I still am frequently asked, “Don’t you want to move back to the city?” I think next time I go to a wedding or reunion I will just wear a T-shirt that says, “Yes, I like Roseburg and no, I am not moving back!”
This persistent question has made me think about this fast-formed attachment to the place I call “home” and why I love it so much — my girlfriends.
Yes, I am here because God brought me here. Yes, Douglas County is gorgeous. Yes, the community is wonderful. Yes, I am here because, well, my husband has a great job so I was a wee-bit dragged here.
But if I were to be asked to leave (please don’t ask me to), the first thing I think about are my amazing friends and how it would be so hard to leave them.
Even though I sort of tricked these ladies into being my friends by starting a book club and acting like I really wanted to talk about a book, when really I just wanted a hug, they stuck around and keep coming back.
I guess I had never experienced real and safe friendships. For me, there was no better time to make these friendships than over the commonality of motherhood.
I have friends that clean spit-up out of my hair. They bring my family meals when I am sick. There is no pretending and no game of perfection.
They remember your birthday; they don’t care if your house is messy, if you are wearing those same sweatpants or if you haven’t showered. They baby-sit so you can have a date night. You talk about what matters instead of gossip. They give you advice and graciously take yours. I have friends that pray about me and my family every day. Those are real friends.
Mothers, wives, single, stay-at-home, working or whatever you do, if you are a woman, you need a girlfriend. With our 20,000 average words used per day compared to men’s 7,000, we are talkers. We are communicators and we thrive on emotional relationships.
If you think having a full conversation with your newborn counts, it doesn’t.
I knew I needed to put myself out there and boy, was it worth it. Taking that risk created deeper, trustworthy relationships that continue to encourage me every day, through every new adventure and challenge life gives me.
“Friendship for Grown-ups” author Lisa Whelchel said it well: “Without entering into relationships with others, I would have missed authentic connection. With the vulnerability that comes with honest connection, I learned the importance of identifying safe people. Finding safe people cushioned me with love and courage to face conflict for the things that matter rather than choosing peace at any price.”
Here are some opportunities for you to find a place where you could start building some real friendships:
Mom’s Connection will be starting Monday, Sept 17 and will continue every Monday from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Redeemer’s Fellowship on Harvard Ave. Free childcare is provided. For more information, contact Mary Anne Lynn (541-637-0673).
M.O.M (Mom’s On a Mission) meets every Monday from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Family Church in Sutherlin. Childcare is available. Contact Krystal Irwin 541-580-6141 for more information.
La Leche League of Roseburg for mother-to-mother support for breastfeeding moms meets on the second Wednesday of each month at 10 a.m. at the Seventh-Day Adventist Church Better Living Center. Contact Jamie 541-637-7106 or visit http://www.lllusa.org/web/RoseburgOR.html. TO FIND ONE NEAR YOU: http://www.llli.org/webus.html
Sutherlin Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) meets the first Wednesday of the month from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., starting in October. The group meets at Family Church in Sutherlin. Moms with children birth through kindergarten will have brunch and childcare provided. Visit http://www.oursfc.org/ministries/adults/mops or call 541.459.9803.
Winston Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) meets the first Tuesday of the month from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., starting in October. Moms with children birth through kindergarten will have brunch and childcare provided. The group meets at Foursquare Gospel Center, 540 S.E. Main St., Winston. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
TO FIND A MOPS NEAR YOU: http://www1.mops.org/web/web_group_search.php
Times of Refreshing meets Thursday nights from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Family Church in Sutherlin every other month. All women are invited for beverages and dessert while listening to a guest speaker. Please visit http://oursfc.org/ministries/adults/times_of_refreshing for more information.
A few other great places:
- Our community churches for a wide variety of groups catered toward women, wives, mothers, young singles and more.
- Find a book club or start your own.
- Hobby catered groups such as art and craft, check out your nearby art, craft and sewing locations for classes and get-togethers.
- Check out Umpqua Valley Community College for a number of community classes and seminars including a variety of parenting courses.
- Check out the Roseburg YMCA for family programs and events, as well as mom-and-child classes.