You know the old saying, "It takes a village to raise a child"? Well, I'm not sure about that. I am certain though that a village helps keep a mama functioning at full capacity.
Back in September or so, one of my stay-at-home mommy friends suggested a girl's night out for dinner. So a few of us girls got gussied up and put on clothes that we normally can't wear (you know, the stuff we don't want covered in boogers or milk), left the kiddos with their fathers, and we had a lovely supper. We had some wine, we had lots of laughs, we actually were able to finish a conversation without telling anyone to sit down, take someone potty, or stop a little person from slinging their food across the table. It was AMAZING! We decided it must be a monthly ritual. We weren't sure how the hubbies would feel about it. But I guess seeing how we came home happy and refreshed and how that worked out to their advantage...well, they haven't complained a bit (or at least mine hasn't!)
Then about the end of January, as the gloomy days of winter were really settling upon us, one of the mommies had the most fabulous idea: we should meet once a week in one another's homes for coffee and a playdate. Having as many as 10 children all under the age of 4 in one house (sometimes your own) might seem a little crazy. And it usually is. But to sip on coffee and chat with several other mommies (even while chasing after kids and breaking up the occasional toy battle) does very good things for morale. Tuesday mornings are a highlight of my week. Gabriela and Lilian absolutely LOVE getting to play with their friends. And I love getting to visit with other mommies who understand the joys and challenges of spending all day, every day with little people who make big messes and tend to need a lot of things wiped.
The high for today is supposed to be in the 80's (highest temp of the year, so far). So this morning, the girls and I went to a local park with two of the other mommies from our Tuesday morning group. Our five kiddos played and ran and giggled and squealed. As I basked in the sunshine and chatted with my friends, I said a little thank you prayer for these women in my life that have made my (and my children's) winter so much brighter!