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Wish lists: for our mama community

Me_at_ikea_160 Things have not been (how shall I say?) "easy" for me this year, and talking with other mamas, I find that several of us have had an unfortunate Year: 2007. The Golden Pig may be auspicious, but it hasn't been working out great for us.

While we all hope that our fates will re-align come 2008, I find myself often both asking and (not) answering the question, "what can I do to help?" and finding that it's a difficult topic. What can we do? Often, the thing we need is harder than the reason for needing it. If I could get a wish this holiday season, it might be something like this:

  • If it's late at night, and you're scared about pregnancy/labor/a strange rash, don't be afraid to call and ask me to give advice/get medicine/make you feel not so alone.
  • Come over and watch the boys for a half-hour so I can get out of the house.
  • Appear at my door with fresh-baked treats.
  • If you see me headed to the store/coffee shop, ask me to pick something up for you. I won't mind.
  • When I ask how you are, be honest. Let me help.
  • Never mind the state of my bathroom.
  • Take my children to your house to play, sometimes. Be patient with them, even if I can't.
  • Know that I thank you, that I feel your gratitude too, that there is no need for cards, unless sending them makes you happy.

What's your wish for your community?


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Reading that list has me in goosebumps for some reason. As I read the list, the word Community kept flashing over the words. Since leaving my dysfunctional utopian hometown back in Vermont, I have been searching for a place that matches its version of community. It may not be the easiest place in the world to live, but the people are connected, care about each other, help each other in all the ways you list.

It really helps to battle the isolation that can take over our hearts and minds in the tough times. How do we find each other, get past the fronts that we all throw up in order to get through our daily lives, and get to the heart of who we are and what we need? I curse my own independence here more than anything else, but I know there are people out there feeling the same way.

I think your list really sums it up for me. Friends are great, but community is the real strength-giver. Thanks for putting that out there. If enough of us wish on that, it has to come true by definition.

-know that i'm not offering because it's nice. i'm offering because i've been there and clearly remember how it feels and someday i might be there again.
-it's so good to know and be free to share about where "there" is with friends.
-even though i'm folding laundry while we chat, i'm still listening.
-know that you can call me when it's hard (or even when it's not).
-please understand that even though the man in my life makes me crazy and i need to vent about that, he's also the father of my children and i need you to respect that relationship.
-please drop by, even unexpected.

*Remember that what is easy for one person is hard for another.

*Let me know if your child is sick before we arrive, so I can decide if I still want to come. (I probably will, but I like to have choices.)

*If person A says something nice to you about your friend or acquaintance (person B), make a point of passing on the compliment to person B. It will likely make B's day.

*Accept help when it is offered. (This is the hard one for me.)

*Think about what other people want or need, and share what you have that would help.

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