I don’t know what Michael and I would do without our community of friends here in Houston. Like so many of our friends–and so many young families everywhere–we don’t have family living nearby to help out. Our group of young adults and other families we know are our safety net.
Especially in this season of life when we have very young children, and perhaps our husbands often work long hours and we’re pregnant or have newborns to nurse and three-year-olds to keep in line, we could all use some help.
A phone call to offer to pick up a couple of things at the grocery store for a friend (just the offer means the world!)
Some cookies or a phone call on a friend’s birthday
A cup of hot coffee dropped off to a tired mom
An invitation to join a play date or meet at the park (read: have some moments of adult conversation in between referreeing toddler arguments and policing the slide)
A smile and some empty-for-the-moment arms to hold the baby so another mom can eat dinner at a gathering
Insisting on helping a friend corral her toddler and carry out the diaper bag and baby carrier to the van
A handwritten, encouraging note or even just a Facebook post on a friend’s wall to tell her you noticed something great she did with her kids
Passing on clothes, toys, food or knick-knacks you don’t really need and know a friend could use
Did I mention offering to babysit? For doctors’ appointments, grocery runs, date nights, morning sickness, an hour while she runs errands…
I stumbled across a blog post a few days ago by a 28-year-old Catholic stay-at-home mom of four small children. In a few words, this sweet mom is desperately overwhelmed right now with childcare and keeping up with her home, not to mention trying to maintain her marriage.
I can relate so much to this poor mother. There are days when I’ve teared up near the end of the day just thinking about having to get through dinnertime and then give the kids a bath and wrestle them into pajamas (because almost every day, it’s like they’ve never had pajamas put onto them before, right?!:)
We have got to help each other. We all have little seasons we go through when we can’t reach out as much as other times. I have felt a strong calling lately to make a conscious effort to be a better support to the community of young families I know and love here in Houston. I am not always going to be a season of life where I can do a lot for others. In fact, I predict that by March I’ll be approaching a somewhat good-for-nothing stage of my pregnancy (my due date is in May). 🙂
But while I’m in these few weeks where I’m past the morning sickness and my kids sleep well and Michael is home a little more because it’s the off season for lawn care and I can generally keep up with the laundry–in this season I can open my eyes to somebody else’s needs. I can thoughtfully reach out in small ways to bless my friends.
It has meant the world to me when people have called and suggested a specific way they are able and willing to bless me with something. How many times do we tell friends and acquaintances, ‘Call me if you need anything at all!’ How many times do those people actually call us and ask for help? We’ve got to take the initiative. Just the offer of help from a friend is such a balm to a tired young momma’s soul. Take it from me. 🙂
A friend called me a few months ago and told me she was bringing over lunch. Another friend recently told me to pick a day in the next month to let her watch the kids so Michael and I could go out on a date. When I was desperately ill with morning sickness, another friend insisted I let her watch my kids at her house for the morning so I could take a nap.
That’s the kind of stuff we need.:)