Baby

The One Kind of Mom Friend We All Need to Have

by Risa Kerslake

Photograph by Twenty20

I’m so blessed to have friends from all walks of life. I have single friends, friends who just tied the knot and friends I can do motherhood with. I love getting together for wine and appetizers with some of them, and meeting at a park with others so the kids can play. I have the best of both worlds. But, out of all those friends, there's one type that I just connect with on another level. It's the kind of friend we all need to have in our lives: another mom with a child the same age as yours.

See, we need our mom tribe. We need those who are also raising children in our lives to lean on for support and encouragement. But there's something to be said for pairing up with another mom who has a child close in age as your own.

I met that friend when my daughter was about 3 months old. We connected from a mom Facebook group and instantly bonded. Our babies were six weeks apart and now they’re both nearing 2 and I don’t know where I would be without her.

I went through six years of infertility to have my daughter. By the time she came, so many of my friends were on their second or third child. Amanda and I were waist-deep in new motherhood together; I knew I could stumble through it with her because she would be working through it with me.

We’re doing this together and every new stage is a fun surprise for both of us.

We texted back and forth, commiserating about reflux, sleep issues and nursing in public. Our parenting styles were definitely different. She bed-shared, while I had my daughter in a bassinet in our bedroom before moving her to her crib. She used a cover when breastfeeding, while I just tried really hard not to flash people. She was definitely more laid-back and I was a neurotic Type A. But the point was we were experiencing a lot of the same developmental milestones in our kids and we had each other to bounce ideas off of.

When Amanda’s son hit his four-month sleep regression, I was quick to dole out advice, being that I was still in the midst of it.

Our kids were around six months when we started researching Baby-Led Weaning together, sending each other pictures of our cut-up food and nodding knowingly when the other would complain about the constant mess at mealtimes. We researched convertible car seats at the same time and bought the same fabric snack bags. And, when my daughter would have a blowout at the park, Amanda was always quick to hand over a spare pair of pants.

Since our kids were around the same age, we signed up for a lot of the same classes where we could meet other moms with kids in the same age group. She was one of the very few stay-at-home moms I knew, so we did a lot of stuff together during the weekday. We kept busy to keep from going insane and she knew all the free places to take our toddlers this summer.

She’s invaluable to me. She hasn’t forgotten what it’s like to be late to everything because your kid refused socks and 2-year molars aren’t in the distant past. We’re doing this together and every new stage is a fun surprise for both of us.

Mom friends from all stages are amazing, but if you can find one to go through every milestone together, it makes motherhood so much sweeter.

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