When my children were very young, and I was much younger, I felt like everything we saw – or so it seemed – was geared towards making us need more. Want more. Be more. I often thought I was never just good enough in society’s or even in my own eyes. And I know I wasn’t alone (then or now), though I’d often felt that way. And, still today, as a mother, the messages we receive could drown out even the most self-confident of us.
And so, when I happened upon a group of Moms early in my parenting life, a group who happened to make me feel like I might be doing something right, I held on for dear life. Perhaps we all did. While we could. We went through an awful lot together, this group. From teething, potty training, sibling rivalry and our first time leaving our children with someone who wasn’t family, to the more serious events of the time – The DC Sniper and September 11th. It was a time before cell phones were common to everyone, and our need to communicate with each other was balanced by the equally important need to leave the lines open so that our spouses could get through to let us know they were ok. Balance. That might be the greatest of gifts we receive from others, the gift of balance.
Then, just as now, our economic realities were not the same. Yet, I never felt judged. I never felt left out. I never felt like I wasn’t good enough. And I don’t think others in the group did either. I’d like to think this group of women was unique. And is unique. I think it was the closest I have ever been to a sisterhood of women, in great part due to the common experience that is motherhood, as overwhelming as perhaps any other experience I have ever had. The option of failure was not, and never will be, an option. The need for an army of women was never greater, though the need has never really gone away and neither has the residual ‘good feeling’.
And so after years apart, and many life experiences, even today, after years of not seeing each other, and with little contact with so many save the occasional text or note, I still carry with me these wonderful women, the ones who still make me feel good enough.