This past year has been about letting go.
There are many, many things I have had to let go in order to realize my goals and be a happier, more content wife and mother.
Before this past year I made the choice to walk away from a few friends who were not good for me. It’s funny that being over 30 and mommy to young kids and I got sucked into a mean girl clique that we would want our daughters to stay away from. I, smart, mature, person that I am feel into the same traps many teen girls fall into. The same traps that I managed to avoid when I was younger.
A few years ago, my twins were just over a year old. I was home with them full time and most of my friends had been other teachers who had either moved out of state or were working. Everyone was busy and I retreated further inside my mommy role. The only problem? I liked people, I liked talking to other women, and I missed adult interaction. So I joined a women’s bible study at the church we sporadically attended. And eventually formed friendships with a few women close to my age, who had children a little older. I really thought I found what I was needing, a group of women who’d been in the trenches of mommy-hood, we could laugh and support each other. We’d have mommy nights out at one of their houses once or twice a week.
The reality? Mommy nights out were just an excuse to drink and eat a lot. They were also times to give poor dumb me “advice”. They knew it all, they’d been there and they reminded me often that I was a new mommy and really clueless. These nights would sometimes include some kind of home party where I could be talked into buying some dumb thing I didn’t need.
This went on for a little over a year. And then I started working part time and really felt that:
a) these women were not supportive of me mainly they’d criticize me, my husband and tell me all the things I was doing wrong
b) all I did was drink too much -which if you have as many alcoholics in your family as I do-that’s a bad habit
c) this “relationship” caused more problems between my husband and I who were already struggling as it was.
Breaking free of these women wasn’t the hard part. No, the hard part was letting go the guilt and shame I felt because I was so stupid and needy that I let myself be
influenced by them. Stupid and needy. Not very good self talk right? But I judge no one harsher than I judge myself. I also held on to a lot of resentment towards these women who I considered my friends, who I thought were my support group.
It’s been almost two years since I have spent time with these women and it wasn’t until this last fall when I started working full time that I was finally able to forgive. I have forgiven these women in my heart, but I will not ever trust them or spend time with them. Forgiving doesn’t mean I have to let myself be sucked back into that negative place again.
I have forgiven myself for being an open, honest person, who wears her heart on her sleeve. I am soft-hearted, and what I feel is right out there for you to see. I no longer consider this a
flaw that I need to apologize for.
And I forgive her.
You were an overwhelmed new momma of twins, trying to reach out and make friends, and thought you could trust those friends. You did some dumb things, and maybe you should have known better. But I love you and I forgive you.
Positive self image isn’t something that comes natural to me, negative self talk comes much too easily. I’m working on it. But in the meantime I look at what used to be my little chubby babies and see these two amazing, smart, funny, wonderful little people.
And everything else seems pretty pointless.
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