We moved into our house when I was seven months pregnant. I didn’t know a soul and was hours from my own family. While I could, I’d spend mornings walking the neighborhood. It was hot, mid-August.
As I waddled around the corner, a minivan stopped. Out jumped a tall woman with long dark hair. “Hi,” she said, “I’m Holly. Are you Cary?” “Yes.” I said, not knowing how she knew my name as I didn’t know anyone in the neighborhood. But, I probably was the only pregnant person. So, I guess she figured it out. In a small town, word travels as fast as drying nail polish. (It’s about as sticky, too. But, that’s another story for another time.)
As a new mom in a new town, I floundered alone.
My family lives in another state and my mother died almost 17 years ago. I didn’t find much comfort from my husband’s family. They offered support and help, but tragically, his parents died within a year after the birth of each child. So, those losses added grief to the mix of emotions, not just for me, but also for my husband’s entire family.
Let’s just say my neighbor became a true angel. She provided the kindness and compassion that I’d missed since losing my mom.
Her children are older than mine but she is familiar with the isolation of mothering young children. When on the verge of a mommy meltdown, she’s ready to lend a helpful hand or a kind word. She patiently replies to text messages that I send during the week. Even when I send one at a ridiculously late hour. (How did moms survive without text messages?)
So, here it goes. Thank you dear friend…
For helping me survive postpartum depression, not once, but twice.
Only a fellow mom could understand, and not laugh, at the tears shed by a mom with postpartum depression. The worries and the sometimes insurmountable feelings of caring for a new baby are real. But some moms like me become a little more undone.
For helping me when I was overwhelmed with one and then two little boys.
She never hesitates to send an encouraging word or even appear at my door.
For listening to my germaphobe worries, as well as bringing fluids and sustenance when my family was sick.
A true friend saves you and your family when the whole house is sick. I was completely unprepared when all three boys (including my husband) were horribly ill. It was only a matter of time before it struck me. And I didn’t want to pass on the germs. So, she volunteered to make a stop at the store. Thankfully, our house has a garage where she dropped off some supplies. In a world before Amazon delivery, she became a lifesaver.
For providing parenting advice when I’m lost or concerned.
We’ve all been there, right? You’re concerned about your child. But, a good friend explains that it’s a phase and that all kids go through it.
So, thank you dear friend for taking on the burden of my self-loathing, my complaints, my tears, my anxiety, and my quirky humor. Thank you for being a cheerleader when I needed it and listening to me when I felt I didn’t have a voice.
Every mom, every woman, should have a friend like you.