November 22, 2003

Reflections in the Snow... Well the first Minnesota snow is here and just this morning I ran into another one of those people "defying" reality that winter is coming, wearing a flannel shirt and jeans - he did atleast have a hat and mittens when we were outside this morning. Of course Serona while helping a neighbor load dirt into a truck in the snow was doing the same _sigh_ I on the other hand will have my silk leggings on under my pants and insist the kids were their hoods or hats. We are expecting nearly a foot last I heard. To me that is good, if it is going to snow - we might as well get mileage out of it! One of the things I like about MN winter is that the snow is always around and nearly always white - just as it is going to get that ugly slushie messy brown of the Northeast - we get a new fresh coat and it looks all beautiful white. Sure it takes until April to melt - but this is Minnesota after all.

Sometime this week the reality of my motherhood life set in. I realized I have been either pregnant or nursing (or both) for 5 years consecutively now. 3 kids in 4 years - no wonder my hormones are crazy! We have lived in three states and moved 5 times with another move coming up in just a few weeks (yes mid December in MN) and we are not even in the military! It seems we always move when we have another family member join us (atleast this time it is within the state) and then we start over again. It isn't the moving that is so hard (though keeping my house clean enough for showings was) it is the loss of networks and support. This time we should not experience that though - as we are just a drive away from friends (many whom we will now be closer to) though we will need to go through the whole getting to know your neighborhood again.

In recent days I have really realized the importance of having a support network for whatever you do (nursing, homeschooling, motherhood, attachment parenting, cloth diapering to name some of mine) is ESSENTIAL. I used to think it was nice to have now I know it is so much more than nice. We all need those people in our lives who understand us and where we are at the moment. Now I have a few good friends that have known and loved me through a bunch of transitions and major life changes and they are very important to my life and will be forever - but sometimes you just need the person who is right where you are right now. That is why support groups and the relationships we build through them are essential - because you surround yourself with people who are there or have been there really recently.

Today I had a homeschool support group meeting and the very people I most needed to talk to were there - they could relate to what I am struggling with as many of them have had or are having those same struggles now. They were able to encourage me that I was not alone and that other people are like me and that it can and does get better. It was just relieving to know that other people go through these things as well and that we can all help one another over the rough spots.

Through the week - two of my closest friends (members of my first preschool cooperative and LLL leaders) were able to see me through some tough times and encourage me. Somehow it is different when women who are in the same position as you are able to rally by your side and support you. It suddenly makes everything better.

These networks are hard to build sometimes (though I think within the homeschool community it is easier) but they are DEFINITELY worth the investment of time and energy. I am so glad that we started early so that when we hit the real tough times we already have a network in place to help support us through them rather than go searching for one then. When we are in the thick of it. You need to take the time beforehand to develop and nurture those friendships so you have them there when you need them. I am so thankful for the wonderful women that surround and rally around me and my children - I need them right now.

Sadly, our culture no longer seems to value the relationships of women and the importance of them in each other's lives and the lives of their children. As I have watched my kids develop close relationships with other mothers - it brings joy to my heart to know that my kids have other adults they look up to and trust (this is especially important to us as our family all lives so far away). I once heard a mother say you need to have relationships that if necessary you could drive up to the front lawn and drop your kids off and know they could find their way into the house themselves and they would be completely welcome and well cared for. Those are the relationships I want to have, and I am lucky enough to have a few very special relationships like that right now.

If any of you are reading this you know who you are and I thank you! And many of you share a unique relationship with me - a purely virtual one - but I lean on you for support and encouragement in other ways. I read your blogs, I learn from you, I laugh with you and sometimes I cry for you. All the while I know there are others of us out there and that we can offer each other support - even if it is only through knowing other people are there and going through what we are as well. Thank you as well.


No comments:

Post a Comment