You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘support’ tag.

I’m totally trying to tame my inner control freak. All too often I find my mind-set is always out to prove that I can do everything by myself, especially when it comes to parenting. I laugh at the grocery cashier who asks if I’m going to be able to carry all those bags by myself with the baby. “You just don’t know what I’m capable of,” I think and sometimes I say it out loud, well because I have a tendency to just blurt out what comes into my head. Despite my stubbornness, the truth is that we all need support. Parenthood is a hard and sometimes lonely road. I should know.  My husband and I were the first of our friends to get married and have kids which sort of left me waiting for everyone else to catch up.

Thank You For Being A Friend

I didn’t have friends I could call when I had a parenting question or who could encourage me when I was certain I was screwing everything up. So I’m about to channel my college years, which as weird as it sounds were spent watching many many reruns of the Golden Girls. Weird for a teenager to be watching, I hear ya, but my roommate was a huge fan and we ended up bonding over the show.

So if you’ve ever watched the show you know how very different each of the four women were who shared their house and lives with each other. It got me thinking about  how important it is to have other mom friends to turn to when things get rough. So I’ve compiled a list of the seven mom friends everyone should have. I’m not saying women are only one thing or only play one role, but typically the things they bring to our lives stand out in such a positive way that their absence would become apparent immediately.

Allison

Allison is the very best #NeighborMom friend you could hope for. She’s just a short walk away when I need her which is all the time.

The Neighbor Mom #NeighborMom

She’s there when you need to borrow a cup of sugar, need someone to watch your kids while you run to the store and just can’t deal with dragging the kids along, and who steps in when you have an emergency and really need her. My Neighbor Mom friend was there for me in the middle of the night when I went into labor with Sydney. She picked up my kids that morning and drove them to camp, picked them up and cared for them like her own for more than a day while I was in the hospital. Every mom should have a Neighbor Mom friend who is a beacon in an otherwise unreliable, unpredictable world.

The Frugal Mom #FrugalMom

She’s the one reminding you to check the price tag on that outfit before you fall in love with it. She teaches you little tricks to save money and doesn’t insist that every get together involve  going out on the town. Hanging out in a casual way is the name of the game. Think play dates in sweat pants with coffee. The Frugal Mom keeps you grounded and encourages you to think long-term so that little problems like your water heater going or your car needing repairs don’t break your bank or your sanity. She also reminds you to count your blessings instead of someone else’s.

The Spiritual Mom #SpiritualMom

I can’t tell you how valuable it is to have a Spiritual Mom friend who shares your beliefs. It can be a lonely road when you have to hide your faith for fear of other people judging you. She will pray for and with you when you just feel so incredibly empty and you desperately need to be spiritually fed. My new Spiritual Mom friend shared a prayer with me recently about how to overcome yelling at your kids. She reminds you to lean on your faith in times you feel all alone. If you aren’t particularly religious, it still might be nice to have a Spiritual Mom friend.

 

The Back In The Day Mom #BITDMom

Most of the mom friends you have were probably forged after you became a mom. While that’s cool, it’s also great to have a mom friend who knew you back in the day. You know back before your name became “Mom.” We all need reminding from time to time of the carefree person we once were. We need reminding that before we had children we were special in our own right. We had interests, talents, and yes even made hilarious mistakes for which the Back In The Day Mom will NEVER let us forget.

The Pinterest Queen Mom #PinterestMom

She bakes from scratch, throws the most amazing kids’ birthday parties, and can craft with the best of them. Not all of us have the skills to mend a tear in our child’s costume two hours before the start of the play. We need the Pinterest Mom’s creativity. They make you want to “pin” those special moments when you try just a little harder than the last time. Sure your cupcakes may not look exactly like Elmo, but the Pinterest Mom makes us want to try new things and reminds us that it doesn’t matter how you ice the cake, it’s who you bake it for that matters.

The In The Know Mom #ITKMom

She’s got the 411 on the best orchards for apple picking, knows where every free kids’ event is in a 50 mile radius, and reminds you of every school picture day, soccer practice and field trip. We all have so much on our plate it can be crazy trying to keep it all straight. I think we all owe a large debt of gratitude to the In The Know Mom who helps keep us focused on the task at hand and makes sure we don’t miss out on all our community has to offer.

The Been There Done That Mom #BTDTMom

Whether her kids are just a few years older than yours or grown and out of the house, there is so much wisdom to be gleaned from the Been There Done That Mom. She’s been through what you’re going through and lived to tell the tale. She’s got advice that doesn’t come with a side of judgment; hers comes with a special blend of understanding and empathy. She listens to your problems and gives you possible solutions to try. She knows that parenting is a LOT of trial and error. You look up to her because you know if she survived it, you can too.

