I'd rather be knitting.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Darn.

I logged in, opened this page, hoping to write, and realized:

There are too many things to record, moments to share, discontents, hopes, fears, joys, worries. I sit in front of the keyboard and am helpless amongst the swirl. How do I pick which one to focus on? (When I try to write about a little of everything, it turns into a list, not a piece of writing, and then nobody's satisfied, most of all me.)

Swirl. Swirl.

Oh, forget it. I'm going to go knit on that sweater.

27) Knitting, which is mindless yet productive, giving both time to reflect and new challenges to overcome, and which provides me hours of entertainment and a sense of community at ravelry.com.

Speaking of community... (Look! The swirling cloud has parted! Something's emerging!) Here's a little topic that's on my mind:

How do you, as a parent, navigate the confusing waters of forging friendships with other moms? I want my daughter to have regular playmates, but darn it, I also want to feel secure that I am genuinely liked by their parents. My previous incarnation as Working Ministry Wife meant that I pretty much haven't needed to MAKE new friends for myself in years (as the church and my job always brought people into my life fairly naturally).

However, there seems to be no natural way to meet other toddlers and their moms when I'm raising two at home, putting them down for naps every afternoon, and then doing the dinner/bedtime boogie once they wake up at 4pm. Our church has exactly one other toddler in it, but for some reason, that mom does not seem to interested in anything deeper than a Sunday relationship. (I play the Insecure Mom Mantra in my head when I start trying to figure that out: Is My Kid Ugly to Her Kid? Is My House Too Dirty? Am I Too Dull or Ugly or Unwashed or Old or Sinful or Condescending? Did I insult her without knowing it? Am I somehow UnFriendWorthy? I know of no way to get an honest answer to that question, or even of how to ask it without sounding like the pitiful nerdy kid in youth group who everyone had to be friends with because it was the Christian thing to do even though he was about as interesting as a used toothbrush.)

I want good friends to share coffee with while our toddlers run amuck in our houses. I had that once, back before I had a toddler; she'd come over, I'd brew the coffee and stick in the Superman videos, and we'd laugh and ponder and pray and chat all morning. She let me convert her to Lasagna Gardening and the lust of Other People's Organic Material, and we spent hours lugging home bags of leaves and grass clippings for our gardens. I went to the hospital with her during the late-night scares of her second pregnancy, and took off work for days to help when she came home with him (and a giant spinal headache from the epidural). I'm realizing now that it was, perhaps, the best friendship I've ever had, and possibly the best I'll ever know in this life.

Given that I still have fifty years or so left on the earth, that's rather disheartening.

There is no ToddlerMama Support Group type meeting in this town, as far as I can find. I have no time to join organizations based on my interests (knitting, historic preservation, the arts, etc) to meet women I'd mesh with. Leaving our beloved little church to attend big churches with lots of toddler families doesn't seem right either. I mean, I love our little church. I generally hate the big ones, and the ones who have delusions of bigness. I'm afraid that, to have a big enough pool to find the kind of friends I'd like to have, I would have to belong to a church that would make my stomach churn on Sunday morning. (Surely that's not God's idea of a healthy spiritual situation.)

All I really know to do is to pray my pitiful little used-toothbrush prayer to One who knows how insecure and isolated I'm feeling about this. Here is my heart's great need. I lay it down there, and just keep going through our days, hoping that less lonely ones lie ahead.

6 comments:

Susie Says:

7:25 AM

You probably already checked this, but do you know MOPS?
http://www.mops.org/

If there's not a group in your area, you could start one, putting up a notice in your local Christian bookstore, maybe?

That's tough, only having one toddler in your church. It will be tough for your daughter, too, making church friends. I hope you get more young families there.

Angie Says:

8:52 AM

Ok, I didn't even read the comments, but immediately looked up MOPS after reading this. And, there is a MOPS group at First Christian. I'm assuming that is not the church you are attending, but others I've known about (and the one I attended) were open to all Christians, not just church members. You never know about the group, but it would be a way to meet moms. I think ours met one morning a week, or every other week?

With Allen being in the Army, I haven't had to search far for friends, either. If you attend events, you meet many people who are close the same age and often have children the same age. Plus, the Army isn't the best place for spouse's careers, so there are plenty of stay at home moms. Also, activities on post for small children, bible studies, etc. That being said, now that we are entering the civilian world, I also wonder how I will make friends.

And, as always, I love your writing.

KimS Says:

5:41 PM

Thanks to both of you! I'd checked MOPS a few months ago, and there was nothing within 40 miles; now there is one listed! There's "no meeting time or place set", but I'll make a phone call tomorrow and see what's up.

Holli Says:

6:35 PM

Kim- I've met some "like-minded" moms at a group called Holistic Moms. It's a national organization with chapters that meet in various towns/cities. Check out their website and see if there is one near you. It's been the best thing I've found since becoming a mom!

joelle Says:

9:30 AM

Kim you are great. If I had a toddler I would totally hang out with you in your garden and our toddlers would play and it would be all kinds of swell. Unfortunately (or fortunately considering my darling SO has not moved to NY yet and is still in Florida and we are not wed and etc etc ) I do not have a toddler and do live in the Manhattan land of toddlers and playgroups. Community is so important and my heart hurts for you. The community that I found when I moved here was all through knitting. Knitting saved me from a broken heart!
Oh yes and GO RAVELRY!

Notes From The Frugal Trenches Says:

4:17 AM

Maybe try hanging out in a Christian book shop or family friendly cafe or art shop? It is sooo hard! I'll pray you find more of a community.

Thanks for the nice comment on my blog!

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