Monday, August 16, 2010


When I was in 5th grade I had an awesome best friend. We had been wandering down the sidewalk to play at each others' houses since we were in diapers. We did everything together (although tonight I can't seem to remember what us 5th graders actually DID). As we headed into middle school, life began to change for both of us. We headed in different directions, adapted, and moved on.

In 9th grade I had an awesome best friend. A different friend now. We were just as equally, if not more inseparable. We stayed up until 2:00 a.m. doing honors projects together, made home movies of cooking shows (a smoothie recipe), and awkwardly danced through the hallways at school (no really... we did). By 12th grade, two more awesome best friends had been added to my life. We were running through the sprinklers together, singing pop songs together, illegally ice-blocking down the 15th hole together, squealing over the new colors in the Sharpie package together, and holding our own in-living-room dance parties together. Then we all graduated. Life began to change for all of us. We headed in different directions, adapted, and moved on.

In college I had some pretty awesome friends, too. We did church together. We worshipped with our hands in the air for the first time. We built houses in Mexico and taught VBS in Jamaica. We prayed. We rode all the best roller coasters at Magic Mountain. We saw people come to Christ, and people walk away. We were there for each other through all the new adult things that just started happening to us. We transitioned into "real life" together. Then we started moving, and getting married, and having kids. Life was yet changing for all of us once again. We headed in different directions, adapted, and moved on.

Or did we.

Something shifted after kids entered the picture. For some reason, it is now much more difficult to form new friendships, and the ones that we are blessed enough to have become increasingly difficult to maintain. Why?

I think it comes down to this one little word... Community. Everyone needs a community. Human beings function with their utmost only when in relationship with other human beings. God's great design. When we are young, our family is our community. Mom, Dad, brothers and sisters. Or maybe Grandparents, Godparents, or cousins. We are found knit tightly to those people we spend the majority of our days with. As we grow up into middle school and high school, then on into college, we look outside the family for our community, still looking to build our community around the people we spend our days with, which has now become our peers. I can still remember my parents' frustration when I was more interested in spending time with my friends than being home with my family. But that's because my parents were not building their community with their peers, but instead with their family.

That is where I find myself today. Since my wonderful son came into the world, I find that my focus has turned inward toward my family again; now, MY family. My investments of time and energy are poured first and foremost into my son and husband (and then into naptime if I can convince myself). And I find myself a little lonely. Ok, sometimes a LOT lonely. Why? We come back to why. Because all my peers are doing the same.

When I first became a mom (welcome to the club), I would look around at all the other young moms and think, "Wow, they really have it together. They must have all these cute young mom friends, too, who they have play dates with and family dinner dates with and make deep heart connections at Bible study with." But then I started talking to these moms, these peers of mine, and realized that 9 times out of 10 they were feeling just as lonely and isolated as I was, because all of us are focused inward. Especially as moms, we all naturally fill our community needs in our children and families.

Please understand, I think this is a good thing when we put our families first. My parents sometimes joke that they had no friends the whole 23+ years my siblings and I were living at home, and I deeply appreciate their sacrifice. But it doesn't help me to feel less lonely today.

When I was in high school, I was naturally pulled toward my friends and peers. If I wanted to maintain family relationships, I had to be INTENTIONAL. I had to decide I would stay home for a movie night, instead of going out to the movies. And over time, this intentionality paid off. Now that I have a kid (and will most likely have more), I am naturally pulled toward my children. If I want to make and maintain peer friendships, (hear the revelation moment now) I have to be INTENTIONAL. No longer in life will bonding as a result of spontaneously running through the park sprinklers happen on a regular basis. If I want those deep peer relationships in my life, I have to invest in them.

One thing I started doing to invest in other young moms in my life is hosting a monthly craft night. It's called a Cake 'n Craft, because I invite a group of young moms to my humble abode to share dessert and learn a new craft. It's been neat to spend time with women who I might otherwise be too intimidated to just call up on the phone and ask to hang out. And just as with family in high school, I believe this extra bit of intentionality will pay off in time.

It is not easy maintaining a peer community with other young moms. What is something you do to be intentional? How do you pursue these relationships in your life? And if you haven't been, join the club! Now, what is something you will do this week to change that?


  1. Love your blog Tasha! This post really hit home with me. What you say is so true. We were the first of our friends to have a baby and amongst our closest friends we still are the only ones with a baby. When he was a newborn it didn't matter much since he would sleep through our dinner outs and movies. Now that he is becoming a toddler, I feel a gap growing between us and our friends. We try to get a babysitter so we can go out with our friends but this requires planning things days in advance. Having a kid has definitely taken the spontaneity out of our weekends. Our friends have been really great at putting up with us dragging our baby out with us but at times I feel like they still don't understand.

  2. Hey Vanessa! I must confess (and this is really lame) I am just now figuring out how to check comments on here. So I just saw your comment today!!
    Not that I'm glad you empathize with this post, but sometimes it's good to know that we aren't the only ones who feel the ways we do. It is so hard to build and keep friendships once we're moms. I am still working on this. And you're right... it's different once you have a kid. Totally new life perspective. I hope your friends start making babies! haha.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...