I’ve always loved the idea of having a fairy godmother. Just some sweet little creature flitting around waiting to wave a wand and voila! My problems melt away … and maybe I get a new dress and shoes out of the deal too.
But, c’mon. Unless you have a name that starts in “Cinder” and ends in “ella,” that fairy ship has sailed; no disappearing problems or magical dress and shoes for you.
However, when I started down this little journey called parenthood two years ago, I was surprised to find that we do, in fact, come face-to-face with the factual equivalent of fairy godmothers. Look around you dear reader: They may not have sparkly wands. Rather, they have cracker crumbs on everything they own. They are chasing a screaming tyrant (oops, correction, child), down the aisles of Target. Their houses are bursting with insanity-causing singing toys. And, of course, they are always in haste and there is a chance they forget to put on pants from time to time.
Yes, our fairy godmothers are simply: Other parents. Fellow Moms and Dads in crime. People that intimately know the ups and downs that define the lifetime career of parenting.
A little background: I’m not from the great state of South Dakota originally (as if my picture didn’t already scream it from the rooftops). I moved here with my husband and daughter a year ago this month, basically not knowing anyone but some family members. That is a hard transition when Sioux Falls-native husband goes to work all day, you have a one-year-old, its deathly cold outside, and all you can see as far as the eye can wander is ice. Ice. And more ice. And snow. And chislic.
I had to meet other Moms in my same boat. My life depended on it.
So, with the help of my mother-in-law, I immediately started joining and doing things where I knew I would rub shoulders with fellow parents: MOPS, church, bible studies, Kindermusik, wandering the aisles of Hy-Vee looking desperate and friend-deprived, etc. And lo and behold ...
I met my fairy godmothers. And parenting has never been the same.
So, why are they so vital? Because parenting is the best job in the world, but at times you can feel extremely isolated. Sometimes you can feel like you are the only one in the world doing what you do and it all often goes unnoticed. But having Moms/Dads-in-crime around can change that. It actually makes you feel like you are a part of an elite club of super men and women all on an epic quest to change the world.
And even then, when you can’t seem to see the larger picture, they can show up at your door bearing gifts in the form of lattes and adult conversation. They can offer to take your child, hold them, and love them so you can take a sip of aforementioned latte. They can empathize deeply when the word “teething” is muttered. And they might share an expletive with you should the need arise.
Long story short; they get it. They get you! And vice versa. Just being there with you and you with them, makes it feel like a magic wand was waved and suddenly you don’t feel quite alone in your quest and your burdens feel lightened.
So, if you don’t have fellow parents … Get them. Join clubs. Do play dates. Do whatever it takes. Your sanity depends on it. (And seriously do it before Winter strikes).
And lastly, to all of you that do have these type of friends, get in your car right now. (Don’t forget pants). Bring them a latte. Or a new dress or pair of shoes. Squeeze them. And thank them for being your fairy godmother.