By Andrea Fortenberry
I don’t know about you, but there have been times that I’ve longed for my friends from years ago, the ones with whom I grew up. They know the stories of my high school boyfriends and wiped away my tears when I had a broken heart. They know all about my embarrassing moments. They sat up with me many a late night studying or working on projects. They witnessed my growth into adolescence and adulthood, they saw me become me. There’s nothing like growing up together. Sadly, these friends all live across the country and I only see them once every year or two, at best.
But recently I was thinking about the dear friends I have now in this season of life and it occurred to me—I am growing up with these friends too. We are changing and maturing together during this period of our lives in which we’re raising human beings.
Your circle of mommy friends knows you and sees aspects of your life that most of your friends from yesteryear don’t witness: You share the tears and battle wounds of daily motherhood challenges. You’ve had long conversations about nursing, sleep schedules and poop. You’ve seen what each other looks like in yoga pants (not having done yoga), on mere hours of sleep sans makeup. You ask lots of advice from one another. You’ve supported each other through teething, potty training and temper tantrums (yours and your kids’). You’ve watched each other weather marital challenges and you encourage one another. You may have already shared bittersweet tears over your kids going to kindergarten. There’s nothing like growing up together.
These motherhood friends of mine have seen me change and grow just as much, if not more, than my friends from years ago:
As a new mom, my fears and insecurities were rampant, but now seven years in, I’ve grown and matured in this area. Over the years, my motherhood friends and I have learned how to make decisions and feel confident in them, even if they’re different from each other. I have a friend who homeschools her kids and I’m happy that she has chosen a path that’s best for her family. She supports that I send my daughter to public school. Another friend provides her kids with the experience of Santa Claus every Christmas, while I don’t. We’ve learned to love and respect these differences and know that the choices that come along with raising kids aren’t one size fits all.
I realize that not all moms have these friendships, but long for them. It took years for my close mama friendships to develop. Job changes often require families to be transplanted and friendships can be a challenge because they take time. If that’s you today, be hopeful for the day when those friendships will happen. They will! Be willing to take risks and look for opportunities to meet new friends. Be encouraged that God sees you and is your closest friend during every season of life. It’s often been out of my loneliest seasons that God has brought me some sweet friendships.
If you have an awesome group of mommy friends, could I challenge you to reach out to someone new? With whom in your life can you initiate a friendship? Is it a neighbor, a mom from your child’s school or a colleague? Reach out to someone and grow up together.
I recently read an article that stated we replace half of our close friends every seven years; change is part of life. Cherish your friends from yesterday, but enjoy and appreciate the friends you’re growing up with today. Years from now, you’ll have a treasure chest full of memories from growing up with these mama friends.
My Blog: http://andreafortenberry.com
4 thoughts on “Growing Up Together”
Beautiful. Great job, Andrea! Made me laugh out loud more than once and tear up (God sees you, reach out to someone new.) I enjoyed it very much! 🙂
The “mommy season” is long behind me now, but I do miss the friends I grew up with as well as the friends I made while I was raising my kids. But I can take some of your words and apply them to my life now, I can reach out to other empty nesters, other grandma’s, and see what friendships might spring from that reach. I can also share you words with the younger mommies in my life, the ones I love to watch and encourage as they work their way through that new season for them.
This deeply resonates with me right now. Since we just moved a month ago, I haven’t had a chance to make friends here yet (at least not at the level that I had back home). Missing them all so much! But looking forward to the friendships the Lord has here for me.
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And He does have friends for you. He knows your heart. Hang in there.