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This One Goes Out to Our Mom Friends

While my life right now orbits around my immediate family, I don't know what I'd do without the crazy quilt of mom friends I've come to know. You are my lifelines, my laughter, my village. This one's for you.

Thank you for listening and for giggling when I tell you my kids are being assholes and not making me feel like I need to remind you how much I love those little assholes—because you already know.

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Thank you for inviting me into your laundry-sprawled living room, and for not grimacing when you sit at my table to sip tea and discover an entire ecosystem of food scraps beneath the table.

Thank you for ... reminding me that I'm not alone.

Thank you for absolving me of my guilt when I screw up, and for reminding me that I'm a good mom, my kids are good kids, and we're all just doing the best that we can.

Thank you for telling your truth about your kids and your job and your sex life, because it helps me tell mine.

Thank you for reaching through the trenches of postpartum depression and being patient with me. For sitting beside me while we gulped coffee and nursed our babies as I stared off into space. Your presence was like a soft splash of sunlight, warming and comforting me.

Thank you for your hilarious stories about parenthood, like the time you found your son pretending your vibrator was a telephone and you watched in silent horror before finally stuttering, "I think that call is for me."

Thank you for helping me decide I was done being a stay-at-home mom. For reminding me that there are hundreds of ways to mother, whether we work for paychecks or not, and that we're all there at the beginning of the day until the end, and in the darkest corners of the night.

Thank you for your texts that always come at just the right time. They feel like little word hugs, reminding me that I'm not alone.

I need to hear your imperfections because I'm brimming with them.

Thank you for comparing notes on our ever-worsening PMS symptoms. Because you understand, you are among the few I can tolerate during my 7 to 10 days of rage spirals each month.

Thank you for sharing that your daughter just went on a food strike, denouncing anything but bagels for a week, and for not judging me for sending my kid to school each day with a glistening stack of pepperoni in his lunchbox. And thank you for admitting that dinner in your home is not usually baked salmon on a bed of quinoa and kale, but hotdog slices in a savory nest of Pringles. And for letting me know that instead of the peaceful, Kumbaya family dinner we imagined before having kids, mealtimes are almost always a shitshow in your house, too.

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Thank you for sharing all your messiness with me, like how you're still wearing maternity pants though your youngest is 6, or that you leave little trails of pee when you laugh or cough or sneeze. I need to hear your imperfections because I'm brimming with them. I still sometimes think I'm supposed to be doing this parenting thing according to some elusive map, and you remind me that my messy, zig-zagging path is not so bad. We're forging our own ways.

Mostly, thank you for your friendship. Thank you for knowing what women have known all through time—that we need to gather together to share and witness each other's stories, to nod and smile, to sigh and laugh.

Thank you for walking side by side with me, for keeping me company on this wild, hard, hilarious, amazing ride.

Photograph by: Twenty20

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