I found my community, a group of five women and their families, when our children were all in Pre-K. Several of us had children in the same class or at least at the same school. Others had children the same age who would be going to the same school for Kindergarten.
We started off getting together with our kids. At first it was only at kids’ parties and playdates, but we all needed some time without our children as well. We started having a weekly night out, just us moms. Then, we went on a trip together. One of the women was going through a divorce when we first met, and we got to watch her fall in love with and marry her new husband. Our first girls’ trip was her bachelorette party. We’ve continued the tradition as time has gone on with annual girls’ weekends, which we all enjoy and appreciate as some time away from the demands of our daily lives. We all value the time to connect away from home and bond with each other.
We have very little structure in our community. We have had monthly wine nights, and we have gotten season tickets to the theater. We often celebrate each other’s and our children’s birthdays together. Sometimes, we have casual dinners together at someone’s home or we meet at local restaurants. While we are not a super organized community, we get together as often as we can.
Most importantly, we are there for each other through the good and bad. My mom has been battling Leukemia for the past three years, and my friends have been there for me every step of the way. They have shown up with food, taken my children to spend time with them, driven my children around, and even taken me out for an evening of fun when I’ve needed a break. They’ve responded to all the text message updates about my mom. I know they feel like they are on the emotional roller coaster that is cancer for every single high and low. They are my biggest cheerleaders, and they are the shoulders I cry on. I cannot imagine how I would handle her cancer journey without this group of amazing women. They give me strength and encouragement, and they make me laugh.
It is so wonderful to have a group of women whose children are close in age going through life together. We share our fears and concerns about our children, our parenting, our marriages, and our careers. We encourage and support each other. We make time for each other. I love their children like family, and they love mine. Our husbands are friends, too, which makes it all work. It can be so hard to find couple friends where we all get along. For some reason, this group just works.
Thinking back on how we started hanging out together is interesting. It was one woman who initially reached out and asked us all to get together. Then, someone else suggested another time to get together. It was gradual, and at first, we had no idea if we would get along. I’m so glad we took that chance. It doesn’t always work out, and some of the women we initially hung out with have moved on. That’s OK. The people we have left just work well together. I’m grateful for the initiators who brought us all together. I’m grateful that we all went not knowing if we would actually like each other. We all took a chance, and now, we have a wonderful community that I can’t imagine living without.
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