When I first became a mom I was very concerned about the amount of socialization that my kid would (or would not) receive if I became a Stay At Home Mom. Luckily, and I didn't know this at the time, my kid is a pretty social kid. However, at the beginning I made it a point to hang out with my nephews and mother-in-law as much as possible. The only problem was that they lived almost thirty minutes away, and the amount of money I was spending on gas was starting to get out of hand. So, I needed to find another outlet. I started searching online for Mom's Groups and was lucky enough to find a great one. My kid has been making friends and learning from her peers for almost two years now.
That's the first part of the Family Friend Trifecta. Your kid makes friends. They learn and grow and have a good time. The second portion of the trifecta deals with the moms. When I started attending get togethers I really wasn't looking for friends for myself. I thought I had enough friends and that I was doomed to a life without socialization. Boy, was I wrong! I feel like I've hit the jackpot. The ladies that I've met through the group are strong, intelligent, hilarious, fun, supportive and an invaluable resource of information and insight. I don't know what I would do without them! I love being able to call someone up to meet for coffee, go on a Target run, make last minute plans to go to the park or meet for a beer after a long day. It really does take a village and I don't know what I would do without these ladies in my corner.
So, the first two parts of the trifecta are somewhat easy to obtain. Kids make friends with anybody, women love to chat and friendships are forged. The final piece of the trifecta is almost myth. You hear about your friend's cousin's second daughter's sister completing it. Once families achieve Trifecta Status they keep it under wraps for fear that one small slip will unravel the months of searching and longing for that perfect combination. What in Heaven's name am I talking about? I'm talking about when the husbands/significant others become friends too.
I used to think that it was too much to ask. It seemed daunting to try and find another family that the three of us could all jive with, independently and as a group. The Mr. could go out for beers with the other significant other, the ladies could hang out and the kids all played well together. We had it once; but then they had to go and move away. But then, after giving up hope, we were lucky enough to complete the Trifecta again. This past weekend we were lucky enough to share it with not one, but two other families at a resort up near Brainerd, MN. There were five kids four and under. Three couples. Four bedrooms. What should have been chaos was controlled and the bare minimum of fights, tantrums and problems arose. There was plenty of laughter, much beer drank and many memories created. We went swimming, had bonfires, played and had a fantastic time.
You know it's a success when you get home from a long weekend and start to think, "I wonder if so and so wants to come over for a BBQ...oh wait, we just got home." Or you get a text inviting you to come over and play at their house the next day and you're bummed that you might not be able to make it. I can't even begin to explain how awesome it is to find other families to spend time with. Not only does it lighten the parenting load, but it makes gatherings less stressful and more relaxing for everyone involved. Parent and child. I can only hope that as the summer and years progress we can have more awesome weekends like the one we just finished.