A few weeks ago I probably wouldn’t have written this post. But that was before I really had mom friends. I mean, I had friends. But we didn’t live that close to each other and we were always busy, so we only got together once every month or two. What I wanted was mom friends I could hang out with a lot, like every week.
Then a few weeks ago I started hanging out with a couple newer friends (to be fair I’ve “known” them both for awhile; we just didn’t hang out for some reason!). And it’s awesome. The three of us get together at least a couple times a week most of the time and we do all kinds of stuff together — basic playdates, park trips, zoo trips, Amish country (that one’s coming up!), strawberry picking, and lots more. Our kids are really close in age and get along great.
That inspired me to write this post — I believe we all need mom friends, and here’s why:
1. Women “get it” — I love my husband so much but he’s not a woman. He doesn’t stay home with the kids. As much as he supports me and allows me to vent to him and discuss things with him, he does not have the same perspective I do. My “mom friends” do, because they’re in the same place (roughly) that I am. So we can talk about a lot of things, knowing that we often see them the same way. (And we love our husbands just as much for their different perspective but we truly need both!)
2. Reassurance — Sometimes the things that kids do are baffling or frustrating. We’re always able to say, “So my kid just started doing this…has/is yours doing it too?” or whatever’s on our minds. It reassures all of us that, yes, certain phases are normal!
3. Someone to talk to — I love talking to my kids, but sometimes I get tired of having the same conversation 8,000 times. “No, it’s not time for Daddy to come home yet. No, it won’t be time in two more minutes. No, if you look out the window his car will not be there.” Talking to other moms during the day keeps me sane, and helps me put “being mom” into perspective, making me enjoy it more.
4. Someone to “do stuff” with — Okay, sometimes I just don’t want to go to the grocery store…again, or to the park…again, etc. It’s nice to have a friend to come with me. We both have to go, might as well do it together! It makes the necessities more enjoyable.
5. Friends for my kids — I’m not 100% of the mind that I have to choose my kids’ friends, but I’d ideally like to provide them with friends who come from families who are generally like-minded. Friends who they enjoy and have fun with, but are also good influences on them. I don’t prevent my kids from playing with other kids that they meet at the playground or the neighborhood, but I encourage them to spend more time with the kids of my friends.
6. New perspectives — Although my friends and I are generally like-minded (it’s why we get along so well), we still do things differently. It’s always interesting to explore these differences and see what we can learn. For example, we all plan to home school, but have different thoughts and ideas about how to do it, and it’s been nice to share that. One friend has done a lot more of certain types of cooking than I have and so I’m learning more about it from her.
7. Keeps you honest – We all have our “thing” that we do that we shouldn’t, our downfall. Maybe more than one! My friends help to gently remind me to stay true and not give in to temptation. For me, I like to eat out more often than I should, for both health and budget reasons. My friends don’t, and it helps to remind me that I have good reasons to stop doing it. (If I’m around people who like to go out to eat, I will inevitably go with them…too much. It’s nice to have friends to keep me accountable!)
8. Individual people — That is, we’re not just “mom.” We’re individuals who do have our own interests! Mom friends can remind us of this, spark our interest in new projects, talk about these projects, and even do them together. There’s been talk of hitting thrift stores…while the dads take the kids. Being with friends remind us to be who we are instead of getting lost in “being mom.” (And although this is absolutely not always true, many moms are more understanding of kids and their needs than non-parents. Though I do have close friends who are not parents who totally get it too!)
9. Support — Sometimes we go through tough times, whether they’re expected and temporary, like having a new baby; or something much more difficult. You can’t count on acquaintances to help you through these times. But your friends will be there for you, and you will be there for them.
10. Understanding — As we all know, sometimes the world of mothering is a harrowing time. We’re worried, at least at times, what others think of us or might say to us. It’s great to be with moms that you know and trust and just be yourself, without fear that they’ll misinterpret what you say, or think your kids are bad just because they’re having a fussy day. They know you and your kids and they understand how it is. It’s great to relax, escape the world, and just enjoy your time together!
I’m sure I could think of a lot more reasons why we need mom friends, but those are some good ones. It’s probably obvious I am totally enjoying it, and my kids are too! When our friends left after our playdate yesterday, my daughter said, “I want my friends to come back…right now!”
What are some of your reasons why we need mom friends?
Top image by Tedsblog
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