S1E8 - On Making Mommy Friends w/ Vikki

Episode 8 March 15, 2023 00:23:15
S1E8 - On Making Mommy Friends w/ Vikki
Start to Finish Motherhood with Aisha
S1E8 - On Making Mommy Friends w/ Vikki

Mar 15 2023 | 00:23:15

/

Hosted By

Aisha Jenkins

Show Notes

In this episode, Aisha sits down with her friend Vikki to talk about their friendship journey. The two friends share how they first met when they were both looking to take their kids to a natural body of water. They quickly became fast friends as their kids became friends and have been close ever since. They also talk about their first vacation together, which was a funny story filled with unexpected turns. They share their thoughts on adult friendships. They conclude by talking about the importance of being flexible and open-minded in adult friendships, as it can lead to amazing relationships and opportunities.

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Episode Transcript

So just so you know, This was recorded. The day after our kids had a sleepover. And Vickie and I were taking advantage of some quiet time and grabbing coffee. As we sat down to talk about our approach to making friends as adults. I'm here today with Vicky, and Vicky is one of my closest SMC friends here in dc And. , I'm just amazed at how our friendship evolved and how we met. So, Vicky can you [00:01:00] tell us a little bit about who you are and how you became an SMC, and then we'll jump right into it. Okay. Well, I am an SMC Well, when does an SMC journey begin? But my daughter Maya is now eight. She'll be nine this year. My son Matthew, is six and he'll be seven in in July. Oh gosh, my journey became gosh, me in my thirties. I started having all sorts of. Visits with different doctors about my fecundity, which I think was a term I learned back and what my fertility options were. And everything evolved to essentially realizing that I was dating for a baby and making really bad decisions. Mm-hmm. and the end was a great result, , because I was very sure about my journey as an SMC and I've never looked back since. And because of my insurance, I told them what I wanted. Mm-hmm. I IVF Yes. At 40. 40 41. All right, so let's tell the story of how we met because it [00:02:00] is a funny, story about how our friendship has evolved and then how. Extended families can grow from there. And if you're flexible and just roll with it, it can be one of the most amazing parts of the journey. So how did we meet? So it was COVID. Covid had hit in March, 2020. . I relocated my children to be with my family because I worked for a Covid facility and so that was, 24 7 on my mind and so for safety, they came to stay with my parents. I finally got to work from home and I was just dying to get the kids out because we were in a situation where there were no kids on the playground mm-hmm. . And so one day I posted in the Mocha page that I was just happy to get my kids to a natural body of water, I think is what I said. And you responded mm-hmm. . And you're like, cool, I was like, okay. Uhhuh . And so somehow we ended up at some Sandy beach. And yeah, we didn't know who to look for. Another black woman was gonna be on the beach at that point. Uhhuh and. [00:03:00] That was it. And I, I was thinking last night about how my first sighting of you was probably 18 feet away. Mm-hmm. With your little pup tent in our chairs. Mm-hmm. . And that's how we talked because we were, we were social distancing on the beach. Yes, it was, it was so cute. So I think your wording was, you needed to get your little kids into a natural body of water. And so I was just like, okay. It's almost like a blind date, right? Right. So meeting people for the first time, you're just like, are you Aisha? Are you Vicky? And so you came with your mom and your two kids, and I had my oldest with me, baby was in daycare. The kids were fast friends and so we're just like talking. And as we were talking, we just got closer and closer and it's just like the heck with it. So that was when we first met. All right. So that was our first meeting and we've been friends ever since. So I think it's funny how you meet and make adult friends, what's your secret? Because you're one of the coolest people that I know [00:04:00] and you're my go-to when I have successes and wins or when I just have funny little, did this really happen? And you just roll with it and I love that about you. I mean, it takes two though, right? Mm-hmm. , I mean I consider myself an introvert. I speak to a lot of people. I guess I'm a, an extrovert at work or whatever. Mm-hmm. , it takes two, right? Mm-hmm. I don't beg anybody. So I really appreciated that you reached out because, I look back and you always think that, well, I'm an adult now. I won't make any more friends. Mm-hmm. , everybody has their routine. They have their family, they have their social groups. Yeah. No more. And