Mom Friends – got to love ’em. The support you need when your baby won’t nap. The shoulder to cry on when you haven’t had a break. The one to clink glasses with over conversations about poop, spit-up, and the moment when your water broke. They are there to either tell you that it gets better or sob with you since they’re going through it, too.
I would have drowned in insecurity if it wasn’t for those mothers I met or re-connected with who told me that I am a fantastic mom only days after taking Leo home from the hospital. Or, the ones who brought food to our house during those sleepless weeks. I cherish my ‘mom friends’ – because, without them, I wouldn’t know how to treat cradle cap, use a mixer to blend formula, or have anyone to compete with when it comes to judging who has the most laundry stained with spit-up.
I’ve found my tribe – but, why is it so hard to form a friendship as a new mom in the first place?
- we rarely make it out of the house – with or without the baby.
- we want to approach another mom – but, walking up and stating “Will you be my friend? I mean, we both created humans” makes us appear desperate and awkward.
- we can’t befriend just any mom; she has to meet a certain criteria i.e. one who won’t judge us for cleaning the pacifier with our mouths after it drops on the floor or one who won’t ask why we’re drinking wine if we’re breastfeeding.
- when we do finally make it out of the house, we either rush back to relieve our husbands or so our baby can nap in their crib.
- we’re brand new to the game – and, if our circumstances don’t yet include ‘helping our child with their homework’ or ‘chaperoning a field trip’ – we’re afraid you have so much of a leg up on “mommy-ing” that our struggle with sleep training seems minuscule.
…but, why is it just as hard to keep the friends we had before we had kids?
- refer to #1 above.
- we think you think we’re suddenly boring and don’t know how to have a good time.
- we don’t have much to talk about other than the fact that our child is teething, sleeping-through-the-night, or just had a blow-out all over our couch. (I mean, really, do you want to hear about those things?)
- we, honestly, don’t have much time in the day to contact you – and, when we do get a free moment, we’d like to use it to either sleep, eat, shower, workout, get some cleaning done, or do absolutely nothing by ourselves.
- we really miss you – but, we’re afraid our lives have become so different now that we will eventually lose touch as our child gets older.
I didn’t have very many ‘mom friends’ before I gave birth to Leo – but, I am truly grateful for the ones that I have now. Part of the reason why I started Life With Leo was to be that friend or source of encouragement to a new mom that I was lacking in the beginning. Without the ones who were up with me at 2:00 AM when I was struggling to nurse or the ones who sympathize with me for drinking wine at 3:00 PM, I wouldn’t have had the strength to hold on through the tough stages and phases.
So – if you’re also new to parenthood, preparing to have your first… or maybe, you’re on your second and can’t quite remember what the fussy weeks were like… I’m here to tell you, mama…
…you’re strong, you’re stellar, you’re doing a great job.