I regularly read this blog... one of the posts this week was "are you all-mama, all the time?" and that hit me really hard.
I have been dealing with the insecurities that all moms deal with, am I good Mom? am I doing the best job I can do? and do other people cringe when me and the boys come around? am I good friend?
Recently I went to visit my Best friend of the last 13-14 years. We met in college the first week and had been inseparable since. We have lived together on and off, were maid of honors at each others wedding (well, her first wedding) and talked regularly on the phone... for hours...
I went down a year ago by myself to help get here ready for a new baby. We had a great time, bumming around town, filling her freezer with prepared meals, and leisurely drinking coffee and chatting away the morning. This time I had the boys with me.... I didn't have the time to leisurely drink coffee, we didn't get into deep conversations because I had to entertain the boys... they are 2 and 4 and are active, crazy little boys. I didn't have the time or energy to devote all my energy to her.
It turns out that when it is just me and her, we are cool. But you add the dynamic of my kids into the picture, and our views on child raising are hugely different. Our husbands are Hugely different, and our lives that used to be similar are Hugely different. Neither one better than the other... just different. When I have on my Mama hat, seems me and my best friend aren't such good friends.
Our visit was fine, great really.. just not the same. It makes me wonder if we will ever have that closeness that once was.
What did happen after our visit was a tense conversation about families and parenting, what happened is both our feelings got hurt, and all of our insecurities as moms got in the way.
Recently I have been doing allot of soul searching and questioning of my beliefs in raising my kids. I model my parenting after my parents, they made mistakes like everyone does. But all of my siblings are successful, great people. None of us ended up going down the wrong path... My mom, even with mistakes made, always supported us, was always there for us, and always encouraged the good. We were raised as creative, culinary, strong spirited, happy individuals. We lived on a farm, always had a garden, always did art projects, went to church on sunday, and always had family dinners at the table. Yes, my dad dealt with depression is whole life, Yes, my mom is a little nutty, and Yes, we were never rich. But my parents did a great job with what they had... and if my boys turn out as good as we did, I have nothing to worry about.
Last night I went to dinner with two mama friends, that were friends before I had kids too. We sat on a large red velvet couch and chatted around a huge coffee table set off to the side in the restaurant. I looked around and saw our combined 5 kids all running around being kind of crazy and both my friends warmly chatting it up, both relaxed and calm. We headed to the park after dinner, and had a great time running the kids wiggles out. Max would throw sand or hit someone, he would get in trouble, than a little bit later jerry (jenns little boy almost 3) would throw a truck and swat someone with a stick, he would get in trouble and go on playing. It made me feel at ease.... Brian came by after work and I watched my husband chasing our two little men around the park. It made me feel like I am fine, my boys are not perfect, but no ones kids are.
I still miss my friend terribly, she knows everything about me, I hope someday we can re-connect, and be as close as we once were.