On being vulnerable, finding “my village” and dinner parties

Leah VachaniHealthy Mind & Spirit, Motherhood, Personal Growth

For all the moms reading this blog, this post is for you. Actually, I’m pretty sure it’s for me and is the cheapest form of therapy right now but if it benefits someone else who is reading it then that is a bonus. I feel like sooooo many other moms feel the way I’m feeling right now, and probably quite often, but we just don’t seem to talk about it. How am I feeling you ask? Well, I’m so glad you want to hear *wink and gratifying sigh*.

I’ve cried twice this week and it’s only Monday

Yeah. That could be construed as pathetic, and for the record, let’s just put it right out there – I’m NOT on my period. I know someone would like to attribute it to that.

I am going to make myself extremely vulnerable here and talk about it. I’m going to talk about how scary it feels that I don’t feel like I have anyone I can talk to. I’m crying because I feel so alone. Even with all the technology and ways we can connect at all sorts of hours these days I have never felt so alone. We only recently joined an amazing community after a cross-country move, and I can tell that there are some amazing women with whom I could see myself connecting with in the future, but these things take time. Or do they?

[bctt tweet=”Have you ever found yourself staring at your phone with something weighing heavy on your heart and wondering “who could I call or text?” But then you realize you don’t feel like you can call or text anyone in your contact list? ” username=”lunchwithleah”]

Have you ever found yourself staring at your phone with something weighing heavy on your heart and wondering “who could I call or text?” But then you realize you don’t feel like you can call or text anyone in your contact list? Being vulnerable is the scariest place to be. How many times have you cried and not felt like you had anyone to talk to about it? At what point do you consider a friend “close enough” to open up with on a level where you lay out your vulnerabilities and fears on the table? On the flip side, how many of my “friends” are struggling on the inside and I have NO IDEA because they are too scared to share with me? Why is it so hard to be real with each other? This girl is far from being all smiles and glitter each day!

Having a “Village” does not refer only to raising kids!

My whole life I had this feeling like “it’s me against the world”. Then, when I met my (now) husband I subconsciously gave him complete control over how I felt. If he made me smile, then I felt happy. If he didn’t live up to my expectations, then I felt sad, or resentful. If he didn’t live up to my expectations of what I thought a relationship should be I would feel angry, or frustrated, or even depressed.

So when I decided to start a new career I was expecting him to be my cheerleading section and do all the emotional heavy lifting. He has never been a cheerleader. I mean that in the literal and figurative sense. So why after 16 years of being with him can’t I figure that one out? He’s never going to be my cheerleader. (There were a lot of tears associated with this dependency until I realized that he is just not that person.)

Enter “The Village”. Moms! This is SO important!! Having “your village” is critical for survival. Many, many years ago, living within a group of people all fulfilling different agrarian, hunting, gathering, and engineering skills used to be critical for survival in literal terms. Now, as our society has advanced in many ways it isn’t necessarily critical in that sense anymore. But for our emotional and social survival, having a group of supportive people surrounding you is absolutely critical.

I have to find my cheerleaders, my shoulders to cry on, my reality checkers, my “say it how it is” peeps, my motivators…I have to find “My Village”.

I can’t expect my husband to be all of these people all of the time. It’s not fair to him or me. Besides, the more people I include in my village the more diverse, unique, and colorful my experiences will be. And the more I will grow.

And I have to find these people IN PERSON. Online groups, blogs, communities are WONDERFUL (especially this one ;-)) but it is NOT the same thing as talking and interacting with someone person to person. I feel like most of us agree and get that. But are there other moms like me who sometimes find it “easier” just to not plan a girls night out? Or consider it “too much work” to organize a monthly gathering? Even playdates where I can hang out with other moms seem too crazy to scrape together.  Yikes!

What can a mom do??

Well, THIS mom is going to make some changes ASAP. I’m taking charge of my life. Be the change you want to see! First, I’m going to implement Plan A. (I”m not actually sure what Plan B or C is…hopefully I won’t have to go there because people will actually respond to my invitation to Plan A!)

Plan A for me is a monthly dinner party with a group of moms in my community. As a foodie, this is something I would really love to share with others but I’m really doing it to connect socially and emotionally. It doesn’t have to be a dinner party for you. Perhaps it’s a book club, or an art night, or a DIY Pinterest night where you choose a project to make together. Maybe it’s something you go out for…dinner and a movie, mani/pedis, dancing, etc. Whatever makes you excited to plan – do THAT.

…. Any local moms reading this that want in on the monthly dinner party- email me!!!

Further Reading

I love the blog Pinch of Yum (shout out to a Minneapolis blogger!), and one of Lindsay’s articles really inspired my decision to start a dinner party. You can read that article here (which even has practical steps for planning a dinner party club) and definitely check out the rest of her blog. It’s amazing.

What are your “village” building tactics? Have you ever felt the way I described? Let me know in the comments below, we can all support each other!

Leah is a Certified Nutrition Consultant who will talk your ear off about bone broth, Vitamin D, kale or any other topic that is related to wellness. Her love for blogging about health topics keeps her in front of a screen for a good chunk of her days but otherwise she can be found upside down in downward dog, running the beautiful hills in the San Francisco Bay Area, making a homemade dinner with her hubby or chasing after two amazing boys.