For the first couple years after my daughter (my first child) was born, I was...lonely. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed her company immensely; I loved being a stay-at-home Mum, but I was lonely for girl friends. I had some beautiful girlfriends from pre-Eliza days - but some lived out of town, and others did not have kids yet. Working full-time, they were not available when I longed for hang out time; and when they were ready to hang out, I was too dang exhausted most of the time. My poor hubby can attest to this. Every so often, I would get all weepy about it. It was something I would hold before God regularly.
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I have recently realised just how much this situation has changed. Ever so gradually, my prayers were answered. My sisters and I started being more intentional about regular phone dates. This has been such a source of encouragement to me. I have developed some lovely friendships with other mums in my mothers' group. I also started meeting regularly with a close friend for prayer. Other friends from church have had little ones of their own, and we now have a fortnightly catch-up with our kids, where we can share our hearts' burdens and pray together. A couple of my friends from uni have remained good friends, and my friendships with them have grown closer over the years too, as we have gone through some difficult times together. I have grown closer with my sister-in-law. And besides all of these wonderful blessings, I have had the pleasure of meeting some lovely people across the world through Etsy. I have discovered one particular heart sister through Etsy, for whom I thank God every day.
Being a Mum at home does not need to be isolating. What I have learned through each of the friendships I mentioned above is: I AM NOT ALONE. So many of us women struggle with similar issues - body image, pressures from work, guilt, exhaustion, identity or worth issues, juggling work and kids, adjusting to the changes in relationship with partner that accompany having kids. Sometimes we can feel so alone, as if "I am the only person in the world who feels this way". Which can often lead to, "I must be dysfunctional/ unworthy/ inadequate/ not good enough". NOT TRUE!!
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Sometimes it takes one simple, honest admission of weakness to a friend to let her know that, in fact, SHE is not alone. Perhaps she looks like she has it all together - and perhaps she thinks just the same about you! Let's be brave, hold hands and speak honestly from our hearts about our struggles. We can shoulder the burdens together, and be stronger for it!