Recently a mum in our MOPS group posed the question, “Do you remember life before having kids?” For the next few days it really got me thinking, and these are some of the things I can remember…
- I usually took the stairs if I was in a multi-level building
- Very rarely had the need to use public toilets
- I would go to bed and wake up when I wanted
- My husband and I could go out when we wanted
- I happily went about with a wallet and keys, and a bottle of water (if I could be bothered)
I was also very happy just to hang out with family and friends I knew through my studies, work and church, and didn’t really bother to get to know my neighbours. We would smile in the stairwell, or while waiting for the lift, and that was about it. My husband and I didn’t need anybody else.
Returning to Australia, with a ten- month-old son, it was wonderful to be back in the same city with our extended family. When we weren’t with them I was constantly on the lookout for any kind of interaction with mothers of young children in my neighbourhood. I was desperate to connect with women that I could “just be me” with. A few months later we found ourselves in the music team at church, and before too long we were busy with work and different groups that we were involved in.
Fast-forward seven years and we are living on the other side of Australia with two more children, knowing two other families who don’t live near us. We are all feeling the effects of being away from our Perth network of extended family and close friends. I’m starting my “community circle” (as Shelly Radic refers to it in the Mumology book) from scratch. As I write this I have been through a week of lows like I’ve never experienced before. I can relate to the loneliness that Shelly writes about. It seems that while God has pulled me away from my comfortable situation in Perth, He wants me to know what it’s really like for so many others in my situation. God is also asking me to take the time to deepen some of the friendships that I have formed over the past ten months, even though I have no idea how long I’ll be here for. Of course this means that I also need to deepen my relationship with Him. This song by Matthew West has encouraged me to look to God and beyond myself…to see that others don’t feel alone as I have…
With the ups and downs of the last ten months, and for the future I need to remember Ecclesiastes Chapter 7, verse 14:
When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this:
God has made the one as well as the other.
So many others find themselves in situations much worse than mine, and God has prompted me to consider the gifts of friendship that are forming…
…in our neighbourhood
…through chance meetings at the park and the library
…through the blogging world
God wants me to remember that I am not alone.
Blog Content Manager