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The topic of friendship, and in particular, how difficult it is to maintain friendships while you’re trying to be a mother, has come up in a lot of my conversations quite often lately
It just doesn’t work. At least not for me.
Admittedly, I’m jaded. The last week has been a roller coaster ride of emotions (E found a job! we’re moving to Massachusetts! I’m so excited!) (they offered the job to someone else before he got a chance to interview. we’re not moving to Massachusetts. I’m so sad.) (they have other positions and he has another interview today! maybe we’re moving to Massachusetts? I’m so confused.) that I’m really ready to disembark and I’ve just been so….well….blah. It’s at times like these, when our little family is hurting in some way, that I realize just how alone we are.
I was telling a friend a few weeks ago that it’s ironic that the time of my life when I’ve needed friends probably the most, when I’m trudging through the daily routine of reading the same board book 16,000 times, laundry that seems to perpetually be overflowing out of the hamper, dishes that refuse to stay washed (why do people keep eating?!), the never-ending changing of the diapers, fighting for naps and a few hours of unbroken sleep, and all of the other things that go with motherhood, also happens to be the time of life when it’s pretty much impossible to invest anything into relationships outside of those with my children.
I still talk to friends every so often through a few text messages or Facebook wall posts, but there’s no connection. No deep conversations. Not even shooting the breeze for an hour or so on the telephone because, honestly, the idea of being able to concentrate on a phone conversation makes me laugh. I think we try during play dates, but there’s really only so far you can venture into the world of bonding when you’re trying to make sure your son isn’t sticking his finger in an outlet and your daughter isn’t attempting to eat someone’s shoe.
On the rare occasions that I could possibly go out and meet a friend for coffee or some insane indulgence along that line, their schedule is full of mommy stuff with no chance to get away and it never works out (and the same is true for me when their schedule is free). And so the friendship barely sputters along, running on the fumes of good intentions.
I don’t know how to get through this unscathed. Sometimes I see myself finally climbing out of the foxhole that is raising small children and I wonder if I’ll still see any friends climbing out of their own foxholes. If the bonds we formed long before or even just before this whole motherhood thing happened will still exist, or if the years of neglect, missed connections, and the changes that come with becoming a parent have frayed those bonds beyond repair. Will we even be able to relate to each other anymore? Will we have anything to talk about?
I’ve really started to get communal living in the last few years and seeing how it could be awesome. The idea of having some child supervising backup from people who share our parenting ideals and style, folks our kids know and are used to, and be able to go off and have a little quiet time with a friend sounds pretty heavenly right now. Even just being able to connect at a more shallow level on a daily basis is something I’d take right now.
Anyone want to start a commune with me?