When I was pregnant with Katie, Dan and I went through membership classes at our former church. We met a woman in the class who told me about a mom’s club she was in, and she invited me to join when my baby was born. Inwardly, I scoffed at the idea. I didn’t think I was quite the mom’s club type. I always thought it was a little too sorority-ish for me. Not that I’m against sororities. I was in a sorority in college, you know! I just thought a mom’s club wasn’t my thing.
Turns out it IS my thing, because I was blessed enough to join that group of women and find they were REAL and honest. Not the type of women who try to one-up each other and require you to attend playgroup with a skirt and makeup on – unless you really feel like doing it on your own! (WHO can do that without killing herself, anyway?! With the exception of Mary and Danielle, of course.)
I’m still in the group, but often run into former members who graduated when their kids went into Kindergarten. These women would always reminisce and say how nice it would be to get together with everyone again. So instead of saying “some day” over and over, I decided to get off the pot (so to speak) and plan a reunion. It was this past Saturday night, and it was spectacular!
I invited every current member of the group, plus most of the past members I still keep in touch with. About 20 of us showed up, and one mom even traveled back from Florida. At one point that night, I looked at the women around me and felt my heart overflowing with gratitude for all they taught me.
In the early days of living with an infant, these women taught me all the things my mom couldn’t: how to nurse and wean a baby, how to get her to sleep through the night, how to wash stains out of onesies, how to ask for help without feeling ashamed. The group was a lifeline for me as I fought postpartum depression and wanted so desperately to run away from my life. They showed me (with good AND bad examples) how to mother a child and speak so my toddler would listen. Some of the women became my best friends, and the closest thing I have to my own family in this town. It was an honor to sit and watch these women at the party as they reconnected and shined their lights in my life again.
I made party favors for everyone, and was so excited to give them to the ladies. The first favor was an idea I got from Holly’s stitch/craft blog. I printed a favorite quote on cardstock, cut paper and sewed it down the spine to create a little journal. Part of this quote says, “As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” That captures my feelings for this group of women. Their wisdom and radiance broke through many of my darkest days.
Then I found this fan-freaking-tastic idea for personalized hand sanitizers at the Idea Room, and made some for the party. The quote I used is from the musical Wicked, and was perfect for these women: “So much of me is made of what I learned from you.”
My friend Michelle took most of the party planning off my plate. She bought all the decorations and supplies (cups, napkins, plates) and brought them to me in a big bin. All I had to do was set everything out and have the party! Words cannot express how indebted I am to her for this. She made the cutest centerpieces. Those flowers have all kinds of sweet quotes about friendship written on them.
I think all the moms had a fun time at the party, and I had so much fun hosting it!
“I thank my God every time I remember you.” Philippians 1:3