When the pressures of being home alone with an infant most days proved too much for my nerves, I joined a local mom’s group. First we met for frozen yogurt in a very laid-back, non-committal sort of way. Then there were play dates at museums, parks, the zoo. It wasn’t long before we were sharing family potlucks and afternoons drinking coffee and eating homemade baked goodies in the comfort of my own and others’ homes, swapping clothes and baby carriers and sob stories.
And it has been such an absolute blessing.
I value not only the friendships I’m forging for myself (and the ones I’m hoping will blossom for Miss E when she gets a little older), but also the opportunities to see how other people parent. At least for me, this wasn’t something I really paid attention to until I had a child of my own. Sure, people I knew had kids, and I even knew a thing or two from working at 4C about how a child’s brain develops, but without a real stake in it myself, I didn’t really know how it was done.
If the mothers newly in my life have taught me anything, it’s that parenting is an art. The sort of art that tortures souls as often as it rewards them with previously unimaginable joys. Observing these mamas respond to tantrums and tears with such grace, with patience thread-thin after their child shows none, is an inspiration. It’s hard being a parent, and while they certainly don’t make it look easy, they make it look do-able. And that’s way more important.