so this evolved naturally, which was great. And it's been great for us because, DC is a new part of our life. Mm-hmm. , and so you made that very easy for us to get out and do you have the same interest. You come to our birthday parties, it's just been great. Then we've evolved vacations. Wait, let's talk about how the vacations evolved. Our first vacation was a funny one, let's talk about it. We [00:05:00] were trying to do a historical journey a historical detour. Yes. It was a detour and so it was funny. Since I've had kids, I'm never on time for anything and so I give myself a, a wide bit of time. We were doing this historical tour. We got to the visitor center. I got the baby out, got the stroller out, got the diaper bag out, sat my keys down, got everything out, and then had the door on lock.. So I locked myself out of my car for like an hour. Yes. Luckily Vicky and her family weren't there yet, so I called, AAA we got to walk around the visitor's center a little bit. There's a little beach over there, so we got to walk around the beach until AAA got there and got us into our car. And so the time just coincided perfectly and Vicky and her family got there, y'all. . We good? All right. And then we just continued on to the vacation. The kids enjoyed it, so we decided to just try to make it an annual thing for as long as we could. [00:06:00] So the next year, , take it away, Vicky. Well, I got diagnosed with the thank God benign mm-hmm. tumor. I needed major surgery, , and so I put it off as long as I could, and then I made the perfect plan. I scheduled the surgery and I thought, this will be perfect. I'll have a few weeks to recover and then we'll go on vacation. Well, my surgery got delayed. Mm-hmm. and literally I was getting out of the hospital the day we should have left for vacation. Mm-hmm. . And I remember thinking of all the things to be worried about with major surgery. I had to tell you that I couldn't make the trip. Why not? Vicky? Could they just not wheel you from the hospital straight to the beach? The kids were like, we'll just lower you into the car. Oh my God. I'm like, Vicky, so we could just roll you around, but No, but it was, it's amazing how it evolved, right? So we didn't not do the vacation. Tell us who I went on vacation with my mom and dad with the kids. I went [00:07:00] on vacation with Vicky's mom and dad and the two kids. And so, this is just an example about how being flexible and just going with the flow as an SMC family can evolve into some pretty interesting and an extended. Kind of relationship. Like my girls were taking selfies with Vicky's mom. We tag team and we watch the kids as we would normally do on vacation, and I got to know a little bit more about her mom and her dad, and it was just, An amazing turn of events that we laugh about to this day. But you know, Vicky trusted me to kind of partly watch her kids and I trusted Vicky's mom and dad to kind of partially watch my kids. And we are on the other side and we can laugh about it, you knew the routine already. Who's gonna take the tent out? Who's gonna take the coolers and the luggage. There was things that my [00:08:00] parents would've needed help with. Right, they're a little bit older. If one's watching again, the other one may have a bad back, you know. It was such a sweet trip. I got to spend some time with the kids and so we are going again this year. Vicky will be there. Yes. No major surgeries planned, none. I'm looking forward to it. This year so we're just looking to do this for as long as we can and as long as the kids will allow us, , and this is one of the amazing adult friendships that I have. And how just being flexible can just open up so many doors. So I think that this is important. Vicky, let's talk about your approach to adult friendships, because when we become adults some things become harder, but some things become a bit easier, to navigate because it's not that serious. Right? So what's your approach to adult friendships? Well, to be honest, I remember thinking that, , once you're out of college it's pretty much those are your friendships when I look back, I've met great friends [00:09:00] at work and , I don't know how great a friend they're until they leave You sort of continue that relationship. For me now, it's been through my children. Because obviously that's who I spend most of my time with. So when you meet another mom who's got similar, dynamics that's totally helpful. I mean, I even have a, recent friend who is married sort of living. Single if you will, she's taking charge of the kid's social life as we all do. And so that's been a bond for me and a social network. And I've met other great families through her. So it's been natural. I wouldn't say I even have time to seek friendships, but they've evolved. And I do realize the significance of them. I actually sit back and go, wow, how