Posts Tagged ‘friends’

The Mom/Parent Network

Monday, September 4th, 2017

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
When Jack was a baby, I had a group of moms I could count on to ask questions about parenting. My sisters were my go-to ladies, but my local friends were usually immediately available. It was so nice to have the support when a child got sick and ask questions about the best things to do to make them feel better, tips on how to settle down a screaming baby, play dates, and preferences on items my friends thought were good/safe.

When Jack got a little older, and we had our second child, we lived in a new town. The close-knit support from the military wives group was extremely beneficial during those first few months of exhaustion and stress. We were showered with meals, gifts, play dates for Jack, and long term friendships that I am grateful for. Once I felt I had my life back together, I did my best to help out others and make sure they received the same support I did.

Fast forward to today, another new town, and our first attempt at civilian life. We’ve spent the last year making new friends and neighbors. My boys are developing new friendships that can last even longer, because we don’t have to move every 3 years. We’re finding the same support here, if not better, just like we did ten years ago. We found a car pool, babysitters, and even neighborly gifts on my doorstep to brighten my day. Our neighbors keep watch over our home when we’re gone and check in on us if we are sick or need help. I do my best to reciprocate these acts of kindness. I’m a big believer in karma. It’s truly a blessing to have these special people in my life.

Despite the cliché, it takes a village to keep up with schedules, work, and life. I’m very fortunate to be surrounded by the love and support of family and friends. I try to live my life and treat people the way I would want to be treated. I hope I can be a contributing member of our village.

Henry’s House

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

From Friday Mom – Erin:

Rory has a new idol.

We went to a party at my husband’s colleague’s house on Sunday afternoon.  They have three kids, ages 12, 10, and 5.  They had quite clearly been instructed to make the other kids feel comfortable and at home.  Rory hit it off with the 10 year old boy splendidly.

Or should I say he shadowed him.  They ate snacks, Rory watched video games, and they shared a chair watching movies.  Rory was so in awe of his new big kid friend.  He hug out in the basement playroom without being his typical shy and uncertain self.  He never once came looking for us, and when it was time to leave he went back to say goodbye to Henry three different times.

I was proud of him for being such a big kid.  And it also made me realize just how important it is to expose him to older, well-behaved role models.  While I don’t know we’ll be back to “Henry’s House” any time soon, I do think we’ll keep trying to expose him to great examples.  Perhaps a trip to see his cousins is in order soon!

Drama Queens

Monday, November 7th, 2016

Haley played with a friend the other day, a girl from school she usually gets along with great. The afternoon started off fine, but a couple of hours into it, the girls starting bickering. The other mom and I heard constant whining and complaints of “cheating” and “lying.” We implored the girls to work things out on their own, with mixed results. By the end of the day, the moms had had enough.

It’s weird and tough as a parent when you have to keep a neutral stance on kids’ disagreements. To be completely honest, I thought the other girl was in the wrong quite a bit. She made up games and designed the rules in her own favor. When Haley suggested they play something simple like “I Spy”, her friend said that was a baby game and that Haley was a baby. Haley later told me, babies don’t even talk so how can that be a baby game? A great point, I think! In no way am I saying that Haley is perfect. But she always wants things to be fair and she recognizes that hurting other people’s feelings is not nice. I realize how I sound here, but it’s true! And I’m proud of her.

I hope that Haley and her friend will make up at school today and things will go back to normal between them. Kids have short memories when it comes to drama. Usually it’s their own levels of hunger or sleepiness that affect their interactions more than anything. With some time and distance, surely they will remember how much they like each other.

Thank You For Being a Friend

Friday, August 26th, 2016

From Friday Mom – Erin:
We witnessed an interesting shift for Rory this week.  He said good-bye to many of the older children in his class who are graduating to Pre-K in other schools, and started to welcome his old classmates into his new classroom.  However, his initial reaction was anything but welcoming.

In fact, he was downright mean to his friends.  It made me cringe:  watching him scream, in front of his friends and their parents, that he didn’t want his old classmates to join him in his new room.  He did this, of course, as his sister was running around like a crazy person, making it even harder to pull him aside and discuss the matter quietly with fewer histrionics.


