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Friends For Life

23 April 2010 51 Comments

I am in a book club. It isn’t as much of a book club as an “excuse to get out of the house without kids, drink wine and talk with your girlfriends” club. Sometimes we barely mention the book. I do love that it has reconnected me with a long lost love- reading books, but I love even more that it keeps me connected to women who stand taller than 3’5”.

I moved to my current town about 5 years ago from Chicago. In Chicago I had a strong group of women friends. Mostly moms from my church who fully believed in the concept that it takes a village. We were all in a huge city away from our families of origin and that can be extremely isolating. But we reached out and found each other and those women were a life line to me when I was a new mom. The prospect of moving away from them terrified me. How could I possibly do this mom thing without them?

The town I live in now is a wonderful place to raise a family and I am really happy here. But as anyone who moves here “from the outside” would probably tell you, it is a hard place to move. It isn’t that it is a small town by any means, but it can sometimes feel like it. A lot of people grow up and stay here. And by stay here I mean close to the same neighborhood, with the same childhood friends, and still go to their parents for Sunday dinner every week like the generation before them did. It is a bit difficult to find a place to fit.

So when I moved here I jumped in with two feet. I joined mom’s clubs and playgroups and bible studies. I basically threw all my spaghetti at the wall so I could see what stuck. My playgroup moms stuck. As our kids played together we began to forge tight bonds and a book club was formed. Three years later when it came time to send our kids to school many of us chose different schools. Some private, some public, some charter. Suddenly we didn’t have our kids to hold us together anymore. It got harder and harder to stay close as life became to be more about being a chauffeur and less about pushing our kids side by side on the swing.

It is fitting that our book club book this month is “The Girls From Ames- A Story of Women and a Forty- Year Friendship”. It is a book celebrating a group of women (who happened to grow up close where I grew up) who remained friends from elementary school until adulthood. I also learned that women with close friends are more healthy and physically fit then women who don’t. Even more than women with a fulfilling family life and many children. They will outlive those without many friends by 22 percent.

Friendships are hard work at times, but they can literally be life saving. Or at least life giving. So when being a mom and wife seem all consuming and throwing on some presentable clothes and trekking across town to talk about a book feel like the last thing on earth I want to do. I mean come on, the couch and a pair of pjs are calling my name. I go. Because I NEED these women in my lives. I need to laugh and cry and ask hard questions and talk about the most frivolous things on earth. It is good for my soul.

Jill Anderson is a mother, wife, and blogger. She is a member of the BornFree Mom Panel.

Contest! Share what feeds your soul in the comments. One person will win a Twin Pack of 9oz bottles! View the prize here: http://www.newbornfree.com/Baby-Bottles-142527/Plastic-9oz-142538.aspx


  • Kate Petro said:

    Just started a book club..reading the book “The Power of a Positive Mom”. I LOVE IT! Especially since it’s focused on Christ and uses the bible as a reference! It’s also awesome to chat with my mom fiends and learn new ideas and tactics! :)

  • justine said:

    and i shared!!!!

  • Omni Hampton said:

    This touched my heart because I am a navy wife. It is hard trying to stay friends with someone when we have to move almost every three years. We are about to move to Japan come June and I am already crying. I just told myself that I can keep in touch with the women who would want to keep in touch. I have one friend that no matter where we moe we are there for each other.Her husband got out of the navy two years ago and we still stay in touch. I forgot to mention that I am a military brat so friends for me are hard to find. So thanks for writing this, it seems like it was right on time.

    I shared!

  • justine said:

    i don’t know what happened to my comment?? oh well. friends are amazing and help you through all of life’s ups and downs! instead of a book club, we have a walking/workout club. it’s so great to just get out and walk with friends. we are all mommies, but our little one’s are all different ages, some not so little!

