June's mantra is: Make Time for Friends.
As I saw this month approaching and this mantra on my magazine clip-out, I smugly thought, "Pppshaw! I have a traveling husband and 5 kids, 2 of whom are 'challenging.' I so have an excuse to blow off this mantra!"
Yet I was wrong. Now more than ever do I need my friends.
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What's the saying about how, when the going gets tough, you find out who your real friends are? (Please note that I am dreadful at recalling colloquialisms, anecdotes, jokes and limericks.)
Wording aside, the saying is true.
The past 6-9 months have been some of my hardest ever, and I learned pretty quickly about those who will be there for me and those who were gone like the wind. (I'm not going to go into those who just disappeared when things going messy here in our home, because this is going to be a positive post about friends.)
I am so honored and blessed to have such a core group of friends who rally around me, providing me with the love, support and encouragement I need.
I even have some awesome friends who are willing to take my kids for me---some or all, and they don't mind which, lol!
Several in this group are women who have traumatized children like mine; whose families are going through the same growing pains of adjustment. These women intimately know the stresses I go through, and I can share my angst with them. They also have awesome senses of humor, and we can laugh about things that most others would probably find. . . distasteful or very disrespectful to our families. But we know it's not such; it's just that when things get really bad, sometimes you just gotta find something to laugh about.
And I then I have a few other friends, who while they are not parents of adoptive children, they are so loving and caring and intuitive, that they just "get" it. Becky is my go-to friend who always listens, never judges, and somehow has the ability to get to the heart of the matter in a few mere moments. Anne Marie doesn't have children and lives 4 hours away, yet when I talk to her, she is always able to put things into a new frame of reference for me, often allowing me to look at a situation with refreshed eyes and heart.
And then there's the world of blogging friends.
Seriously, how did any woman ever get through the pre-and post-adoption journeys without their blogging friends?!?
I have learned a crazy amount from women who are genuine and honest and take the time to share their experiences. Many times someone will leave me a comment which gives me the boost I need to help turn my sinking ship-day around and make things better. I try to do the same for others, because I know how much it helps me.
The coolest thing is that in the months ahead, I get to meet some of these awesome women who have been my support network. Geralyn, Corey, Amy: so excited to meet all of you!
When things are tough, days can sometimes be really long and dark. I have always been one to pull in and shut the world out.
If you are like that, can I just tell you to please, Stop. Take the mantra seriously. Create a core group of rock solid friends for yourself. Your group doesn't need to be Facebook friend cache big. One or two good friends will significantly improve your existence.
It's taken a long time, but my life became so much better when I stopped digging my dark little hidey hole and began seeking out others. And yours will, too.