We got through that rough morning, and have been talking to him since then about talking through his feelings.  First and foremost, we have explained to him that the very best thing he can be is a good friend.  That means–we explained–being nice to our classmates and not saying things that hurt their feelings.  We also gave him options for how to be more polite if he doesn’t want to play with his classmates or if he wants to do something different for a time period, such as asking for space or simply saying, “no thank you, I am doing this right now, instead, but maybe we can play later.”  

I am sure he will keep working on it, and we most certainly will encourage him to verbalize his emotions and feelings a bit more.  Thankfully, when he remains calm he is more than able to do exactly that.  

And, in the interim, I will be sure to apologize to his friends’ parents on his behalf. . .

“Eat my Bubbles”

Wednesday, June 15th, 2016

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
I knew, before we moved, that our neighborhood has a swim team. My friend recommended it for my kids because her children absolutely love it. It’s a very casual, organized team that competes during the month of June.

I asked Jack if he was interested in joining the swim team. After thinking for a minute, he said he’d like to sign up. We moved to the neighborhood two days after swim practice started, which was a little confusing for our “new kid,” but he meshed well with his teammates and coach.

My husband was ecstatic that Jack wanted to join a swim, team since he was on one every summer as a kid. I was happy to find a new activity to get Jack involved in right away so he could meet new friends (and to give myself a chance to meet people as well.)

Jack practices every morning for an hour and has meets on Thursday evenings. Jack decided to watch the first meet so he could get a feel for the experience. He swam in the second meet last week and enjoyed every second. Although things were very chaotic, and we’re learning how to read the heat sheets, he enjoyed his first meet and even earned a third place ribbon. He is by no means a Michael Phelps, or the best on the team, but he is having a blast, and that is what counts.

Besides the ribbons, donuts, and games on Fridays, Jack truly enjoys the sport. He is getting great exercise, social interaction, learning the proper strokes, and gaining healthy competitive experiences. I’m not sure if he’ll stick with it, but whatever his choice may be, I support him 110%.

Play Date

Monday, January 4th, 2016

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
Forget Christmas! For Haley, one of the most exciting events of the holiday season was a highly anticipated play date with a classmate of hers from school, Dylan. Haley and Dylan are great friends, but for the past few months, I hadn’t had a chance to connect with his parents. So a few weeks ago, after much persistent clamoring from Haley and even from Dylan whenever I saw him, I tracked down his mom’s information and we set it up.

Over the weekend, I escorted Haley to Dylan’s place and we had a really fun time. Haley and Dylan played in his new (cardboard) spaceship acquired at Christmas. His mom and I got along famously and had fun comparing notes on the kids. They even enjoyed a fun lunch of pigs in a blanket—Haley never tried that before! There was also a cuddly dog in attendance. What’s not to love?

Although I don’t always feel like setting up play dates, I’m glad I got over my laziness for this one! Haley was so delighted to socialize with her friend outside of school. I was glad to make a new acquaintance too. Hopefully there will be a lot more socializing for us in 2016—I just have to remember to be open to it.

Have a great week!

Family and Friend Support

Wednesday, November 18th, 2015

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
My family is my rock. I can always rely on them for support, especially my husband. They always offer a shoulder to cry on even if it’s via phone or text. They listen to me vent on occasion, and they lift me up when I am down. As a military spouse, times can be very hard. As I’ve mentioned before, I live far away from family, but unlimited talk and text are wonderful little luxuries. I’m so appreciative for everything my family does to help me out.

I have no local relatives, so when I need help picking up the kids or being two places at once, I rely on my trusted network of friends. I have made great friends over the years in the Navy, and now that my kids are in school and sports, I’ve befriended some local families who were generous enough to take me in under their wings and provide an extra hand when needed. I can’t thank them enough.

I’m thankful for the relationships I’ve been blessed with over the years. The support, encouragement, and love my family and friends provide to me is something I value. I hope I give the same back as they give to me.



