Mom Tribes

i got a text from my lovely friend when my husband, cal, was out of town last weekend asking if she could drop me off a café affogato from our local creamery. with camping trips, an unexpected family funeral, school starting, and cal not only teaching, but being in charge of student council, i've been at home without him a lot.

 

i was so happy to have some company.

 

within minutes of us settling into the aqua chairs out front, my son fray had a total banger–blood all over him and me from a nose bleed. i cleaned him up and ran and got a pizza for dinner while my friend bounced our newborn, hank, and fray watched a movie with tear-stained cheeks.

 

i chugged my café affogato on the way.

 

my sweet friend cooed at the baby while i got fraser in jammies and ready for bed. she hung out and talked to me while i gave the baby a bath in the sink and got him ready for bed too.

 

we didn't sit and drink our coffees. we just shared life together.

 

moms just need moms

at one point, between the blood and tears and pizza and crying, she said "kel, moms just need moms." and it struck me. that's EXACTLY what i need in this season of my life.

 

we have a darling little group of moms with young kids and now that i have three, i crave the solidarity of being with other moms. we meet at a park weekly. someone brings donuts; everyone brings their mugs from home full of coffee. we pull up and our kids tumble out of the car and play for an hour while we talk about nursing and jobs and husbands and amazon prime and books and all of the things that are a part of our lives right now.

 

adjusting to hank has actually been smoother than i thought. i had pretty severe post-partum anxiety with both fray and gunn. i made some choices this time around out of pure necessity, knowing that everyone needs me healthy. those choices {mostly involving adequate self-care} have paid off and the adjustment has been way better this time around {feel free to message me if you want more details on this}.

 

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everyone says two kids to three is easier because you are already in the chaos and i have found that to be true so far. however, my personal hygiene is taking a hit {LOL} because, by the time you get three boys ready, sometimes you just have to say you will brush your own teeth later. i mean truly, how is it possible to get make-up on before drop-off? those of you who can do this, please email me tips!

 

but regardless, i feel seen and loved and i hear the chorus of "me too" that queen lamott taught us about.

 

so, to the mom who is now a grandma: i need you. to remind me that i will leave the house someday without a car seat and go on a date with my husband without a babysitter. and to tell me that it’s okay to let my kids grow up because they will always be my babies. i need you to tell me it’s okay to let the baby cry while I brush my teeth; that they will live through it and so will i. i need you to remind me that i will sleep again all the way through the night until 8 am. and i need you to remind me that i am doing really, really important work even on days it doesn't feel like it. us young moms desperately need your wisdom and insight, please know that.

 

to the mom whose kids are older than mine: i need you. to remind me that your kid went through the hitting and screaming phase too. i need to see that your children are actual functional, respectful human beings now when there were days you wondered if you would ever be able to leave them alone on a play-date without apologizing for their behavior every five minutes.

 

to the mom who has a newborn like me: i need you. for solidarity. to be a witness to being up every three hours and needing coffee and Jesus more than ever. i need you to nod at me knowingly when the baby is crying and the toddler is crying and i am bone-tired and just trying to get everyone loaded in the car.

So find your mama tribe. identify them and audaciously pursue them, because my goodness, you will need them. 

here's what i would say to you, pregnant mama, about to have your first baby: this will be among the most life-changing things you will ever do. i've never known a love like i had when i met my babies. there were days i felt paralyzed with fear and anxiety. some because of past trauma, and some because of normal mom hypervigilance, but fearful nonetheless. i also felt an unmatched joy; awe and adoration. all the emotions were so new and so raw and i needed a safe place to process the wide range of them. So find your mama tribe. identify them and audaciously pursue them, because my goodness, you will need them. women to remind you that life is fluid and changing and you will feel normal again. powerful beauties that will stand in the gap on harder days and cheer you on and celebrate with you on gorgeous days.

 

to my mom tribe: you are as valuable to me as my first cup of creamy coffee in the morning; but don't call me before i've had it. just kidding.

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side note: listen to nichole nordeman's new album "every mile mattered." i listened to "woven and spun" in such a poignant season; i still feel stirred when i hear it. i was so excited about her new work.......it’s so so soulful and full of beauty. enjoy!

Palisade, CO

Rickelle takes joy in the simple things in life and can often be found pointing out things of beauty–both big and small. As a licensed Therapist, she enjoys helping others find truth and breakthrough. However, Rickelle's main loves are Jesus and her family. She and her husband, Caleb, have two adventuresome boys. Rickelle also delights in conversation and time spent over coffee with treasured friends.