I am not usually the kind of person that asks for help from complete strangers, the exception being when I am lost and in need of directions. I definitely don’t ask them about how to tackle a particular issue in my relationships.
But since becoming a mum, I find myself doing this all the time. The mother in the swimming pool, whose child’s name you know but not theirs, is the perfect person to talk to about dealing with two-year old tantrums. The person sitting next to you at Gymbaroo is a great person to have a discussion with about meal-time challenges (oh that sounds so much nicer than the reality!!!) You find yourself having conversations with random people at the library, or in a playground about shyness, or boldness (I have one of each).
It is fantastic and amazing how this works, how much mothers rely on other mothers. Mothers understand mothers, they understand the tantrum, the emotional ups and downs, the fact that your play room is never as tidy and as organised as you would like, and that you love your child regardless of how little sleep they give you and how much they drive you nuts.
And because of how much these mothers understand, I have been the recipient of dinner, just when I needed it; a play-date organised when I just can’t conceive of any more bright ideas to occupy my two; countless nappies; changes of clothes; and some amazing advice that has helped me parent my girls.
For me, the mothers I come into contact with are opening not just their homes, but also their lives and their hearts, to include me and mine. Sometimes they remain strangers, and I never know their name, and sometimes I find that the stranger whose name I never knew, becomes another friend.