First Crush

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
A new family moved into our neighborhood recently. My husband works with the father, and I know the mother from social circles. She and I decided to get our kids together for a play date. Tate is a very sociable young boy so he was excited to go to our new friend’s house. The only thing different about this play date, is that it was with girls.

I planned to drop Tate off for an hour or so, but ended up chatting with the mom for longer than I was planning to. We know a lot of mutual military friends so we were catching up over the last five years or so. Tate and his new friend, Livi, seemed to get a long well. Every time Tate would pass by me while playing, he had the cutest grin on his blushing face. I think he felt a little shy playing at an all girls house. Livi has two older sisters who were relaxing and doing their own thing. He quickly learned that girl toys aren’t always dolls and princesses. He built a huge tower, played soccer out back, did tricks with their dog, and even attempted roller-skating.

Since our play date, Tate hasn’t stopped talking about Livi. Everyday I pick him up from school, he tells me about what they played on the playground and how they sat near each other at lunch. Everyday we drive by Livi’s house, Tate begs to go back to play. Jack likes to tease Tate about having a girlfriend. Tate can’t keep the smile off his face when Livi’s name is brought up. It’s so innocent, and I find it adorable. I hope it’s a long time before he brings home his first serious girlfriend. For now, I love that he is making new friends and learning to play well with others.

Unexpected Playdate

Monday, June 22nd, 2015

From Monday Mom – Neetika:

Last week, Haley, Hudson and I took a trip to the library. I knew it would rain that afternoon, so I packed up the kids in the morning and headed out. I planned for us to arrive there immediately following the extremely chaotic Children’s Storytime, and my strategy worked beautifully. We nearly had the run of the place.

Fortunately, we weren’t quite alone. There was another mother with her daughter and son, around the same ages as my kids. At first we all stayed to ourselves, but then the other little girl, Cora, approached Haley to see if she wanted to play with her. It was really cute. I was so happy because often when we’re out, Haley seeks to make friends and unfortunately, not all little kids are receptive. Haley and Cora read books together and Cora continually resisted her mom’s attempts to leave. Cora asked if the girls could have a playdate and her mom said, ‘yes, we can do that one day.’ Since it was approaching noon, I told Cora’s mom that they were welcome to come over for lunch. I was thrilled when she accepted! I think it takes some blind faith, for both parties, to have an at-home playdate when you’ve only met twenty minutes before. Being that we met at the library with kids in tow, chances are slim that anyone is any danger, you’d hope! Worst that can happen is you discover that your families are not compatible.

Luckily, we all got along great. Haley got a little frustrated with the younger Cora, but I reminded her that as the older girl, it’s important to be patient. The mom and I had a few things in common and had fun comparing notes on our kids. We look forward to getting together again.

I’m so glad we went to the library that day and made some new friends. There are so many times I’d rather not venture out or be social, but there’s a lot of fun to be had when we do. Never know who we might meet!


Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
It is hard for me to find time to spend with my friends. I used to have regular plans with several small groups. We would play games, meet for military spouse outings, or enjoy a glass of wine. Our time together was something I looked forward to. I love my children tremendously, but socializing with friends (sans children) really helps my sanity. Now that my husband started his new job and is often out of town, I’m having a hard time getting out on my own.

I see some of my friends when we drop off our children at school. However, the conversation is fleeting, and there is usually another child, event or appointment that is pulling us away. Oftentimes, when it’s convenient for me to schedule a time to meet up, it isn’t always the best timing for someone else. Everyone has busy schedules and unfortunately, that’s life.

So, when my friend invited me to lunch the other day, I couldn’t have been happier. The timing was perfect. I needed to socialize with a pal without any interruptions. My friend’s boys are the same ages as mine, our husbands work out of town a lot, and our extended families live far, far away. We have a lot in common, and it’s refreshing to listen to one another and learn how to be a better mom and a wife. It is nice to know that somebody else is going through the same challenges I am. Spending just an hour chatting with a friend made the world of a difference. I left the restaurant with a positive attitude and a smile on my face.