Chapter Six – Forging Friendships

4
Mar
2014

Umbrella with dark clouds 

Everyone likes to say, “It takes a village,” when it comes to raising kids – well, I think when it comes to motherhood in general it takes a village.  Motherhood can get very lonely when you are in the midst of toddlers, diapers and endless nap schedules that can keep you trapped inside and alone for hours on end.

I hear from new mothers all the time about the change motherhood brings and the depression it can also carry with it.  Our life changes and it can be overwhelming, suffocating and endless.  But there is one thing that can help in the midst – friends!

“Friendships are an important part of mothering.  We desperately need each other.  However, friendships are not always perfect.”

It is true, every mom needs to have a ‘village’ of other mothers surrounding her and supporting her.  You can find great support in many areas – church, MOPS, neighborhoods, the library, parks and other children’s activities, so what can keep some moms from seeking out the support from others?  Fear.

I do feel that fear can play a role in our ability to reach out to others; fear of being judged, fear of failure, fear of rejection and fear of not fitting in.  I pray that you can jump out of the fear that could be holding you down – and begin to create wonderful friendships in the season of motherhood.

There are many seasons of motherhood and you will likely have many seasonal friendships too, but you could also get really lucky and connect with someone for a longer ‘life’ friendship.  Those are to be truly cherished.  I loved reading about Jill’s story with different friendships and the need those filled.  Didn’t it make you smile?

I honestly struggle with ‘motherhood’ friendships.  I would consider myself to be an introvert, which is exactly why having a blog and writing is perfect for me.  Putting myself out there for others in person can be daunting, exhausting and create a sense of apprehension for me.  {WOW, I can’t believe I shared that with you all!!}  

Currently I am in a bible study group with 8 other gals who I love dearly.  I work from home, which does not allow me the ‘conveience’ of being in an office to create friendships in that environment and my kids aren’t in activities where I have to stay while they are doing them, but soon I will enter into that season again with my 4 year old.

I have to try really hard to create space for creating and nurturing relationships – and honestly I stink at it.  One of my goals for 2014 is to intentionally create time to meet with those in my bible study group – OUTSIDE of our normal meeting time.  It is hard for me, as I have limited time and struggle with justifying paying a babysitter so I can enjoy some time away with a friend when my husband is out of town.

We all have our areas of weakness – it is knowing and admitting it and then putting ideas into action that can make a difference for us and perhaps another mom, who may very well feel just like you.

What part of motherhood friendships do you struggle with?

How can you be a good friend to those friends you already have in your circle?  

How can you make it a point to venture into new friendships?  Are you a “Here I am” or “There You Are” person?

Did you download the discussion questions yet for this week?  You can do that here.

Nutella Palmiers – Jen Tilley

9
Aug
2010


Two of my latest food obsessions are puff pastries and Nutella. Ever since I conquered my fear of frozen puff pastry dough a few months ago, my puff pastry usage while baking has been a little out of control. I’ve had so much fun creating and experimenting with so many appetizers and desserts. Even though I used to be terrified of baking with it, I now make sure that I always have at least two boxes of frozen puff pastry in my freezer just in case I need to make a quick savory or sweet dish. [Read more…]

Taking Time…… for Me – Jill Savage

21
Jun
2010


“I am so impatient.” “I’m exhausted and so low on energy.” “I feel like I’m at the end of my rope.” “I don’t know what to do.” I’ve made those statements and I’m sure you have, too. I hear them from other moms all the time. The demands are draining, the responsibilities are overwhelming, and the 24-hour duty just about wipes us out. It seems we never get anything accomplished that isn’t undone in an hour. So how can we make it better? How can we learn to survive this season of life when the demands of children are unending? How can we take some time for ourselves? The answer is simple, yet difficult. We ask for it and plan for it. [Read more…]

Need More Time or Money?

27
May
2010


Today I thought I would share with you a few ways that I try to be frugal with our family’s household budget.  Being a Family Manager entails a lot of tasks, keeping your house supplied is just one of them! I know it is always important, as Keepers of the Home to manage our resources wisely and become good stewards of what we have – but now it is just a necessity to make things stretch in this economy. Money saving tips are a must to incorporate into your routine.

[Read more…]

Got Family Meetings?

12
May
2010

fmeeting

Any good organization has regular meetings to discuss situations and give updates with employees.  It allows the business to run smoothly.  Everyone knows what is expected and it gives a chance for people to express themselves and share ideas.  So, have you taken this great concept into your home?

I have found more moms I work with tell me they have never had a family meeting, or if they have – it was a complete disaster.  After a few questions and some thought, we put together a new plan for a family meeting.  These meetings then become a centering point for the family and moms wonder how and why they didn’t start this sooner!

Here are a few steps and ideas that I have found helpful with incorporating family meetings in your home:

Have meetings at a set time, ideally the same time every week

Pick a day that works for your family and then stick with it.  It will become an expected event and everyone will know they have that opportunity coming up to share.

Have some basic rules:

Allowing everyone a chance to speak and finish with out being interrupted is a must.  Validating what is said and not allowing someone to make fun of or judge another person’s ideas is also important.

An adult moderates the conversation.

No interruptions, no cell phones or other distractions are allowed.

Unplug your home phone to keep that from interrupting you.

You can come up with other guidelines that work for your family.  At our meetings we go around the table so everyone has a chance to share and they can only share one item at a time and then we move on.  This keeps one person from dominating the entire time.  Everyone is given the opportunity to share their thoughts or opinion on a subject.

Lighten Up

I think family meetings have a negative overtone – so change that!  We don’t just discuss problem issues, we bring up vacation ideas or activities we might be considering for the upcoming weekend during a family meeting.  It is a great environment to combine both the serious discussions as well as the fun ones!

Talk schedules

This has been invaluable in our home, especially since we have older kids.  By having this designated time to talk about the upcoming week we have alleviated a lot of stress, multiple questions and unexpected appointments through the week.

Serve dessert 🙂

This has always been a winner at our house!  Why not come up with a special “family meeting dessert?”  You can also involve your kids in preparations for the meetings, getting the dessert ready, serving, etc – it creates a team spirit where everyone is in this together.

I would love to hear your other ideas on family meetings and what works at your house.  You can create a great atmosphere for your family to share ideas – if you just take a little time.