Finding time for Friendship
The older I get, the more I value the friends I have. True friendship as an adult, as a mom, takes time and effort. It isn't easy because we all have so much 'life' spinning around us - our families, our homes, our work (either at home or away from it).
We have carpools and soccer games, dinner times and preschool graduations, doctors appointments and teacher conferences, family vacations and work obligations - to say nothing of taking care of your home, or spending quality time with your kids and significant other.
And yet, we manage. Because our friends matter. They keep us sane, help us navigate the minefield of motherhood and even guide us through pain.
It doesn't matter how you met your 'best friends' - it matters only how you treat them and how they treat you.
Take Brandy Tanner and Dwan Perrin.
They met online. Until this summer, the entirety of their friendship had been via the Internet and phone. And yet, they are there for each other - they share a mutual respect and loyalty.
Brandy on Dwan: "Dwan is extraordinary because she is a single mother of three children. No matter how hard life may be financially and emotionally for Dwan, she is still a Mom who does extraordinary things for her children. She gives all she has to them and tries her best to make money working from home."
Dwan believes her most important job as a mom is to teach unconditional love by example. This is a philosophy she lives daily as she cares for Tapanga who is 11, 7 year old Gabby and almost 3 year old Noah.
It was while dealing with Gabby's extensive medical problems that Dwan moved from the corporate world to working at home full time, while caring for her children. Gabby suffered a pediatric stroke in utero and has since struggled with Cerebral Palsy and Epilepsy. In only her 7 short years, she has had 5 major surgeries - 2 of them on her brain.
With Dwan by her side, Gabby sees 6 specialists and 5 therapists on a regular basis. This is modeling unconditional love. And she constantly supports her family on all levels, "I work from home literally around the clock, in between caring for kids, doctor appointments, running errands, maintaining the house and sleeping."
How is it even possible to balance everything Dwan has on her plate? "I take one day at a time and just when I think I can't handle another day, I remember my children NEED me. I am the one they count on and I know God would never hand me more than I can handle."
And of course, she has Brandy, "We talk daily and learn on each other constantly. I'd be lost without Brandy!"
Dwan on Brandy: "Although Brandy is married, her husband works at least 6 days a week and she basically has to run the home/children on her own. Along with breastfeeding, diaper changing (she has 2 in diapers), dealing with a child with ADHD and juggling business, she makes time to be a best friend to me."
Balancing life as a work at home mom with raising three children - a 6 year old daughter and 2 sons who are 2 and under, Brandy's days are full. And yet, the only thing she would change would be to have her husband around a bit more. She worries about the stress he endures working a 6 day, 50 hour week.
Though she does it all at home and manages a new business, Brandy considers having two small guys in diapers to be one of her biggest challenges, "it seems when I am changing one, the other wants mommy all to himself."
Clearly, being a Mom is a priority for Brandy, "I hope to teach all three of my children that it is ok to make mistakes as long as you learn something from those mistakes and move forward in a positive direction."
Helping her to constantly move in that positive direction: Dwan.
Both Moms are in the midst of managing blogs (visit Dwan and Brandy) and starting new businesses online. Brandy is an online virtual asistant and Dwan will soon be launching her new business - a definite passion for her.
About the Author: Danielle Smith is a mommy to two smart and sassy small people, as well as the founder and primary author of ExtraordinaryMommy.com. You can catch her hosting a brand new live show, The Spin Cycle, on MomTV.com every Wednesday at 9pmEST. She also hosts a show on Blog Talk Radio and contributes to WhyMomsMatter. Danielle is thrilled to be contributing to MomItForward as ‘giving back’ has always been an important part of who she is and what she hopes to teach her children.