Before having kids, the Hubs and I had very full lives. We both had demanding careers that required frequent travel. When we weren’t traveling for work we would pick up and travel on a whim for fun. On the weekends we would hang out with friends, for dinner at the newest restaurant or drinks at that latest trendy bar. Once we decided to have children we knew our lives would change. I read the blogs, spoke to friends who had kids, and felt like I was ready and okay with what was to come. Well, as any parent will tell you, nothing can truly prepare you for parenthood.
As a new mother, I struggled to find my footing. We lived in a city without any family, so it was just the three of us—well four if you count our dog. It didn’t help that we were the first couple in our immediate group of friends to have a child. We would often get calls at 8pm to meet up for dinner, “um, that’s when I’m starting the baby’s bedtime routine.” I had to decline and explain to our friends that we needed more notice to find a sitter. Gone were the days of last minute plans. In all honesty, I did not miss the bars and late dinners, but I did miss connecting with other adults. While on maternity leave, I missed work, but the thought of leaving my child and having to return to work terrified me. I would have anxiety when I consider how I would manage my career as an attorney and an infant. Even when I returned to work, I slowly felt as though my life had become a series of work days and mom nights. I was trying desperately not to completely lose myself and all sense of who I was as a person outside of my roles of wife and mother. I decided to go on Meetup and join some mom groups in my area. I thought it would be a good way to connect with other women who were perhaps dealing with the same issues. I am so grateful for these groups. They saved me!
I met women who had careers but decided that at this season in their lives they wanted to focus on being mothers. As well as women, who like me were trying to balance both. We got together for play dates with our kids, and Mom’s Night Outs, where we met for nice dinners and cocktails, and tried to talk about something besides our kids. We vented, we listened without judgment, we talked about how tired we were but still somehow felt we weren’t doing enough. I formed real, authentic friendships with these women. Three years after joining the groups, when I had my daughter, these women came to visit me. They brought me flowers and meals (I had over 2 weeks worth of meals) and I leaned on them again as I adjusted to becoming a mother of two.
If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you know I started a brunch club and it includes some of the women I met in one of my mom groups. We meet at least once a month for brunch and bellinis. It’s really about food and fellowship. Our conversations range from what we’re doing to get our kids prepared for school, how we navigate raising children of color in not so diverse environments, work challenges, and even relationship woes. I always leave our brunches so inspired and motivated to slay the rest of the month. My brunch club happenings lead me to start this blog and I recently launched a supper club ( I’ll have more about my supper club soon). Finding balance is still a daily struggle, but my mom squad is helping me master the tightrope. Do you have a mom/girl squad? Let me know in the comments.