did that happen? And they're few. But my time is really rare, you know special too. So when I began my SMC journey, I had a lot of time to think apparently so, I really prioritized the things that were important to me and the battles that I would fight. And then everything else was kind of a, you like it? I love it situation. If it wasn't in my top five priorities, I'm not going to battle over it. Mm-hmm. , and I think. . [00:10:00] As adults, we are tied to a lot of our decisions. We have lived long enough to say, this is for me. This is not for me, and so when I approach adult friendships, I don't hold your life choices. to me, the choices you make for your life are the choices you make for your life. They have no impact on how I live my life. They have no impact on how I raise my kids. You are you. Me is me. If it's not a part of those priorities, we not gonna argue. We're not going to fight about that. So, are my kids safe? Yes. Do I feel safe around you? Yes. Can our kids play together? Cool. Are you a good person? Right. Cool. Are you easy to talk to? Everything else is, set aside. Your choices for your. Do not become choices I have to make for my kids. Like we're all adults. We're all individuals. So live your life. I find similar to you, I've met a lot of friends, through [00:11:00] work, and that's interesting because for a time being it was the work boundary, but I think the pandemic introduced this whole new dimension to work related friendships where. You no longer had that boundary, right? You had video conferencing, you had Zoom. So we all got used to using those technologies that work either inside or outside of a company. Like I have a group of friends at work. We started ERGs together , based on social identities like black, , L B t, QIA, a, so we form friendships because we were going to battle with the same purpose and we were tackling issues, that came up at work. So we got to see each other in each other's vulnerabilities. We got to back each other up and it's been an amazing evolution of those friendships. And so we'll have some of those people on the podcast. I have SMC friends, right from the different communities that I've been in. Like I started on the National Forum. We're in the Facebook groups. We're in one for my geographic area. I have friends from just every [00:12:00] point along my SMC journey, and you're vulnerable with these people, they know your story. They follow your story. You become invested in each other, the story, not the choices you make for your life, and I think that that's the difference. I can call on these people like, Hey, I have another SMC who's looking for this resource? Or Hey, you know, do you know about this? Or, I'm educating. You know, probably don't do that. It's steeped in racism, so , but I've managed to maintain a lot of those friendships through George Floyd. They're white, they're black, they're Latinx, they're, just. a diverse group of friends, and I do consider them friends because anybody who gets to be around my kids, , I have to, there's a, there's a threshold to which I have to like and respect you. It's just been a lot of fun to be able to pull from those different, and then I have like my old track friends from high school. I have my, , my core group of girlfriends it's a lot of richness and I think the way that you navigate those things is one, you know, be an adult, don't be an asshole. Right. There's room for all of us to just be I have [00:13:00] friends who are top people at companies, But we're still friends. We're not overlapping, we're not competing. with each other. I definitely I guess followed the beat of my own drum, mm-hmm. , I, I realized that in the life choice I've made mm-hmm. I, I wouldn't say I was a rabble rouser growing up, or that I did radical things mm-hmm. . But once I realized that this is my life, like literally, and remembering this image of bringing my partner to the party and whether or not he could schmooze and you know, what quality person this was and all of those things. And it came down to wow, like that's eight hours, 12 hours of my day, whatever. At night, it's my life. And I'm making a decision on my life and what these other people may judge me for based on that insignificant, really. And I remember just. Finally breaking free of that and like I said, got to the worst dating relationship I could have. You were tied to that one holiday party a year. In my mind. It's no. [00:14:00] Borrow him, and then keep him chained up in the basement. Nobody taught me that. Okay. So Vicky, this is how you go catch a man and you tie him up in your basement and you just dress 'em up and bring them out for that one. Nobody told me. I thought I had to. I mean, honestly, those kinds of, . Mm-hmm. , that's why friendships, relationships, and there's a, a varying degree Right. There's a lot of women who don't know about the SMC