It takes a village to raise a child. So why are so many moms trying to raise kids on their own? Like most moms, I meticulously prepared for the arrival of my firstborn. I registered for the must-have baby items, organized the nursery, read books about childrearing, and attended a birthing class. I did my best to ensure an easy transition between life before and after delivery. In retrospect, I realize that I failed to prepare for what I would need the most: support.
Motherhood can be lonely—particularly for moms who leave full-time employment to focus on family. I do not have relatives nearby, most of my friends do not have children, and my husband works long hours. Consequently, my days are spent alone with my son. While I love my son dearly, I struggle with the monotony. Nurse, play, nap, repeat. After five months, I’m starting to feel claustrophobic. Recently, I realized that something has to change. I need some mom friends.
Where am I looking for mom friends? The internet of course. Since I am unaware of any Christian Mom Mingle sites, I turned to good ole Facebook and joined a group for moms in my area. Then, like any other self-respecting adult, I posted the following want ad:
I need a friend in Bellevue. My husband and I recently moved here from Nippers Corner. We have a 5 month old, a project house, and a hyperactive dog suffering from seasonal affective disorder. I am new to the stay at home mom life and starting to feel stir crazy. I like hiking, walking, reading, and ice cream. I am also a Christian. My son naps at 9, 12, and 3, but apart from those hours, I am free. I would love to meet some neighbors and hopefully become friends. Hoping my son will make a friend or two as well.
Does this sound desperate? Definitely. Did the post work? Absolutely. Within minutes, moms responded. Within hours, other moms commented that they could have written a similar post themselves and are in need of company. By the end of the day, I had four different play dates set up. And by the end of the week? I had been invited to more local mom and baby events than I have time to attend. Thank you to all the moms who reached out! Thank you to all the moms who expressed similar feelings of loneliness.
It’s hard to think clearly when you’re at home with a little one. Postpartum recovery, sleep deprivation, and adjusting to a new family member are difficult to navigate without help. It’s easy to start to panic and to feel lonely. Apparently, it’s also easy to make friends to help with the transition—if we’re brave enough to reach out in moments of desperation.
It truly does take a village to raise a child, and I wish I’d known this before my son was born. I know now, though, and I will work to establish meaningful relationships with other moms. Further, I will look out for expecting moms so that they have a friend when their little ones arrive, so that they don’t have to learn this lesson the hard way.