I never miss Natalie's blog, Mommy of a Monster and I am so proud of her presence in the mommy blogging community. If you aren't reading her blog, you are truly missing out.
Natalie is the mother of three; a three-year-old son and one year-old twin daughters. Her writing is witty and heartfelt. She has over 400 followers and claims that I helped her get started, but at this point, we are inspiring each other. After all that's what friends are for....
Thank you, Natalie for guest posting here today and I wish you continued success and hope that I get to see your beautiful face soon, my friend.
The best is yet to be.
Having a "friend" can mean so many different things. Sometimes it is someone you have lunch with everyday at work. Sometimes it is someone you talk to each day either on the phone or by e-mail. Sometimes it is a person whom you've known forever, but don't talk to except a few times a year.
Some friends start out as enemies, or end up as enemies. Friends make us laugh, cry, mad, and happy. They support us, encourage us, and hold us when we cry. Some friends are our "fun" friends, some our counselors and some are like family.
We have different friends for different seasons of our lives. Friends can change when jobs do, or when life does. For instance, when you have a serious boyfriend or get married, you might not hang out with your single friends as much. Or when you are going through a difficult time in your life, you might lean on your friends that have also been through similar situations.
I have known Tonya for about 8 years. I consider her a very good friend of mine. I know what's going on in her life everyday through reading her blog and tweeting with her on Twitter. I know she loves reading, wine, and Dave Matthews Band...music in general for that matter. I know she doesn't cook very often. I know that she's lived and traveled all over the world. I know she lost her parents in a tragic accident. I feel like I know her sister, even though I've never met her. I know Tonya has an amazing group of friends that she's been friends with for years, and they regularly all get together. I know she married an amazing man, had the cutest son you've ever seen and is happy.
But I don't know her favorite color. Or favorite food. Or who gave her her first kiss. I've never met her husband or Lucas. We didn't attend each other's weddings, don't know each other's birthdays, and haven't physically seen each other in years, even though we live less than two hours away from each other. And yet, I still consider her a good friend!
During the years I've known her, there were probably four years that we fell out of touch with each other. We first met while working together at a marketing agency. We worked in different departments and rarely talked shop - when we talked it was always on a more personal level. Oddly enough, we never went to lunch together or saw each other outside of work, and yet we still developed a friendship.
We got back in touch (thank you, Facebook!) shortly before I found out she was pregnant with Lucas. We started chatting about and all things mom. I found out a few months later I was pregnant with the twins and so we got to experience our pregnancies together.
And when Lucas was born, she joined the new and exciting world of motherhood. The joy, excitement, fear, frustration, worrying, and all other emotions that go with it. Like the rest of us, she realized quickly she didn't know what she was doing, but kept doing it anyways. And she's doing it well!
For me and I'm sure many others, when you become a mom for the first time your friendships change. Before I had my son, who is three now, I remember listening to moms praise or complain about their kids and remember thinking "Don't you have anything else to talk about?!". I remember moms saying how hard it was to deal with their toddlers and I would think "How hard could it be? He's a lot littler than you and you're in charge!" Ha! Little did I know that being a mom does not necessarily mean you're in charge!
After having my son, I realized that I was stepping into a new chapter of my life, and everything was changing. My friends that had children already suddenly became people that I needed; I had so many questions, needed so many tips, wanted recommendations on everything. I suddenly understood that I knew nothing about being a mom, and each of my friends stepped up to help me.
And those things that I was afraid to admit to myself and certainly terrified to say out loud? Things like "I don't like my kid today" and "This is not what I had in mind when I wanted to become a mom" or "I'm not sure I can do this", I finally told a close friend, who was an experienced mom, how I was feeling. And she told me it was completely normal! I'm not a bad mom...I'm just a mom!
I think after having children, our friendships become more open; more honest. We aren't afraid to say the wrong thing because we (finally) realize there are no wrong feelings when you are learning something new. And let's face it, motherhood is a constant, ever changing, never ending adventure.
Tonya, I'm glad to be going down the winding, bumpy road with you. We're in for a fun ride!
Happy one year blogoversary, my friend. I look forward to reading Letters for Lucas everyday. It has and will always be one of my favorite blogs. Keep on writing your beautiful words and sharing your experiences, thoughts, and feelings with all of us. And without your encouragement and support I would have never started my blog. So more than mere words can ever say, thank you for the inspiration!