journey, because I just actually talked to an old staff member that used to work with me. Mm-hmm. and I quote unquote, came out to her, for various reasons have not stated , my life. And that's just cuz of the politics in my office. People know my kids are not a secret. Mm-hmm. , there's nothing secret. They've never heard me say the words. Right. Right. But with her, I realized she's been on this dang journey for so long. I had to finally say, wait a minute, let's break that type of relationship. I'm gonna tell you what's going on. And, and I told her I. women around me who were talking about this all the time, and it was always like, what's going on? And there's a lot of us who just don't have that avenue right. And so out of my sort of little friend group, I was the first one to be like, I'm doing this. Yeah. You know, and never look back. And [00:15:00] I just, oh my gosh. It's just amazing. And so that party. That corporate party mm-hmm. the idea , that was my life. The idea that I kept thinking about these statistics census and all this and the single black woman you let that narrative and you're making these lifetime choices. Yes. Based on who I wanna bring to the holiday party at work. Right. So, or the census taker saying you were a single black. . Oh my goodness. I know. You are a statistic. The kids don't have no daddy. Oh my God. Right. Right! The stories we tell ourselves in our head. Stories we tell ourselves, and so. Yeah. On the other side of that, completely, don't even think about it, living this life. Mm-hmm. and then sometimes think, oh my gosh, that's right. Other people still think like this. Sometimes I need to state that I'm an SMC because there might be a woman out there who's looking for, who's looking for a solution. Yes. A solution. I actually feel guilt because I'm so in my life. Uhhuh, . I'm walking around and then my child was in kindergarten , it was covid, so there weren't a lot of conversations going on. picking up her things in June, I realized, oh my gosh, I never told a, [00:16:00] I'm an SMC. I'm a single mom, hustling to get my kids, pick them up and drop them off and get right. And that's what the teacher identified oh, no, this woman needs me to support her. But I finally stated it and it turned out one of her teachers had been considering and was wondering, and I thought, oh, my, I've potentially blocked you from this great information or this supporter inspiration. And so I try to remember that, I'm not just walking around. I'm not nobody's poster child, however, I need to share my journey with someone because it might give somebody, an additional option, right? But that's a note for some of the people who are just getting started on their Single Mother by Choice journey and wondering, what are people gonna think of me? What do I tell people? Once you get into school, you are now the parent trying to just help your kid navigate the school system. People don't care about your conception story, as much as we think that they do. And like Vicky said, you're then just another parent picking up, dropping off and just trying to do all the things that are involved in school. Mm-hmm. . Also [00:17:00] to, to the extent about telling. The SMC story, like everyone decides when and how and you'll catch who you catch. But I think it's important enough for us to kind of start to be a little bit more open as a society. And I think as our numbers increase, and especially as this next wave of SMCs come through mm-hmm. , it's, it's going to be an open book like, Similar to you. I was the first in my friendship group to be like, I'm doing this, I went through the years of thinking it in my head, talked a little bit about it here and there to various friends, but then when you take the plunge, there's no going back. There's a baby about to come. So now were you worried that your friendship dynamics would change? Well, we all were on the same hustle, so I, I didn't. For me, I look back and I made it to the other side. Okay. So we made, we made different choices. Mm-hmm. I had one friend who stuck it out with a guy who kept promising the relationship. Marriage. Marriage. Yes, exactly. And we're gonna, we're gonna, we're [00:18:00] gonna, I quietly just did my thing and then I felt kind of uncomfortable because I realized sort of my life reflected what she didn't pursue. That friendship. Part ways. Right. And yeah. So I, I did wonder how that would affect them. But the ones who've , stuck in there. Yeah. We're still friends. We might talk once every six months mm-hmm. But because of life, , but they're still there. When I say out, like that's just the word I used with it's not even that I'm hiding it. It's, it's, I literally am living. My life as a single parent. Like I didn't mean not to tell her teacher. Mm-hmm. . The reason I knew I hadn't said anything, is because my daughter had a Zoom class