That group of women was a room full of moms. They were an important part of my community: my rhythm. I was a mom of two boys, aged two and four. I knew these ladies through MOPS, Mothers of Preschoolers. They were there for me as I geered up for hub's deployment, for the year he was gone and then rejoiced with me when he returned. They were a piece of my connection with sanity.
Connections. They are so important in motherhood. Amidst the craziness of sports-schedules, deployments, homework, TDYs/ TADs, simply fitting in baby's nap time some days, PCSing, drama, life. We, as military wives and moms, need to be connected. We need friends, family, folks to say "I'm there for you".
Mom Connection, by Tracey Bianchi, is a great reminder of this fact. I love the image she paints of a mom and a hula hoop, many hula hoops actually; trying to balance herself, her children, her husband, her job, her friends, her needs, & wants. It is a tricky act, keeping all those hoops in sync. But it can be done and Tracey offers some great pointers.
A few questions to think about:
- After a PCS how do you meet new friends? Have you ever sat on a park bench and simply "made a new friend"? Take your children to the park. Get out and enjoy your new surroundings and look for others that may also be seeking friendship. I can't tell you how many simple conversations I have struck up at a park bench.
- What throws your hula hoop for a loop? Deployments and PCSs are two big ones. A new baby, heck a new teenager can do it too. A bit of marital strife can throw off your whole center of balance. Throw in a mother-in-law who says you never visit or a mom that wonders why you haven't called; a "best friend" who still lives in your hometown who wonders "why you've changed". Add an FRG that says they need you to volunteer for the next meeting (Volun-told, anyone?) and well I could go on...
- Where is your rhythm? Community, family, church, friendship. All people that can help you find your center. Your rhythm. Tracey talks a lot about rhythm, and fortunately she doesn't mean my dancing moves. Although turning up the music at 4pm and having a dance party is a great way to sync up the family's mental attitude, as Tracey suggests!
Mom Connection is really what MOPS is all about. Community. Who are your friends? Where do you turn when you need to vent? How do you balance the needs of your immediate family and your military-family or extended-family? If these questions leave you raising your hand like, "Yes, I want to know more", I would find a copy of this book: Mom Connection: Creating Vibrant Relationships in the Midst of Motherhood.
I have two of these books to give away. Friday, May 11th is Military Spouse Appreciation Day and Sunday is Mother's Day. It seems appropriate to have a gift to give. (Thank you to MOPS International for providing these books.)
If you would like to dive deeper into relationships and motherhood leave a comment:
How has being a military-family influenced you as a mom?
I will draw two random winners (so your answer doesn't need to be eloquent, just honest) on Friday, May 19th (which means I need a way to contact you if your name is drawn). Leave your email address in the comment or send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Leanne from MilitaryAvenue.com