I know, I know—Valentine's Day is totally about me and my husband. And Valentine's Day is super special for us because it's the day John asked me to be his. (Together for 8 years! Woo hoo!) And we'll be doing some special stuff to celebrate that (involves shooting—not each other—and cheesecake). But today, I want to spread a little love to some of my fave female friends.
All of my friends here locally are moms. And there's this interesting dynamic out there: It's a point of pride to be a mama, and they love to talk alllll about it alllll of the time; and usually, moms cheer on other moms. Which, hear me, I find it to be AWESOME. I think this whole—moms surround other moms and help each other out thing—is amazing. And honestly, I can't imagine having kiddos running around and having the kind of mental and physical fortitude it takes to handle that. And someday, when I'm a mom, I look forward to having that kind of support around me (otherwise I'm not sure if I'll survive).
But right now, I am not a mom. Not yet. And there is a stark difference between my friends that are truly my friends, regardless of my mom status—and the friends that just think I don't get it, so they won't go to any effort to really connect with me. Well, this Valentine's Day, I'm feeling the love of those friends that are my true friends because they want to be, and because they actually love me, and they let me have relationships with their kids, regardless of whether or not I have a little one to bring with me during play dates.
But before I dive into my Valentine's day love letter to them, let me first clear up a few things about myself. These are in no way things that I think my mom friends don't do, haven't done, or aren't experiencing— they're just common misinterpretations about myself that I'd like to clear up:
I'm not a mom NOT because I don't like kids. I'm not a mom yet because me and my husband have decided there are a few important things to take care of first. Like having a good home, being out of debt (mostly), saving enough money to cover the birth of our child so that it isn't a stress, and being at a place in our marriage and our relationship where we are solid enough to (better) endure the whole crazy being-a-parent thing.
In all honesty, I LOVE kids! I have a god-daughter, and she's the best little thing EVER. She brings so much joy to our lives. I also have lots of nieces and nephews, all of them who I love to pieces. It seriously rocks being an aunt. A day at the park pushing kids on swings? Count me in! And a kid on my husband's hip? Smokin'. Hot.
I'm enjoying my marriage and my current stage of life. You know when you just really, really enjoy things and you don't want it to change? Yep, my marriage, my life. And heck, we've only been married for four years. So calm down, people.
I cook. I clean. I homemake my own laundry detergent and find clever storage solutions for my home. I also sew and craft, paint and decorate. I hate to break it to you, but it's not #mommylife. It's #justlife.
I have a family. And it includes myself and my husband. We're an extremely happy little family and have two dogs that brighten our days (and heck, we consider them family, too).
I know how to take care of a child. I know how to change a diaper, pass a kid their sippy cup, buckle them into their stroller, and even watch them while you run to the restroom. And furthermore- I don't mind it. (See my point about me loving kids above.) I might not know how to swaddle a newborn, but you probably don't want anybody else doing that anyway.
My career matters to me; but that doesn't mean I don't have my priorities right. I went to college, I earned a degree, and then I worked my butt off to get a good design job and start my own side-business. It isn't because I don't value family or spending time with my husband (trust me, we still spend plenty of time together); it's because good work and a successful career are important to me. And honestly, all of it sets me up to have kids someday and not have to worry financially as well as provides me an opportunity to work from home and (heaven-forbid it!) be a stay-at-home mom. A SAHM. See? I even know the abbreviation. Boom.
I'm not an emotionless, selfish being. That may seem a little extreme, but it's how I feel others treat me sometimes. The things. People. Say. (And DON'T say.) "Oops, sorry, for a second I forgot you're not a mom." "Must be nice to only ever have to think about yourself." "Enjoy life while you can because you can't have it like this forever." (And ladies, please watch your words, because you never know who is struggling with infertility.) Like I said above, I do enjoy my life. And I think becoming a mom takes a miraculous abandonment of self and selfish intent. But, hello, how much selflessness do you think a marriage takes? It's a constant lifting-up of your spouse above yourself. And I have this heart for those in need—I mean, heck, I work for an organization helping children in poverty. I have emotions, I can be selfless. Just because I can sleep in until 10 am and go for random ice cream dates with my husband at midnight doesn't mean I'm a self-serving, un-feeling person.
Well, now that that's off my shoulders...
To those friends.
Thank you for your love. Thanks for pursuing me and taking genuine interest in my life. Thanks for inviting me out to coffee with you so that I could take a breather and you could, too. Thanks for supporting my business endeavors and being my biggest cheerleader and encourager on the really rough days. Thanks for sending me a text each day, because you know I'm probably stuck in a boring meeting at work or dealing with a frustrating client. Thanks for talking "mommy" with me, even though you know I don't fully understand; but at the same time not treating me like I'm stupid because I kind of do understand. Thanks for inviting me to your child's class because you know I'll stand there full of giddy joy—because I just love your kid that much. Thanks for keeping me accountable to living a God-filled, selfless life, and encouraging me in my journey. Thanks for being real and honest with me, and letting me be real and honest with you. Thanks for dreaming with me, making memories with me, laughing with me, crying with me, and always just being THERE for me.
You're a real friend, my friend, and my life wouldn't be complete without you. So thanks, friend. And I look forward to the day when my kids get to share life with your kids, and we get to tell them all of our stories like boring, old parents usually do.
Now let's go eat lots of chocolate, watch Frozen, and party until 9 pm!
Proverbs 18:24: One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Happy Valentine's Day!