I don’t know what it is exactly about motherhood that encourages people to dole out unsolicited advice. I’ve been “that mom” in Target too many times, whose child is wailing while a perfect stranger begins sharing their tried-and-true methods for child rearing, without even bothering to ask my name. It’s discouraging being in those situations, and the embarrassment is compounded by the awkward exchange of someone trying to fix you. What weary young moms really need is a smile, we need grace, we need a friend!
When I was pregnant with my daughter, I had many people tell me I would make so many friends when I started my family. They would go on and on about how these friendships would just spring out of the frame-work of life circling the raising of little people. Truth be told — this never happened for me! The friends I had were before my babies. Until I joined a club I never wanted to be in.
Our club was: Parents of Preemies. I’ll never forget walking into a room with other worn-out parents. We all sat there like lumps on a log around our sad campfire of grief. We hurt because we lost something — we lost choices, we lost normalcy and we lost answers. That is where I met one of my best friends.
Fast forward four years and the grass is certainly greener. Our babies are healthy and our hearts continue to heal, but as I reflect on this beautiful friendship, I am reminded of how many of us meet our cherished ones in the most unlikely places. Sometimes we meet in the fray of life. We enter these clubs we never signed up for, and somehow find ourselves members. There is no initiation period, no weird hazing rituals, no waiting list, and yet somehow we make the cut.
Sometimes you find “your people” in the waiting room instead of at the company Christmas party. You might find someone who truly gets you in the last place you thought to look. I don’t know what club you might feel thrown into today, but I encourage you to fight the waves and come up for some air. Look around and you might be surprised to find someone else floating on their own life raft, right next to yours. It’s a lot easier to ride out the storm with a friend by your side.
Asha Grinnell is a lover of adventure, family dance parties, and spending time by the sea. She is married to the man of her dreams and a mama to two little darlings who keep her on her knees and her toes. Follow her at onlytruenorth.com.