Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Playgroup and All That I Have Learned

The last month or so the moms from our apartment complex have been getting together for playgroup. At the beginning it was hard for me to go. I didn't REALLY know these girls. And I was scared and uncomfortable. But, I knew it would be good for me and it really has.

After a few weeks of actually going (instead of sleeping in, taking a long bath, or slumming it on the couch while Hobbit Jo napped). I started to really like it. I got more comfortable and started adjusting her schedule so that her nap would be after playgroup. And rather than going for the 45 minutes that I started with I have started spending hours with these women and I love it.

It has been so eye-opening to learn about different relationships and different styles or opinions. Yet, I feel so uplifted and unified because we are all the same. Just moms and wives and members of the church trying to do our best and looking for friendship far away from home.

Among our weekly chats we've discussed babies and sleeping (or the lack thereof) and Dressing Your Truth (blog post here) and families and technology. Dressing Your Truth has been a frequent conversation whether we are pro-ing or conning it (it depends on the moment) we have learned a lot more about each other and it has really opened me up personally to welcoming them in as friends. But, I've also learned even more about myself.

I've learned that I need to focus on my strengths and acknowledge my weaknesses. Which sounds simple and obvious, except I didn't understand that.

They would always say I looked cute, I was good at sewing, my blog was fun, etc. I would thank them and feel slightly embarrassed because as touched as I was that I was getting the exact compliments I so badly wanted didn't feel deserved because the back of my mind was rattling off all the reasons I didn't deserve admiration. I am messy, I am forgetful, we watch TV a lot, I give my baby hot dogs, I'm so much younger than they are, I am overweight, I tend to exaggerate and occasionally lie in social situations when I feel uncomfortable or disproved of (one of my biggest faults and something I'm working on in my life), I am lazy, and I could go ON AND ON! Each time I got a compliment all of these things would rush to my mind and sadly my heart.

However, the more we have talked the more we've identified ourselves with "types" or tendencies, I felt more accepted and understood, and I have been able to understand that I'm not being judged, I'm not looked down on for being me. I really am a good cook, I really do know how to sew. And I feel cute. Despite my weight, despite my wreck of an apartment - and wouldn't you know it? Since I have become friends with these girls and become comfortable in my environment; our apartment is consistently cleaner, I am a better mom, I get ready more often, (after a passing comment about needing to start exercising by another member of the group) I started exercising again, I started sewing again, I started reading my scriptures and wrote in my journal for the first time since we were dating, and I want to get off the couch, out of the house, and with my friends.

And in a conversation about this blog I realized I didn't have to be the scheduled, original, agonized over with perfect pictures (which I have no way to take with my digital camera that I can stick in my pocket that only has 3 settings; photo, video, and panorama). Why am I competing? This isn't my job. It's my way to share thoughts and experiences. Tales and Bag End has been though an identity crisis. This blog was started as OUR blog, a way to update people on our family and our activities and then I became under the impressing that it was supposed be scheduled, planned, promoted, pinned, perfect. I was no longer free to write a post about how much Hobbit Jo loves to dance and share her binky or blog about my feelings concerning the media and women and it's effect on me. The "mommy blog" world made me feel insignificant and I reshaped my blog to keep up.

So, identity crisis over. I will still be sharing the things I make or love. Not scheduled. Not planned 3 months in advance.

Thank you for reading (I love looking at my stats and seeing that 11 people read my post or hearing that people have looked at our blog; I feel so loved). So thank you again for checking on our family and caring about us. We love you!