Last October I went to Seattle with a bunch of my friends. We ate insane amounts of pizza, it was heaven. Another thing that happened on that trip is that my friends gave me a mini-intervention.
'You have to go out with Arnold once in awhile' they said. 'It's important for your marriage.' There are four of us here and we can all help babysit.'
This might not be a terribly remarkable conversation except that they followed through. Since that trip Arnold and I have been out about once a month courtesy of my friends. Even more amazing? My girlfriends are not sympathetic fellow-moms, none of them have children, yet they are my family's enthusiastic advocates.
I hear so many horror stories about women who lost their friends after they became mothers. The constant exhaustion and gap in lifestyles breaks the bonds that once seemed unbendable. I was very afraid of this happening because my friends are like my family: without them I would be lost. I was reassured and reassured, but still the fear was there, festering in my belly, making itself a comfy home with my other many neuroses.
I really shouldn't have worried because here is a list of things my friends have done in the year since I became a parent:
- Called me to arrange play-dates between themselves and my son.
- Bought toyboxes and baby-proofed their homes.
- Purchased a baby-pool so Elian can swim at their house.
- Listened and reassured the Mommy-angst. Over and over and over again.
- Planned events around my son's bedtime schedule.
This is a short list, with vast gaps. We all should be so lucky and yet even when I am blessed with an embarrassment of generosity my friends still have the power to bring me to tears with their kindness. Yesterday I received the following e-mail from a friend.
I read on your blog that a goal for 2011 was to have a date night once a month. On behalf of helping you reach that goal, I would like to extend the offer to be your babysitter should you need one. This is a standing offer until Elian no longer needs a sitter.-Lisa
I don't even have words for how that e-mail changed my day. It is so hard for me to ask for help. I feel guilty asking people to babysit. After all I'm the one who decided to become a Mom, how can I shirk my responsibilties off on my friends? And yet, time and time again my friends have been God's grace to me, blessing me in ways I would never dare to ask request. I pray that each of you are lucky enough to have the same.
Pssst-Tomorrow is List Love Book Club Day 2 - The Topic is Books that have made you Cry. I'm hosting the Link Up so get your list ready!