I have come to understand, deep in my bones, a truth about female friendship. It is one of the most powerful and life giving forces on the planet. There is nothing quite like it and I have been profoundly impacted and made better by mine.
But, like many important decisions, this one took on a mind of its own and began to infiltrate all sorts of other areas of my life. Suddenly I found I was being pushed to put myself out there in all sorts of other scenarios that had nothing to do with writing. Suddenly rejection was no longer just a letter from editors at a website.
There’s been lots said about the need for a village. Jen Hatmaker calls them “bonus moms” in her new book and writes a more beautiful tribute to them than I ever could. Whatever you want to call it, a tribe, a village, bonus moms, second mothers, the experience of other people loving and caring about my kids has changed me and shaped my kids lives in incredible ways. I am so incredibly thankful for these women in my kids lives. Thankful that I get to be in their kids lives.
But I am careful about what I’m wishing for. I’m wishing to be brave and bold. I’m wishing to follow through on long held dreams. I’m wishing to show up and do the work for the work’s sake. I’m wishing to put myself out there a bit more, to dare and chance and dream. And so if all I end up with is an email file filled with receipts that I tried and took a risk I will still have gotten what I wished for.
Our kids don’t need us to do it all. They need us to do the stuff that makes us come alive as parents, whether it’s getting out for adventures or creating beautiful crafts, cooking dinner together or homeschooling. I’ve learned from experience that crafts are not fun when mom is tense and short fused the whole time. Neither are adventures out. The kids won’t know the stuff you didn’t do with them. (They’re not on instagram. They don’t even know that making your own paint with cornstarch and food coloring is a thing.)