So share this post and tag all the moms who make your journey through parenthood a lot more beautiful and a lot less lonely. And if you’re as nerdy as me you can even serenade her with the Golden Girls theme song: “Thank you for being a friend. Travel down the road and back again. Your heart is true. You’re a pal and a confidant.”

I normally focus my posts on saving money, but being frugal is about more than just money.  It’s about focusing one’s appreciation on the things in life that really matter; things that can’t be bought; things that are priceless and precious like our children and their health.

Today, I had the enormous privilege of going to my friend Julie’s son Ryan’s Kiss Cancer Goodbye party.  Not only was it special because I got to witness all these people come together in love and celebration that this 6-year-old boy overcame cancer, Leukemia if we want to get specific, but it was special because I remember vividly the day Ryan was diagnosed. His mom Julie and I worked together and we were on a staff retreat when she got the call. The word devastation does not seem to go far enough for the moment you hear your child has cancer.

One thing that never entered Julie and her husband’s vocabulary was defeat. They amaze and inspire me.  What has caused some families to succumb to brokenness has instead in their family created healing for their son.

Ryan 5

One day after Julie heard the diagnosis, she was feeling torn and sad that she couldn’t spend more time with her infant daughter because of frequent trips to the hospital for her son’s treatment.  Here is an excerpt from a blog post I wrote for her called Triage On The Parenthood Battlefield. I wrote it for her and mothers everywhere who must watch their children hurt without being able to take the pain away, who feel helpless when their very nature is to help, to fix and mend, and kiss away the tears.

When one child is sick the choice may seem easy. You go to the child who is sick first. But life and motherhood are not so simple. Just because one child may need you a lot more, you still must tend to the other or others. My heart goes out to women who face impossible choices every day; who carry guilt that they can not untangle from their love and devotion. 

I guess all we can do is remind them, remind ourselves, to look up from our medical kits and our bandages and our checklists to see that there are other nurses and doctors in this triage tent of ours. Love can come from more places than we can possibly imagine and though the feeling of responsibility seems so overwhelmingly ours alone, it simply is not. Our children get love and guidance from our close and extended family, friends, friends of family, co-workers and neighbors. 

I think that because mothers are responsible for our children from the moment of conception a part of us never lets go of the ENORMITY of that responsibility but sometimes, just sometimes, it’s ok to allow ourselves to step back and let someone else take over. It’s ENORMOUSLY important for us to relinquish the responsibility to our spouse, mother, father, sister, brother, friend or anyone who loves us enough to take some of the responsibility off our plate. We, as mothers, can not afford to look up from our checklists one day to see that it is no longer our children on the triage cot, but ourselves.

Ryan photo 2

This party was the culmination of thousands of answered prayers and awesome does not begin to describe it. September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month so let us never forget the most priceless thing – the precious gift of life.

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by Sharon MacGregor

I am a freelance writer and columnist living in Sulllivan County.  My husband and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary last year and are raising our two man-cubs with both old-fashioned and modern parenting styles.  Another member of our family is our one-year old, yellow Lab, Maddy.  I look forward to sharing a slice of our family life and family related news with the Hudson Valley Parent community! 

 
I do not have a telephone with a screen to check the caller i.d. feature, but I can usually tell if after I say hello there is a pause and I may have to repeat myself. When this happened yesterday, I almost hung up on my five year old nephew before he had a chance to say, “When am I going to see you again?” After all, it had been about two weeks! We all love a man who can get straight to the point so I answered honestly, “I don’t know.” He told me he was at grandma’s, which is only ten minutes away from my house and asked, “Can you come over?” Who can’t reschedule any plans to accommodate that request?
 
My husband and I were going to do other things, but during the ride over I realized how truly unimportant those tasks were compared to spending a few hours with family. I made sure we had the wiffle ball and bat, my camera and some toys I had bought at the dollar store for just such an occasion.
 
While we were on our way, both nephews told my mom about their vast experience (this was the second time) with simply asking people to come over (us) and they do. Some may think they are simply too busy to stop what they are doing and give in to the whims of a child by merely showing up, but really, isn’t that the role of an adult for a child? To show up. To support dreams. To help guide the way. To be there.
 
This is not about spoiling a child, but rather being able to decide that for that moment, yes the laundry can wait. In fact, I have time right now.

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