Monday, November 14, 2011

It Takes a Village

Elle had school today and like any typical Monday, while Elle is at school, I make my rounds of phone calls to my girlfriends. Checking in on my friends who have become my Long Island family is a Monday ritual. Not being from the area, it has been a blessing to have found true and amazing friends that I can count on. Whether it is a mundane Monday or a hectic Thursday, building this network has made my life as a mom a million times easier. These are safe, comforting, amazing women who at the drop of a hat I would leave my babies with and feel utterly relaxed. Thankfully they have made living away from my family somewhat bearable.

Three years ago when Ella was only 4 months old I attended a Gymboree Music and Play class. There, I met some women who were all going through the same things I was. We all had our first babies, 4 months old, sleepless nights, some juggling work, some juggling being a SAHM for the first time, all equally as devoted to their new babies as I was. I felt like I could breathe, I wasn't all alone on this Island! It started off small. Going over to the local coffee house, sharing stories of "cluster feeding", gassiness and the dreaded teething. A group of women experiencing the exact same things at the exact same time, it felt serendipitous.

It grew from coffee houses to our houses. Rotating every Friday hosting play-dates at homes and parks. Now, 3 years later and still going strong. We have evolved, adding children and adding friends, but never have we lost sight of this special bond. Our children have become cousins and it feels like we have become sisters. All of our connections are unique and often dependent on schedules. But it is so rare to find a group of people you can trust with your children. Never questioning their love and loyalty to your family.

My number one recommendation to new Moms, is to put yourself out there. Try to get out and meet Moms with babies the same age as yours. You will find that the things you have in common, can make those sleepless nights much easier to bear. You may even find that in those moments of bonding over war wounds, a different kind of friendship can form, one based solely on family, a new kind of family.

Mommy Mantra: Make your kids an incredible Part of your life, not your WHOLE life.

Tonight I made fried eggplant with angel-hair pasta and semi home-made tomato sauce. Half roasted tomatoes and garlic half store bought sauce - makes for a homemade feel in half the time. This is a favorite of the girls.

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