When we moved here almost four and a half years ago I was lonely. Really really lonely. Having left a wonderful group of friends, a job I enjoyed and a church we loved I wasn't sure what to do with myself. I looked forward to staying home with Ben but the adjustment from working mom to stay at home mom was tougher than I thought. Ben was an incredibly erratic sleeper and I was bored a lot of the day. My most adult conversations were those I had with Andrew when he was home or my good buddies at the local hardware store who patiently walked me through how to paint our house.
Eventually every room had a fresh coat, including the kitchen cabinets and I ran out of projects to keep me busy. Ben started getting more interactive and we were totally enamored with his every move but I still felt lonely. The highlight of most weeks were either dinners with his parents or with two of his high school friends that also lived in the area. I ran a lot and took a lot of walks but Ben wasn't quite big enough for the playground or storytime so meeting other moms was hard to do.
After about a year though, I needed things to change and God moved a young family into the area with a little boy just a few months younger than Ben. They attended our church, came to a small group and we arranged a play date. One play date turned into two, then three and four and now three years and two more kids (for both of us) later we are still playing strong.
It was incredibly helpful that by this time Ben was walking and able to actually do things at the playground so I started staking out the local parks. Within walking distance of our first house here there are five different playgrounds and with all of those playgrounds come children..and their moms. As Ben grew up, I did as well. I became more confident in my own skills as a mom, pregnant with Caleb and ready to make sure my children were well socialized.
Four and half years later I have what Andrew enjoys calling, "The Mom Squad." Over the last few years I've picked up moms at the playground, a local mom's group, the library,running, and now preschool. Play dates at each other's houses are the norm. My first time hosting in our new house brought four moms and about thirteen children. As laughter ran through my house I felt so blessed by how full my days have become. During the summer we enjoyed picnics at a local playground where each of my children had four or five different kids to play with. The kids all share snacks and toys as the mom squad and I share frustrations over sleeping, eating or just enjoy one another's company.
Life in Fredonia now is not boring. I rarely go a day without seeing a familiar face and my children are blessed to have so many other wonderful children to grow up with. When Hannah was born I received meals every other day for almost six weeks and most of them came from other moms who are busy with their own little ones. I even received a gift certificate for someone to clean my house! The village mentality in Fredonia is strong. I know if I need anything I have a list of people in my phone that will come and help. I trust the mom squad with my kids and feel so thankful to have each of them in my life.