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Five Things I’ve Learned About Mom Friends

Five Things I’ve Learned About Mom Friends

When my first child was born, I was nineteen years old. At that time, I had high school friends and, because I was in the National Guard, Army friends. In my twenties, I made new college friends and later work friends. I had friends. But as I got older, further into motherhood, I realized I was going to need a new kind of friend yet: the mom friend.

Many years ago, my mother had quite plainly told me, “You need to find mom friends.” I was dismissive of her advice. What even were “mom friends”? Then, around the time my second child was born, I started noticing mom friends. Moms meeting at the playground or posting photos (wine glass in hand) with captions like, “Love my mom tribe!” These, I gathered, were the mom friends I was missing. 

I set out to make mom friends of my own shortly after my third child was born, and I became a SAHM. I was looking for those park playdates and possibly even early dinner dates. In due course, I found my mom friends, the “tribe” I had been looking for; and oh, do they mean so much more to me than just playdates and dinner. Here’s what I have learned. 

Five Things I’ve Learned About Mom Friends

Good mom friends bring joy to life.
  1. You need them.

    Humans are social animals by nature, and motherhood is not meant to be isolating. Women are meant to raise their children communally; that’s what mom friends are, community. A community of women that support and uplift you through this most wonderful and challenging time of life. Between the playdates and dinner dates, they will walk with you through the joys and inevitable sorrows of motherhood.

  2. You won’t always agree with them.

    We tend to make friends with people with similar interests, lifestyles, or backgrounds. However, the closer you become to a friend, the closer you realize you don’t agree on everything, and that’s okay. Mom friends do not have to vote for the same political candidates or feed their kids the same thing for dinner. If you enjoy spending time with someone, your core values align, and there is mutual respect, it is very likely that you can let that disagreement slide.

  3. You will be a better parent because of them.

    Spending time with your mom friends will bring happiness and reduce stress. Leaving you better equipped to cope with the highs and lows of day-to-day life as a mother. Mom friends are an outlet for our infinite thoughts and questions. Maybe I should try elimination communication with my baby… how do I handle tantrums at the store? The companionship of other women you can trust and relate to is invaluable; you will be a better parent.

  4. They will take time and work.

    I have read it takes 40-60 hours to form a casual friendship, 80-100 to transition to being a friend, and more than 200 hours together to become good friends (news.ku.edu). Phew, where do busy moms find 40, let alone 200 hours, to hang out? Making friends takes time, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. That mom you chat with every week at gymnastics? Invite her to coffee, or schedule a playdate at the park. Take a class or join a group to meet new people – aka potential mom friends – with similar interests. Then, keep inviting them to coffee. Keep scheduling playdates. Make time for your mom friends; make them a priority.

  5. They are worth it.

    I believe friendship is a gift from a higher power, and mom friends are no exception. To quote the fabulous actress and mother, Amy Poehler:

    “Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you; spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.”

    Her words ring more true for me today than I ever could have imagined. My mom friends, and my community of mothers, are inspiring; they have changed my life.

    Once you find your community, don’t stop there. Keep inviting new moms into the fold. Because, as it turns out, one of the best parts of motherhood is the other moms!

 


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