Y’all, can we just chat for a second about churros? I have lived in San Antonio for about 4 years now, and I only just discovered the culinary genius that is churros. Fried cinnamon sugar bread topped with a delicious sauce of my choice? YES, PLEASE. I moved to a neighborhood near the Medical Center this past summer, and noticed a churro truck down the road from my house. Those folks know me there now. I’ve had the joy of explaining to more than one churro-artist about The Bachelor, because sometimes I order 15 mini churros and 6 sauces for Bachelor viewings with my mom friends, and they always ask me what they’re for, like they’re concerned I’ll eat them all myself. I mean, anything is possible though, right?
I’m a local doula and childbirth educator, so I don’t know the first thing about being a food blogger. I take great pride in my ability to hold a full conversation around birth, food, or reality TV. I have found myself, just this past year, dissatisfied with surface-level friendships. I feel like being a mom of littles has made it so much more difficult to forge deep connections, because we’re all just so distracted. We’re sleep-deprived, exhausted, touched out, and drowning in laundry. We try to have play dates in an effort to connect, only to be constantly interrupted by kids that no longer remember how to play with others, and continually ask for snacks. We’ve all been there, right?
I know this isn’t the only problem though. I have often wondered what it is about mom-life that has made it much harder for me to cultivate deep friendships, and I think I have figured it out. We’re not connecting because we’re not trying to! We get together and we talk about our kids, our busy schedules, our dinner menus, our jobs, our laundry piles, and we forget to talk about ourselves! We forget to ask our friends questions that get to the root of who they are, without all the baggage. We’re totally missing the point of connection! Remember what it feels like when you share something intimate about yourself, maybe something you are struggling with, and the person you’re talking to says, “me too”? That is such an empowering feeling.
Even in this COVID-19 weirdness, when we’re all desperately craving face-to-face interaction, I am tempted to scroll Instagram or Facebook to feel connected. The funny thing is, I don’t feel connected at all after those scrolling sessions. I feel a lighter wallet, after being influenced to buy things, like vertical planters, a sourdough bread making kit, and a washable tablecloth that doubles as a giant coloring page. I feel anxious from reading all the negative news headlines. I feel like I’m not doing enough when I see other parents showing off the creative projects and homeschool tasks they accomplished that day with their kids. I feel lonely when I see photos of my family and friends. I feel sad when I see all the events I have been looking forward to get canceled. I know this is all normal, and it’s all okay. I also know that the social media scroll is a poor substitute, at best, for actual conversation. Instead of scrolling, I feel much more connected when I use Marco Polo to send video messages back and forth with friends, or plug my headphones in and call a friend to chat while I fold laundry, or hop on a video call for a virtual happy hour after the kids’ bedtime.
I’ve decided 2020 is the year of mom-friendships. The year I will cultivate community with people that I can be my full self with. The year I’ll show up (once this quarantine is over… and probably with churros) and commit to asking more questions and being more vulnerable. Can we pledge to stop pretending to have it all together, together? Can we gather in each other’s homes, eat frozen pizza off of paper plates, and talk and laugh, while the kids destroy the play room? Can we send a digital Starbucks gift card to a friend whose kiddos are sick, so they can treat themselves at the drive thru? There is so much richness in a community where we take care of one another, and show up no matter what, in big and seemingly small ways. How would it change our mothering if we had real relationships with friends in these same trenches? How would it change our mental health, our self love, our marriages, our faith lives, and our homes? Let’s dive in to deep community. Who’s with me?