The contrast between the two experiences was almost astonishing. My life with Jaden when he was a newborn, me a new mom, versus life with Jax as a newborn and third time mom. The contrast I am speaking of has nothing to do with the difference in the wisdom gained between first and third, the colicky babe versus the easy going one, the quantity and exponential growth of the laundry loads over the years, instead it actually has to do with me and my social life, but not in the way you might suspect. James and I were married right out of college and had Jaden a year and a half later. I had moved to Connecticut and in doing so had left behind family and friends in Massachusetts to start this new chapter of my life. When I had Jaden, I really didn’t know anyone in Connecticut. I hadn’t lived here very long and my work friends lived down on the shore where I taught in Madison. There were no coffee dates with moms, no playdates or playground meet ups, no casseroles dropped off to help with dinner, it really was for the most part just me, James and Jaden.
When I had Jax, I was much more established here in Connecticut. Work friends, gym friends and well, more gym friends. Somehow I was fortunate to not just meet great people to build friendships with myself but also friends that had kids the same ages as my own. The magnitude of this blessing really struck me this morning. James had to work and I wasn’t going to be able to get my long run in with my friend and Sunday running buddy. Without missing a beat, another friend offered to watch all three of my friends so that I could still have my Sunday run. There used to be a time when I was hesitant to take help that was offered, never wanting to put people out. But in recent years I have realized that the old saying, “It takes a village,” couldn’t be more true. I also strongly believe that the more kids you have the more that saying hits home! I gratefully accepted her offer.
I’m so fortunate to be surrounded by thoughtful, caring people. When I am the recipient of gestures like the one that Sunday morning, it makes me eager to be able to reciprocate. I truly think some of the best gifts I have given and received were not tangible objects, but rather experiences, opportunities or a helping hand. I hope you aren’t afraid to take the help when necessary. I hope that we can be the like the best friend you can always rely on, there for you when you need it and honored to be able to help and give your more time for the things and people you love.
Cheers to helping hands!