Ladies, who doesn't want to have community and lifetime friendships? Where we feel like we belong and that others care about us? It's certainly easy for my five year old to make friends. Or how about those college roommates who know you better than anybody? It's easy to make lifetime connections staying up talking until 2 am. Who can do that with a family and real world responsibilities though!? It's hard to find a sense of community and sometimes when we do, it's difficult to keep it. But why is that? What makes it so difficult to find a group of people that we want to hang out and do life with and who wants to hang out with us? And where do we find these people anyway?
Life as a working mom
I was there once. And sometimes that feeling comes back every now and then. I worked for almost two years after our oldest was born. We had work friends and our small group at church, but that was it. At times it was isolating and difficult to feel included. My stay at home mom friends had this whole other life that they could be a part of during the day. I didn't have that luxury. Any extra time, I spent with my family.
It was hard for us to be in social situations where we didn't know many people. For those that know me, probably find this hard to believe. But it's true. We would go to church, maybe grab lunch with another couple from our group and that was it. We read the bulletin for things going on, but still felt a disconnect. This is no fault of our church, by any means. The information was there, we just didn't act on it.
extroverted, introverted or both
I'm one of those extroverted introverts. Social time and talking with friends is a must. But to meet new people or be in a setting where I have to be “on” can be intimidating and tiring. Alone time is also something I crave. To not be needed by anyone or asked any questions or feel like I have a responsibility – and this includes the husband.
I share this because I can relate to the working mom, the stay at home mom, the social butterfly and the wall flower. We also have very little family in town so creating that feeling of community was important, but I didn't know at the time how to do it.
the best way to find community
This may come as a shock, but the best way to find it (at least for me) is to
Look for it, search it out. If you go to the library, park, church, mall play place, preschool, sports activities, book store, even a restaurant or grocery store, then you can find someone. Trust me, I have before at a grocery store. We only met once after the grocery store, but partly because I didn't continue communication with her. She was super nice though and our kids got along great!
Why is it difficult for us to reach out to others and also put ourselves out there to be found? It's scary! But it's also necessary if we want those close connections and feeling of community for ourselves and also our kids.
How To Do It
Say hi. Make eye contact.
Go to social events, that's what they are there for. To connect people to other people.
Having a craft night at church, but crafts aren't your thing? Go anyway, be humble, don't be too proud just because you think crafts are cheesy; you might meet someone new and maybe make a new lifetime friend.
Don't like crowds? Invite someone to lunch or if the budget doesn't allow for that, meet up after bedtime to sit and get to know them.
There are multiple play groups in our town, even outside of church. Or create your own.
WHY IT'S IMPORTANT TO ME
It's my support system. They are who I call when I'm in my frantic, irrational moments. They help with the kids even though I'm calling last minute. They are important to me and I care about their families too!!
At church, we do drop off with the kids in their classes and then make our way to the sanctuary. I usually find people to talk to along the way so I'm later going in than my husband. This past Sunday was no different, and we actually got there early so people were filing in after us.
I looked around as several friends walked in and found their seats. Some of them I haven't seen in a month or so, but I definitely consider them more than acquaintances. It really hit me, such peace in knowing we have all these people we can count on and they can count on us. Actually a few of those families took our kids in when I went into labor with the baby. Our sitter had an emergency and they jumped right in, no questions asked! I'm so grateful for all the wonderful families we have met and have become our great friends.
The sermon on Sunday was about the little things and how God is in the details. That couldn't be more true in my life. He puts every single person in my path for a reason. To make some kind of connection for someone. Without the details, nothing else makes sense.
Isn't that what we are called to do anyway? Be there for each other, disciple each other, help each other up (verse 10). You guys, our community is what we make it. It's what we are supposed to be doing anyway. We have to make the choice to get involved or stay home.
I also have to give a shout out to the preschool moms. They rock too! It was really, really hard for me to get to know some of them. Again, I felt intimidated. It was silly, I had no reason to because they are friendly, funny, amazing gals - who have also helped out multiple times. So thankful for their friendships as well.
you can do it! go to that next social event!
No one likes to feel uncomfortable. We are tired at the end of the day and we have spent every last piece of energy taking care of everyone else and/or working out side of the home. But, God never said it was easy or we wouldn't have to put forth extra effort.
I didn't realize early on that it was me that needed to seek out community and friends. I also have to continue the relationship by being there for them and giving back. That's not always easy to do, especially with three small kiddos. But we have to, if we want to continue that feeling of community. My college roomies put up with a lot for sure and I'm thankful we still keep in touch - thanks to texting, since we live far apart. They are the sisters I never had, lifetime friends and also sisters in Christ. Make your friendships count, near and far. At least for me, they are all apart of my community.
How do you feel in social situations? Are you feeling like you are in search of community right now? Do you have any lifetime friends in your current stage of life or just from your past? Let us know and let us encourage you! You can do it! If I can, you can too.
Please check back often as I am adding or modifying pages as time permits.
Scripture/Quote of the Week:
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1:7
Who Am I?
Hi! I am Pam. I am so glad you stopped by to take a look at my blog. I am a Christian, wife, stay at home PCOS mom and homeschool mom to three amazing kiddos and I'm all about all natural living and eating....realistically.
New to the Site?
There are several pages with information on what works for our family, references and my passions. Hop over to the About section for more details on my story and I hope you will follow me in this journey! I'm always open to comments!