Wednesday, October 26

coffee with Elizabeth

There are few things nearer the top of the list of things that make me feel better than having coffee with my friend Elizabeth. She is the brave and beautiful mama of three, a doula who was present at my son's birth, and a touchstone of sanity, inspiration of laughter. When I'm having a rough time being a mama, she's the one I text, late at night, to suggest coffee the next morning, while our kids are in daycare together.

Over our buckets of coffee, we talk about books, handbags, where we would live if not in the fiery pit that is Central Texas. And babies. We talk about our babies. Mostly, these days, we talk about how and why our babies aren't sleeping, and what we are or aren't doing about it. I didn't expect, before becoming a mama, that another being's sleep (or, more to the point, the lack thereof) would be the dominant factor of my existence, dominating conversations, an obsession verging ever nearer to insanity. But it is--oh, is it ever, the ruler of my life.

Elizabeth has tenure as a mama--I feel a mere guest lecturer in the field. But I do not go to her for specific advice, as our nighttime parenting styles are very different. The reason I walk away from meetings with her feeling lighter, and more able to handle my life (and my kid!), is that she has helped me remember two very basic, very important things:

1) We are all going through this. (I am not the problem!)

2) It will pass. (I can stop beating my head on the wall trying to find a solution!)

That is all I need to hear, really. I need to be reminded that I am not a crappy mother, and that things will not be this way forever, two ideas that harden into the death-grip of certainty when I am awake, again, at 2am with a wakeful babe. Our talks remind me that I am ok, and that things will get better. If not soon, then soon after that.

Comfort and coffee. The two best things that mama friends can share.

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