  • Nastassia Escobar said:

    i use to be in a book club but no one could make it at the same time so we kind of just washed it out… but i would love to start a new one down here… if i could find enough people that love to read as much as do and love to read what i love to read… i read every night once the kids are asleep… and when they nap…

    to be honest i have three real friends… Chris Tina, and Toni… they are awesome… love them so much… my best friend is my mom… she is everything to me, i can talk to her, cry with her, and vent when i need to… some people don’t have that with their moms and i feel totally blessed that i have that…

    i shared on twitter cuz its not letting me on facebook…
    ill try sharing on facebook later…

  • melissa brown said:

    My friends are my life. THey are my support system and i wouldn’t know what to do without them. They are definitley work but worth every second of it.

  • melissa brown said:

    i shared

  • Michelle Bunn said:

    It would be really hard to move away from family and what you are used to. True friends are hard to come by, esp when you have health problems. I likeed your article!

  • Elizabeth Smith said:

    Friends are SO good for your soul. I am one of the grew up and stayed breed in my town and I still have very few mom friends. My area doesn’t have a lot of mom clubs or book clubs for moms, but maybe I should try to start one! I have realized in the last few months that I have become consumed with my children and have pretty much excluded all else. I need some grown up time! :)

  • Elizabeth Smith said:

    I shared!

  • kristen said:

    It is definitely hard keeping in touch with friends, thats for sure as I haven’t moved but just kind of lost all friendships and it is hard not having at least that one special friend to talk to about everything! But in the end some times you can grow awesome friendships with your children too, because honestly I tell my mom everything she is my best friend! But I have been reconnecting with old friends and it really does make you feel good!!

  • kristen said:

    I shared!!! :)

  • Joyce said:

    I try and stay connected with my friends (some I have had since childhood), but it is hard because they don’t have children and we have grown apart. I just keep making the phone calls and leaving those voicemails hoping that someone will call me back. I never thought of a book club, but maybe that should be something to look into as I have picked up reading again.

  • Joyce said:

    I shared.

  • Patricia Stacer said:

    I love this article. I love being able to call up my other mom friends and know that I will get total understanding from them when I am having the worst mom moments. It’s just not the same when you call up your husband to talk about how you found your child covered in poop after his nap….you just don’t get the same response and sympathy.

  • Elizabeth Keller said:

    Yikes. I am one of those small-town girls who has lived here my whole life. I hope I am accomodating to those who move here! I really haven’t paid attention because I am so busy with (you know) kids, work, house, husband, etc. After reading this, I will make it a point to say hi to the new moms that move in (once I notice!!) Thanks for the post!

  • Elizabeth Keller said:

    I shared!

  • Angela Dirks said:

    We moved away from our small town families and friends for our careers before starting a family. Our daughter is 5 months old and is surrounded by many ‘aunts and uncles’. Family can be those that you surround yourself with and we ‘feed our souls’ by making time for our friends and ‘family’ with playdates for kiddos and adults. Even a 45 min non-alcoholic ‘happy hour’ at our house after a day at work is just what we need to stay connected.

  • Larissa said:

    I love the book club idea! I was in one years ago long before kids and after reading this I realize how much I miss it. We moved recently and I don’t know anyone here yet, but just talking on the phone with my mom and some of my other mom friends has been such a help! I have four kids under three so time is precious, so making time for myself is just something I’m going to have to make a priority! Thanks for the article :)

  • Larissa said:

    I shared!

  • Angela said:

    I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve moved and had to leave friends and wow the older you get the harder it is to make new ones. I struggle with it ALL the time.

  • Angela said:

    I shared on facebook too!

  • Amanda Cruz said:

    My husband and 4 children feed my soul. I am very lucky to have a wonderful husband who is my best friend! My children make me laugh every day! Laughter also feeds my soul! I am very blessed.

  • Karen B said:

    My family feeds my soul! I love my friends, too and it’s wonderful to love and be loved!

  • ashley said:

    family and friends feed my soul! and of course my friends at MOPS every other Monday morning! great article too, thanks.

  • Amie said:

    I haven’t quite found that yet. I’m still kid of a fish out of water when it comes to the ladies at my church.

  • Nicole N said:

    This reminds me how much I wanted to join a bookclub! I’ve tried, even tried organizing my own, but it just never comes to be… I just love curling up with a book, but don’t have the time to do it as much as I’d like.

  • Nicole N said:

    i shared on fb too!

