I recently attended a mom’s group where the speaker asked us to think about the five most influential people (not including our children) each of us interact with on a regular basis. I quickly thought of two people—my husband and my mom—but I was then unable to come up with anyone else that I talk to even weekly.
There are lots of thing I love about my life as a full-time mom. I love watching my daughter learn and grow, I love being there for every bruise and every giggle. I love the freedom of my daily life without a nine-to-five job. But I don’t love the loneliness that sometime plagues me. I don’t love the isolation. I am by nature an introvert, and it doesn’t bother me to go many days without seeing a friend or being in community. But when days turn to weeks turn to months, I begin to crave community. I can get my “fix” easily, going to a church group or a mom’s group just to be around other bodies, but I know even then that something is missing.
The isolation that the culture I live in breeds is not what we were meant for. I know it would be so beneficial for me to have significant relationships with other moms who can support and guide. I’m thankful to have a close relationship with my own mother, thankful that I get to see her nearly every week. But I do want more; I want to have close friendships with other moms who still have kids at home.
So I’m trying to reach out more: joining a mom’s group, being more intentional with my relationships. Organized groups often feel so artificial (the mom’s group felt like Awana for grown-ups), but it’s a start. I know that half the problem, perhaps most of the problem has to do with my attitude toward organized groups and inorganic relationships that can easily feel forced or hollow. But making a start is good, and many good things can start from forced intentionality, a little bit of “fake it ’til you make it.”