I do not know about you, but when I became a mom, it felt like the middle school scene all over again. That feeling in the pit of your stomach, it was time to try to make friends. For some reason, the stakes felt higher this time around, trying to make momma friends.
My survival as a mother, my children’s desire to have playdates, our vision of having fun with other families, these ideas were hanging in the balance of making friends. I may not speak for everyone, but many, when I say finding fellow momma friends can be intimidating, and scary.
After six years of being a mother, I have started to get better at making friends and reaching making fellow momma friends.
I am also proud to say that I have a small village of women that I know I can turn to and I hope they feel the same about me. So for anyone who is new at motherhood, or simply on the fence about reaching out to fellow mommas, let me give you a little run down on why momma friends make some of the best friends.
- Flexibility. Need to reschedule that playdate because little Johnny started vomiting on the way to the car? Only have a small window between 10 a.m. and noon to get the kiddos together before that mandatory nap? No. Big. Deal. Once you have children, the idea of perfect plans is generally tossed out the window. Many of us are winging it and in survival mode, so we can certainly understand when plans change. If I do not see you for a month, or possibly longer, I will still be your friend. I will understand.
- Non-judgmental ears. Yes, not every momma is nonjudgmental, but the good news is that there are many nonjudgmental mommas out there. Did you feed your kiddo a brownie for breakfast this AM before running out the door? Do you need a safe space to vent about your parenting fails or the stress of not being able to juggle it all? Momma friends can fit this bill perfectly. I know I so appreciate a conversation with a fellow momma where we share some of our parenting wins and fails. It is so nice knowing others are on this journey with you.
- Honesty. The nonjudgmental part is nice and all, but what if you need some brutal honesty? Mommas can be pretty good at this, too. We are used to having to tell children things they do not always want to hear. On the bright side, we can usually deliver the truth in the sweetest way possible. Like when you tell a toddler they can’t have ice cream for dinner… tonight, anyways.
- Someone to share those you “will not believe it” moments. Did one of your children have a blowout all the way up and down their onesie, while another child drew on the wall with permanent marker, and someone clogged the toilet with who knows what? These are those stories that are sacred when shared between good momma friends. Odds are, if you are starting the sentence with “you will not believe what happened today,” a momma friend may just believe it, and may have already experienced it.
- A shoulder to cry on. Anyone can be a shoulder to cry on. But if the reason you are crying has to do with the overwhelming joys, but stress, of motherhood, having a momma friend to lean on is where it is at. Mommas who can say they have been there and remind you that this too shall pass. Mommas who just get it. So what if you have held in a million things that keep building up, but what set you off was when someone spilled milk all over the kitchen and now you feel guilty for yelling? Let. It. All. Out. Find that shoulder to cry on, one that can say I have been there, this too shall pass. As a fellow momma friend, I am here for it. I am here for you.
Don’t let yourself get intimidated by trying to find the “perfect tribe.” Go out there and connect with many different mommas. Mommas with different backgrounds and in different walks of life. Everyone can bring something different to the table while being warm and inviting to other mommas. You do not need a tribe, create a village instead.