How Did We Do It Before?
*originally posted January 27, 2010*
Just this morning, I connected two of my friends that I know from different times in my life together on Facebook. I had recognized a common thread between them and wanted to give them an opportunity to meet each other and offer unique support that only a mother who's "been there" can do.
And then I thought, how did we ever do it before? Before the internet, before the social networks, the message boards, the blogs. How did mamas make it? Caught in a Leave It To Beaver world where the illusion of perfection was the norm. Where mamas just held their own pain, their own worries inside, not daring to voice them in the fear that they may be the Only One. Just this week I spoke with my sister in law on the phone, and confirmed that the things she was experiencing with her 18 month old daughter were not only normal, but expected. And the relief I heard in her voice almost made me sad. How long had she been enduring sleepless nights, temper tantrums, isolation, believing that she was the only one, that she was alone?
We mamas NEED each other. I'm not sure I could make it through a day without my network of mamas who encourage me, give advice, offer sympathy and tell me when I'm being ridiculous. I NEED to know that I'm not a horrible mother if I raise my voice. I NEED to know that I'm not the only one who has a child that still needs to be reminded to use the bathroom at age 5. I NEED to know that we're not the only family that's struggling to put food on the table and meet all our financial obligations. I NEED to know.
This isn't June Cleaver's world anymore. We mamas don't have to hide behind a perfect facade. In fact, that does more harm than good. A quick glance through Facebook shows me at least 5 other mama friends who are scratching their heads over what to make for dinner. 3 who have bones to pick with their hubby's. Another 4 who are rejoicing over 5 straight hours of sleep. We are so much alike in many ways. Although separated by miles and miles, we share the same worries, the same heartache, the same fears, the same joy, the same love. And I am grateful that we have the vehicles to share those burdens and triumphs and that it's no longer taboo to do so.
My friends, how have you benefitted from your network of friends? Where do you think you'd be without them?