There are just certain truths, trials, and life experiences everyone goes through. We all may take different paths, call them differently, but because we are more alike than not, we will all muddle through life gaining wisdom and compassion once we come out ahead.
I lay awake in bed talking to my lovely husband about my worries for the boys as they get older and what decisions they make will help or hinder their progression into adulthood. I fear the peer pressure of drugs, sex, and just hurting themselves or others. Don't we all as parents? I know I can be consumed by my need to hammer in every opportunity to influence their thought process now (hoping they will use it when necessary to come out ahead). Let's hope.
Now, one area that seems to get everyone tripped up in adulthood is the "high school" mentality of friendships. Some high school girls were catty, fickle about friendships and words. There's gossip and there's today-you-are-it-to-be-on the-crap-on list and so on. We were not done being a kid but some of our decisions came with adult consequences.
Since I've been a stay-at-home mom, I've run across some groups of women who still act like they are in high school and seem to enjoy the gossip and taking apart some other mom they are "friends" with. I was in a friendship triangle when S.E. was a few months old. I was trying to find my niche in the world of SAHMs and what I had to do to ensure my baby would be accepted and liked. I joined a baby group at the hospital. I met a few wonderful moms and one I am grateful to have in my life (that's you C). I was eager to join in a group-but it was at the expense of my values and morals. I listened to gossip. Partook in gossip. I took part in being appalled at how another mom would behave to her baby. Not nice stuff. Then, they turned on me. It was my turn to be in outcast. Wow. It hurt. I cried. I whined. I questioned my motives for being friends and how I try earn a friend but expect nothing back from the other person. I mistook being liked with being happy. I was not happy during this time of watching my every step for fear of criticism.
Here's my ah-ha moment (a la Oprah)...true friends don't bring you down. They don't shun you because you had a bad day or your baby cried for hours during playtime. They are supportive and don't get jealous when you don't do things with them. I learned that my relationship with my kids and husband are supreme above the playground moms I meet and try to be friends with. We all have enough insecurities (Lord knows I've got two luggage jammed packed full) to be worrying about if someone doesn't like you or not.
These days, I am a lot better about it-in fact I'm happy and content. I am accepting of myself and my ability to know what's best for my family. And when I don't, I try harder. While I would like to be liked, I don't obsess about whether someone likes me or not. I don't care if no one asks me to girls' night out or whatever. Sometimes my feelings get hurt just a tad but then I remember who I am and how much I like doing things by myself or having a good friend over or just talking on the phone with my family.
Why am I bringing this up today? A new to the area mom came over today and she's having the same problems adjusting to being at home and finding her ground. I am glad I went through what I did years ago because I think it helped her not feel so alone and beaten down.
Here's what I know: love your husband, love your kids harder, and make the most of the time you have and enjoy the encounters you have with people you come into contact with. Also, when you are in bad place, get through it, ask for help and learn something from the experience and either pass it on or try not to hurt others.