A couple of weeks ago, I started my blog by saying, “Motherhood feels like the loneliest job on the planet for many women – especially for young moms who live far away from close family. They go through their days as a one-woman army, balancing work, children, and a never-ending list of responsibilities around the home.”
Moms need friendship, but many struggle to find it. Judging by a lot of moms I know, I’d guess one reason is that they struggle to find the personal time and space that would allow them to build relationships. They tend to put themselves last and are so committed to their children that forging connections with other moms gets pushed to the bottom of the priority list.
But the day will inevitably come when a mom needs the support of a friend. What then? If she hasn’t put in the effort on the front end to establish meaningful relationships, who will be there to give her a soft place to fall?
Our program today is all about encouraging moms to be proactive in building friendships and equipping them to do so.
Take the first step. Call a girlfriend for coffee or arrange a play date with your kids. Seek out friendships while life is good, so when a difficult patch of road comes along, you have friends who can give you the strength to stand that you might not otherwise have on your own.
The blessings are as deep as they are wide.
Friendships offer the opportunity to both serve and to be served. Our guest Jill Savage discovered this while she was undergoing chemo treatments. She found there was profound blessing in the humility required to allow others to serve her. She had to rest in her weakness and trust in other people’s strength. They prayed for her, checked in on her, and brought her meals.
It was during that time that one of Jill’s friends was going through a similar health crisis. Jill was able to serve her friend with a depth of compassion and sensitivity that many others didn’t possess. Jill had been on the receiving end for months and knew the physical, spiritual, and emotional enriching that she had received from others.
Friendships also give moms a chance to escape the need they may feel to be perfect. It can be scary to share your failures openly. It’s much safer to keep those weaknesses hidden and to wear a mask that presents an image of perfection to everyone around you.
But, day by day, trying to maintain a façade that you “have it all together” when you really don’t will keep you stuck in your brokenness and drive you deeper into isolation. That’s why women need to come together, to share their stories, and to be authentic with one another. There will be plenty of good moments to convey, but there will be the hard moments as well, and all of those will lead moms to what Jill and her daughter, Anne, call the “me, too” moments.
Like the time Jill’s son got a detention at school. Meeting with a group of other moms soon after, Jill struggled with whether or not she should share about her son’s detention. Finally, she did. Right away, they rallied around her and said, “My oldest had a detention when…,” then another chimed in with, “Our youngest got in trouble one time when he…”
“Me, too” moments are what peel away the shame and connect moms with one another at a heart level.
Today’s program is something of a sequel to a conversation we had on this topic with Jill and Anne a couple of weeks back. I would encourage you to revisit that broadcast online, or via our free, downloadable mobile phone app.
For this show, we’ll examine some of the reasons why moms don’t connect with other moms and offer some practical ideas to get past those obstacles and develop meaningful, life-giving relationships.
Our guests are Jill Savage, a well-known author and speaker on parenting issues and relationships, and the founder and CEO of a ministry called Hearts at Home, which serves more than 10,000 moms every year. Also joining us is Jill’s eldest daughter, Anne McClane. Anne is an author in her own right, and a pastor’s wife with two young children of her own.
You can hear today’s conversation on your local radio station.