Mom’s Night Out
I like to think I have been rather transparent about my mental health. The truth is, I struggle. I think we all do in our own ways and that is why I am a firm believer in getting out and blowing off some steam, unwinding, and enjoying our friends. If drinking isn’t your thing, that is totally okay. To be honest, it isn’t really mine either (no matter how this may look). With that said, I had a drink or two during the last two “Mom’s night out” events I attended.
I love my friends. I have a select few who have been there with me through my pregnancy journey and have grown to love my son like their own. I have made a few incredible friends who have become more like family than even some of my own family. I have also lost quite a few people in my life since becoming a mom. My priorities shifted and they weren’t okay with that.
Recently, I’ve decided to keep some people at arm’s length. These are people who I thought were always there for me, the way I was for them. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case and I am glad I realized this now before the friendship broke down even more. When you’re excited about something, you share it with your friends, right? You expect them to celebrate with you, cheer you on, show their support. Well, of course, because that is what friends do. It becomes very clear when they don’t celebrate with you and remain silent or worse, bring doubt. That silence becomes almost deafening. When you feel broken and need advice and they tell you that you are just negative and offer no helpful exchange, it feels like getting punched in the gut.
I am super fortunate for my friends Allison and Shelby. They are both incredible moms, each to two crazy and silly little boys who I love like they are my own. Mark has been fortunate enough to have great friends in their sons. Apart from going to school together (since middle school), being close in age, we’ve bonded over a number of things. I have been fortunate and blessed to have them with me as I go through life, the best seasons and the worst.
I’ve mentioned before how difficult it is for me to open up to others. I struggle to make friends because of my social anxiety and fear of judgment. I am sure there my huge confidence issue is thrown into that mix too. Somehow though, I made a friend. So what do mom friends do? Have playdates of course!
Shelby and I have been through it. I am not sure what brought us together but I am so glad it did. We just always clicked and she is that kick in the butt I need from time to time. She is honest and funny and just unapologetically her and rightfully so. There are very few people I can turn to in a pickle. She is someone who will drop everything, no matter what it is, and come to help me. Whatever life brings me, I know she is always there and I don’t think I could be any more grateful for a best friend like that. She is the most ambitious, motivated, and the down-to-earth woman I have ever met and that says something because there is also Allison.
Allison is a wildcard. I am not even sure how to begin. I am not quite sure how it came to be, but we ended up going out for a girl’s night one night. We met up at a local wine cellar just the road from our neighborhood. I think we got there at 7 and managed to shut the place down (which was like 10pm, but we are moms and are in our pajamas by like 8 so really it was BASICALLY an all-nighter). I think we talked about everything under the sun- including mental health, the medical complexity journey, and marriages. Out of nowhere and under the strangest of circumstances, I ended up with a genuine, selfless, and equally awkward best friend.
I cannot express how important it is to have a good support system. I am extremely fortunate to have that in the friends I still keep in my life. I have surrounded myself with people who will drop anything for my child and myself. They are selfless and always want to help. They give me their honest opinion (even if it’s something I don’t want to hear), and they call me out when I am in the wrong (Shelbs, Alyssa… I am looking at you two). But they also pick up when I am at my lowest and actually take a second to listen. They don’t write me off and they do what they can to guide me in the right direction of finding a solution.
I am grateful for my support system. They know my past, my present, and I know they will be part of my future.