Hi There! I’m Mandy, Wife to Jim, Mama to Andrew (6), Jacob (5), & Grace (2). We live in sunny Arizona are doing our best to live out this life with intention, laughter and fun.
I love this topic of Caring for the Caregiver. I was thinking a little about what I would write about and the one thing that kept coming to mind was “support”. As a mom of 3 littles, I am constantly in demand. You know, the “mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, moooooommmmmm, mom, mommy, mom,” kind. Someone is always around. Something always needs to be done.
One of the things that surprised me about motherhood was just how lonely it could be. Like many, I went to university and had wonderful friends there. I opted for graduate school, which had me moving from Canada to Arizona…a place where I knew no one. Grad school finished and those friends also moved on to different stages in their lives and I very quickly found myself without a solid network of girl friends. Marriage and babies then soon followed but by then I was in a place where it was not only hard to find friends, but hard to find the time and energy I needed to put into investing in them like they deserve.
About two year ago, we found ourselves moving out of our neighborhood in South West Phoenix up into North Central Phoenix. It was like I had moved to a different world. It was a whole new set of people, friends, activities. But this too was a challenge to break into. The neighborhood we live in now is very well established.
After church hopping a little and still struggling to find something that could help fulfill my Mama heart needs, I finally decided to take matters into my own hands. This past year, I helped start a Moms group at my church. This has been a big undertaking for my friend and I, but we knew that we would be serving other moms by getting this started. We knew we couldn’t be the only ones who were longing for a deeper connection with other women walking this motherhood path.
This new group has strengthened my faith. It has made me new friends. It has strengthened my immediate community. It has given me energy and a renewed sense of purpose. It has eased my burden. It has truly become a bright spot in my month and makes the mundane of the early motherhood trenches feel like a sisterhood when we all gather together. It has truly helped provide me with a support network that I didn’t even know existed. It has changed how I feel about my vocation as a mother. This group helps me care for myself….the Caregiver of our family.
So, my advice? Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Find a group you can join and start networking. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, don’t be afraid to step out and get it done yourself…You WILL find others who are looking for exactly what you are looking for! Take the first step, then LEAP!
Have you ever started your own group? What are some of the tips you can give to keep the group drama-free and alive?
Thank you for sharing your experiences.