I just watched this talk by President Eyring while I was folding laundry:
The Caregiver, General Relief Society Meeting October 2012
And a friend of mine from high school recently wrote this about mommyhood and making/being friends:
On Being a Good Friend
Both of them got me thinking tonight. I am super guilty of being a bad friend/not making friends. I am guilty of talking more than listening. I am guilty of neglecting even the people in my stewardship because I am too wrapped up in being self-conscious, too frustrated with kids, too concerned with the state of my house or nap schedules or even just that it is a pain to get my kids into shoes and strap them in the car.
Some of the scaling back is okay and needed in this season of my life, but some of it has become a layer of excuses for not engaging the way I should, for not investing myself in others, for not reaching out and loving selflessly because, let's face it, I'm overwhelmed as is and we'll be leaving soon anyway.
Satan is so tricky! Always trying to convince me that extending my love to others will increase my load rather than lightening it. Always trying to tell me that I will be happier as a hermit because it is easier, as if ease were a desirable objective in and of itself. I didn't have kids because it's easy, why should I keep us all cooped up in the house out of selfishness because that is easy? And guess what!? It actually isn't easier because we are all happier when we don't fall into that rut!
So I have been dragging myself out of the house. Getting dressed so I won't be embarrassed to see people. Taking my kids to the park and playing with them to boot. Visiting my sister and her kids who live 20 minutes from here but we would go weeks without seeing. Writing sincere notes, chatting, and calling people when I think about them. Visiting the sisters I am called to visit and love. And each time I am so happy! I am happy now just thinking of a couple of recent conversations! I know there is so much more I could be doing, but for now I am just working on opening myself up so that when opportunities come I can actually take them and enjoy them. There is a reason the Lord organizes His Church in communities; we are happier when we go outside ourselves, even if it is hard.