Other moms can be the very best source of how to get exclusive tickets to a popular kid event. Other moms can shed light on the best ways to prepare an easy meal. Other moms can help with how to save money with the shopping. These kinds of conversations are common in playgrounds and generally a part of socialized discussion with mamas chatting to pass the time.
The unexpected friendships that can develop as we all “grow up together” as parents and children of aging parents can be deeply meaningful. Anyone with kids discovers the surprise of getting to know the parents of your children’s friends. This kind of relationship becomes quite connecting as you open up boundaries of sharing play spaces and often take charge of parenting the other kids during playdates. It can be a delicate path of discovery to how others parent their children. The allowance for the openness of different lifestyles and parenting strategies comes to all of us who become friends with the parents of our children’s friends.
I have learned so much from my children’s friend’s parents. On occasion, we become closely connected as “mom friends”. The designation as a “mom friend” is clearly the focus of our relationship. As it has evolved through our kids’ relationships. In these times the socialized discussion becomes a little more intimate and meaningful. Sharings unfold about family culture, values, and anectdotes. Over time, we may co-mingle family holiday traditions and even do some camping or traveling together. These kinds of relationships truly mark a kind of grown up friendship that is disctinctly that of having children.
What can be fun is when these kinds of friendships become a reflection of our own “growing up” as adults. To share the time of transition into the 30’s, 40’s, and even 50’s (whatever your parenting decades line up with) is to share seasons of growth and change. Another parent can often be a wonderful mirror into your life at the very best times of friendship.
This mirror effect happened with a dear “mom friend” through my daughter’s friendship. My youngest had entered preschool and I was experimenting with beginning a new career. It was daunting and I had fears and felt awkward about sharing my new exploration of holistic wellness. Creating a new identity takes courage and I was just flat tired from working the family life. It was during this time that I began sharing my passion and knowledge about how to heal the pelvic floor, especially for those of us 40+.
My dear “mom friend”, Alice, asked me if I would work with her 1:1 to help her better understand this part of her body. I had just finished a 500-hour Ayurveda training and was exploring how I could share this with the world. I was so flattered that she asked me to work with her, I invited her over and prepared a special space with yoga mats and props to dive into this work. It was a special day five years ago, and I remember it so well.
I am not sure Alice knows how much this 1:1 session meant to me. Her openness in sharing her situation was sacred to me. I offered her all of the studied knowledge that I could share to help her unique situation. Pelvic floor pain and related discomfort is a common issue for women 40+, with or without children.
After diving into this 45 minute session with Alice, I began to see that she was actually teaching me that my voice may be best served in helping others through the anatomical motion work of yoga. The 1:1 session began a transformation that I would continue through the study of yoga and now an established teaching practice. I have created a pelvic floor series that has impacted both men and women who attend my virtual classes from across the US and Europe (so far). This has been an incredible experience to share these lessons and help others develop their own wellness practices, including pelvic floor restoration yoga.
I am deeply grateful for my first student, Alice, who as a “mom friend”, was actually offering healing to my journey of personal transformation into a teacher. It continues and the path is wide and long for me. Yoga is a discipline and study that that will consume this second half of my life, post-children. I am so grateful fo my unexpected teacher and friend!