session. Mm-hmm. , my father walked by the camera. And your teacher was like, boy, her dad is old. Yeah. Well, her, no, your husband. Right? I guess Maya had had these conversations with her classmates. Okay. And so the classmates said, you said you didn't have a dad. And she's confused. She's like, that's my, grandpa, one of the, one of the parents wrote me, oh my God, I'm so sorry I didn't. because how dare you tell the black child they [00:19:00] don't have a dad, or have that discussion. Uhhuh. , I realized, oh my gosh, I never, we never had that. Right. Like the pandemic opened up a lot. We're not missing a dad. This is our family. Right. And I don't remember, I hate the word sperm. I don't even know if I said by donor. I said, no, this is our family. We don't have a dad. Even then, that was bad. I should've said she's by donor, right? Because I'm assuming a certain level of so I just wrote back like, no. I know they're mortified and maybe I should've taken the opportunity to tell the teacher but I realized, oh my gosh, I never told them. I realized people are looking with a certain lens. that I don't realize, right? So even when I had my baby and my friend came to visit and we're in the hospital and then the nurse didn't know. They're looking for, Daddy Uhhuh? And then finally I said, oh no, I'm, they're, she's my donor. And they're like, oh, this is a wanted child, or something like that. I have to tell you. No, no. So then the nurse felt better. Uhhuh, imagine they're walking around on eggshells. Where's the daddy? And I'm like, oh my God, she's here. Right. So it's all these things. We almost need a sign. Listen, this is not a charity case, right? Well, there's all active choices here, [00:20:00] right. To that, so when, when I finally had my kids, I did worry that my friendship dynamics would change, mm-hmm. and, and that's just because it's unknown. Right? Right, right. And my friendship dynamics didn't change. No. My core group of girlfriends rolled and flex with it. They and my kids are now incorporated into when they come visit me, when I go visit them. Mm-hmm. , they work. Schedule. Right. It's amazing. And now my, my children have aunties who are fashionistas, aunties who are doctors, aunties who are like in advertising. And it's amazing. They bring the things to my kids that I don't bring. I'm not a fashionista, diversity. Yes. Community. Because even. Maya's a girl Scout. Mm-hmm. , she's got elders there who look like her. Mm-hmm. who've been in this community 60 years. Listen, we are educating moms. They ask me questions, like, wait a minute. You told them that they're by donor? Yes. This is honesty level. So we have these sort of narrow focus of our life, not because we mean to, but that's the life we live. Mm-hmm. [00:21:00] and, you and I are 1% of 1%. We're this small niche. , in a small community of black folks around the country. But you made this choice. Mm-hmm. . Yes. Yeah. Oh my God. That's a whole different dynamic. It just brings another side of things and so sometimes I'll be at the basketball game and say, the daddy's tall, right? And sometimes I'm like, yeah. Then other times I might see an opportunity, you know, you don't have a daddy. What? Right. Yeah. If I real like it, it might mean it might mean something for that particular conversation and then you find all these other conversations about, oh my gosh, I thought about it. Oh my gosh, I'm so proud of you. You know, there's all these other, these other things and then even the kids now are, are at a level where they're like, yeah, I didn. Explaining, let's talk about that because, what was the question that your son asked you last night? Are they family? Right. He's he's known us since he's known, but, that's what they notice. They don't remember the origin story. Uhhuh. because it's been three years now. Right. And it's so natural so they don't they're like, wait, they've also learned you adopt people as your family even though they're not. Oh, they, they have, they have gotten that. Yeah. And [00:22:00] so yeah, they're like, you know, they're probably ready to call y'all cousins. Right? So you're in our house spending the night. That's significant. Right, right, right. Last, I talk about sperm like at least five times a week. I don't wanna associated my child with sperm. I know we all were associated with sperm at some point, but it's so funny, I'll be like donor and like, sperm donor. Okay. That's all I hear when you talk sperm donor. But yes, I need to not do that because then it sounds like I'm tiptoeing around something. I'm not. I just don't like it. Word sperm donor. I don't know if I. Have I ever said the word sperm to them? Thanks, Vicki. Say it one more time. Sperm. Sperm. Maybe I'll say it in Spanish. I'll find maybe there's a, a prettier word. Thank you [00:23:00]

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