and opened. I began watching other moms with their babies during service (Creepy? Maybe.) and approaching them afterward. I looked into other mom’s groups and Bible studies. In short, I saw what I wanted and I got it (ahem, with much humility and prayer and bravery). Now, I have the most delightful community of women and families to walk through this weird life with. We share meals and drink wine together. Our husbands loan books to each other. Our kids are growing up together. I really am not alone.
If you’re a new mom, or even an old mom, and these words resonate with you, I’m encouraging you to step out in faith. Perhaps literal faith – go to church. Go to the park. Come to one of our SMB events, join stroller strides, anything! Being a mom is a crazy thing and we should support each other in it. Instead of making small talk with that mom at the library, ask her for her number. If she thinks you’re batty then it wasn’t meant to be, but I’ll bet that she was working up the guts to do the same.