Tonight, I went to an end-of-season soccer party for the whole school my daughter attends (the third one I’ve been to), and I left realizing that I had a community around me that I love and brings such joy to my life. The first season’s end, I knew almost no other parents. I felt isolated and to myself (which I actually enjoy on many occasions!). With my busy work schedule and deciding to go back to school a while ago, my wonderful hubby has always done all the field trips and gotten to know other kids at the school, etc.
I really never thought I would be a real “mom.”
You know, like the stereotypical soccer mom and all that. Yet, somehow here I am as one. Thank goodness I didn’t have enough kids to make it to minivan status or I’d really be done for! I coached this season for soccer, and it gave me a chance to get to know even more of the families in our community. I loved every bit of it.
I’ve made the slow revelation that being intentional about community is so important as a mom. I love my kid with my everything, and our little core family is the most important thing in the world to me. But, I know I need more than that to be the woman and mom my family needs me to be day-in and day-out. When this collective of moms in Cincinnati came into my life over five years ago, I found women of all types that had some characteristics about them I could relate to. I found true friends who have helped me grow as a woman, a wife, and a mother.
Being more involved in my local community and with the families from our neighborhood school has increased that circle. Every time I put myself out there more – with PTO meetings, school events, volunteering to coach soccer, etc. – I find more wonderful people that I want to add to my intentional community. And, I know that I am giving back to them in ways that can enhance their lives at the same time. It doesn’t take much. Intentionality in all areas of life is so important. There are a few ways I have learned to be intentional about building my community:
- Getting involved in the activities that interest my kid first
- Putting myself in situations that would otherwise make me socially uncomfortable
- Letting my guard down enough to let other wonderful moms see me as approachable
- Volunteering for things that matter to me and interest me
- Remaining intentional about making time to engage, even if it is just an occasional interaction on a community Facebook page
Whatever works for you, you should do it. Letting people into my life and making small talk make me extremely uncomfortable in my personal life, but I find myself so much more fulfilled in my life overall by taking these steps to build a community around me and my family.
What are some ways you have grown since having your own family? In what ways have you learned to be intentional about building your own community?