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I recently had a freezer meal party at my house. The buzz of conversation was electric as laughter, stories and wisdom were being shared. Toward the end of the party someone said, “This is so much fun! I’m sure this is what it used to be like when women would cook together.”

A century ago, extended family often formed a woman’s natural mothering community. While quilting with aunts and sister-in-laws, marriage wisdom was passed along. While cooking with your mom and grandmother, parenting knowledge was shared. While scrubbing clothes with sisters and friends, homemaking tips were discussed.

Because our mothering community is no longer formed naturally within extended family relationships, we have to pursue, discover and assemble it ourselves. So how exactly do we do that? It starts by moving from being a “here I am” person to being a “there you are” person.

Most of us enter a social setting with a “here I am” mindset: Here I am. Come talk to me. Come make me feel comfortable. Come invite me to coffee. We’re waiting for others to reach out. Instead we need to look around and think: There you are. You look interesting to get to know! I think I’ll invite you to coffee!

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Adjusting our perspective is the first and most important step to take in pursuing friendship!

Once you identify someone you’d like to know, you begin your “mom dates.” If you both have younger kids, invite her to meet you at a park for a play date. If you have older kids, meeting for lunch or coffee might work well for both of you. Spending time together is the key to a growing friendship.

As you grow to know one another, authenticity is so important. Go ahead and share your “mom fail of the day” with a girlfriend. Snap a picture of your toy-strewn family room and post it on Facebook. Share about hard lessons you’ve learned in marriage over coffee. Ask a friend to pray with you for that child of yours who seems to make one poor choice after another. Don’t worry, she won’t think less of you! She’ll likely respect you more for your honesty!

This Mother’s Day, give yourself the gift of friendship. Motherhood is too big of a job to try to go it alone. Happy Mother’s Day!

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Hearts at Home is a nonprofit organization designed to encourage, educate and equip moms at all stages. Hearts at Home, 1509 N. Clinton Blvd., Bloomington, IL61701-1813; (309) 828-MOMS;www.hearts-at-home.org.

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