Since we moved here (it’s been over two weeks if you can believe it, almost three) I have been doing my best to keep busy. My husband and some friends have asked me why and I have always thought back to that phrase about “idle hands”. It didn’t occur to me until I Googled it, what the actual phrase actually was… “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop,”… and I didn’t like it so much. When I talk about keeping busy or not wanting to have “idle hands,” I relate it to despresion. I am sure a lot of people can tie depression into the devil and have a biblical dialogue, but what I tie it to is PPD (postpartum depression) and hormones.
After Preston was born I had PPD. It lasted a while until I got pregnant with Parker then I was flooded with all sorts of other hormones. After Parker was born, thankfully I was more aware of how to identify PPD and how to work on making myself feel better. But, ever since that time I had PPD, I have been ever so cautious about my behavior and anything that could lead to any form of depression. A big move and lots of change is a possible trigger for depression and I really don’t want to succumb to my emotions and let them eat me alive like they have before.
This leads me to the “idle hands” thing. I notice that when I have little to do or I don’t keep myself busy I can slip into a lonely, depressed state of sorts. I have been keeping myself busy. Between play dates, grocery shopping, visiting Ben at work for his lunches, cooking, going to the YMCA, getting more involved in moms groups online, etc. Over the past week and a half I have met like eight wonderful women that I hope to continue a friendship with. I have more appointments/play dates/coffee dates to meet more and I can’t be more excited.
I am an extremely social person and when all I get to socialize with comes in the little three, two and soon to be one year old body it sure makes things lonely. I think the other reason why I am doing this is to create some roots for my little family. As weird as it sounds, I do believe in the African Proverb that, “It takes a village to raise a child.” I want to create some stability for my kids because for the past six months they have been along for the ride. Thank God for their resilience and flexibility and forgiveness. My kids deserve the world, so I am going to try and get involved in our “village” so they know this is home.
I am extremely grateful for our “village” or community that I am building. All of them have been good to us and very kind. It makes me realize that what we had in CA was a different kind of “village”. It wasn’t really ours, it was my parents and Ben’s parents. We had our friends, but it’s not exactly the same. It was everything we had established under our parents and what we knew as children ourselves. The “village” we ere in, we established from our experiences with our parents or their ties to the community, or our siblings and their activities/experiences, and not what we really did on our own (outside of employment ties). This time around has been different because we get to rely solely on ourselves to build our life and our community relationships. It’s exciting and scary all in one.
While keeping myself busy we have been working on our own goals. Ben’s goals are a bit more career driven for the moment, but mine… I am getting to try and focus on me, the kids, our family. I got involved in Weight Watchers again. I love the YMCA so I can get my own energy out and feel like I am working my body for more than just wrangling children. I am getting involved in some Sunday fun too so I can keep busy on the weekend while Ben is working. I have several local moms groups I enjoy and even some ladies nights out and cooking groups. It’s just good all around. I feel my roots developing already.
I am very proud of myself for keeping busy and not allowing my hands to idle. But, I am even more excited to see where and how my family’s roots develop more. Now I get to continue to foster these relationships and “roots” I am building so we can allow our family to flourish too. How did you grow your roots? Where did you start (in church, online groups, sports clubs, etc.)? What are your tips to help grow community ties and make new friends?