  • Summer said:

    Wow very touching. Its been a struggle to keep friends with the many events that have happened in my life. This encourages me to step out and open up to the world around me.

  • Kelly Sanderson said:

    Its definately hard keeping in touch with friends when everyone has their own busy life. We just moved almost 2 months ago and we moved from a town that I grew up in my whole life and all my friends were from grade school so moving almost 2000 miles away was a big adjustment, I need to find some other mommies in this area to make friends with and for my kids to have friends! This story is a motivator!:) Thank you!

  • Kelly Sanderson said:

    I shared!

  • angela tuttle said:

    While I am lucky enough to never have moved I was the first of my friends to have a baby which left me isolated and feeling alone I dove into mommy and me activities and found a great group of mothers to relate to and enjoy the company of other adults

  • Charice Adams said:

    Army Wives usually stick to themselves and their families until a big deployment arrives. At that point we all scramble looking for someone with similar hobbies and interests and of course children near the same ages. The past deployment, my best friend and I FINALLY “found” each other. We have known each other for years, but because of the deployment realized we both needed a great friend just to survive! Now that the men are back, we still “feed” each others souls with similar interests in blogs, books, movies, and of course our kids! This may not be the answer you were looking for, but the way I interpreted my answer to your question. =)

  • Ashley P said:

    I have a group of moms that I met in a pregnancy water aerobic class. I don’t know what I would do without them

  • Trent P said:

    It is nice when people help each other

  • Jaclyn Schulz said:

    I shared :) ! Friends are an amazing gift! They definetly feed your soul!! LOVE EM’!

  • Heather D said:

    Wow, that story was inspiring. I just started getting together with a group of friends who each have children the same age as my daughter. It is nice to do something for both my daughter and I every week. Before I had children, it was hard to keep friends because they either are not married, don’t have kids, or are just to busy with work and their own social lives that it made it hard to get together. I am happy that the moms that I get together with every week share the same values, morals, and also stay at home with their kids too. It makes it so much easier to relate to them. This story made it really hit home for me and showed me that friends are truly important to have. Thank you for the story.

    P.S. The story made me cry even though it was not sad, I just got to thinking about how much my friends have touched my life.

  • Jaclyn Schulz said:

    I shared! :) Friends are an amazing gift! They definetly feed the soul!! LOVE EM’!!

  • ANNA M said:

    I Need a Group of Mommy’s Like This to Hang out With This would Be Great , Im a Mother to Now 7 Children

    HEAVENANDUS7 From Twitter
    ANNA MOSLEY From Facebook

  • Yesica Bravo said:

    I have to say that my husband and my children feed my soul. I live away from my friend and family so they are all I have sometimes.

  • Carlee said:

    I shared on Facebook too!

    I LOVE singing in choir. ANY choir. “Feeling” harmony is an amazing experience. That’s what feeds my soul. And, my 6 month old daughter has been participating since she was in-utero…loves to watch the director’s hands and sing with us. The choir loves her too!

  • Kate (This Mom) said:

    I laughed when you said sometimes you barely mention the book…I’m in a book club as well, and while we really do read the books, and we’ve gotten together every 6 weeks for going on two years now, there are nights when we spend less than 5 minutes discussing the actual book. It is the friendships and the mom/girl time that’s really important, and since we do read the books, it is helping us grow as readers and thinkers as well. Great post!

  • Ashley and Baby Elijah said:

    I only have a couple really close friends so I definitely understand book club get-togethers. I have moved several times and lost good friends so the ones I have are very dear to me. But no one is as special to me as my sweet baby boy Elijah Jacob, Happy 6 month birthday EJ!!

  • Eleanor Simpson said:

    Army Wives is a great drama tv series and i watch it often after my day job.~;”

  • Julia Mason said:

    i used to watch Army Wives but our TV Station did not continue this tv series`:`

  • Plastic Pond said:

    it is sometimes kinda sad to watch some episode of Army Wives specially when there is a dead soldier ,:;

  • Peter Ireson said:

    [Trackback] … BornFreeMom » Blog Archive » Friends For Life … [Trackback]

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