Moms Need Playdates Too
“Can we go back to something you said earlier?”
I gave my friend a puzzled look. Having just finished a 10 minute long, stream of consciousness style monologue on what’s new in my life, I had no idea which “thing” she wanted to discuss.
“You said sometimes you feel like you’re going crazy staying home all day with a toddler.”
Oh, that—the words which slipped out my mouth without permission and which I quickly moved past, hoping she wouldn’t remember it.
“How come no one talks about that?” my friend continued.
My muscles relaxed and I sank deeper into my chair; she felt it too.
I don’t remember exactly how I answered her question, because my thoughts started churning through words like expectations, guilt, and shame. Where did the expectation come from that says mothers should stay home alone with their children and enjoy every minute of it? Why are we ashamed to admit motherhood is hard? Why does it make us feel like a bad mom to want a break from our children?
With a new level of openness between us, my friend and I spent the next few hours talking and drinking sparkling water in her patio chairs. Interjections of “You need to share,” and “No, that’s not to play with,” filled our conversation. We got up often to open the sidewalk chalk, find a ball, and give hugs and kisses for a skinned knee.
We lived our everyday mom life during those few hours, only it didn’t feel as hard. Behavior that normally wore on my patience didn’t bother me. A second pair of eyes on the children reassured me everything was fine and talking to another adult made me feel normal instead of crazy.
When we parted, I felt full. I finally understood that the unspoken expectation weighing us down with shame and guilt was a lie. We are not supposed to do life alone.
Not even Jesus did life alone. He gathered twelve disciples around Him not only to share meals, travel, and work together, but to provide a community of support for one another.
When Jesus was weary, his disciples found food for him while he rested. Likewise, Jesus called his disciples to come away and rest after they missed a meal from working so hard. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus asked three of his disciples to come with him to pray because He was sorrowful and troubled. And when the disciples were scared in the storm, Jesus calmed the wind and the waves.
Doing life side by side with other believers makes us stronger. Together, we are less susceptible to the enemy’s lies and more confident in our role in God’s kingdom. The Bible even tells us:
“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him up.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (NKJV)
Since exposing the lie of needing to do motherhood alone, I’ve sought out more moms to walk through life with. We get together and chat while the kids play, or send text messages when schedules are full. We say, “Me too,” “You’ve got this,” and “I’ll pray for you.” True Christ-centered community is forming because of open hearts and open homes.
If you don’t have other moms to do life with, today I want to encourage you to find some. Text a mom friend you haven’t seen in a while and invite her over (don’t worry about your messy house, she won’t mind). Or go up to that mom you always bump into outside your child’s Sunday school room and say, “I know we don’t know each other very well, but I’d like that to change. Can we set up a playdate?” You can say it’s for the kids, but the truth is, moms need playdates too.
Kira Bridges is pursuing joy by seeking the life God intended. She writes at Joy Pursued, sharing lessons learned and resources to help women draw close to God and experience His joy. Living in Oregon with her husband, daughter, and two dogs; Kira believes living with joy is a lifelong journey and would love for you to join her. You can connect with her further on Facebook.
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