It's 8 a.m. on a Tuesday and the day is stretching out long and lonely before you. You've just dropped off your oldest kids at school and are staring blankly at the toddler and baby strapped into their car seats behind you. You wonder how long you can milk a drive-thru through Starbucks to kill some time. You're crying a bit inside already thinking of how you are going to entertain them all day long. So, what do you do?
The way I look at it, you have two options, both of which I employ on a regular basis: Order the biggest coffee known to mankind and play a version of "hide-and-seek" all day with the kids, mostly involving you hiding from them and hoping they can't find you. OR scroll through your arsenal of mom friends to see if anyone is feeling as desperate for company as you are. A quick "coffee?" text might be all it takes for the difference between a crappy day at home with kids and a day when you think, "Hey, maybe I can do this mom thing after all."
You see, I know there are a lot of articles out there that talk about how hard it is to make friends as mothers and I get that, I really do. Making friends, in general, is hard, and then throw in the fact that I never have time for anything, am usually covered in some kind of bodily fluid and rarely have a wardrobe that fits, and having any kind of social life gets infinitely harder.
Becoming a mom has actually helped me make more friends than ever, simply because motherhood is universal.
I have never been the life of a party, nor will I ever be. I'm as introverted and quiet and bookwormish and unglamorous as they come, but in a way, motherhood has felt like a big sigh of relief to my inadequate friend-making skills. Becoming a mom has actually helped me make more friends than ever, simply because motherhood is universal. And there is nothing like the unifying bond of motherhood to bring moms together.
In a way, we're all kind of desperate, right? Especially us stay-at-home or work-at-home types. I don't care how much we don't have in common or how different we are, if we can share a coffee and joke about potty-training, talk about the struggles of a toddler with too much sass or vent about the perils of not actually understanding your first-grader's homework, then we are BFFs of the best type: mom friends.
Mom friends are nothing to write off. Maybe we don't hang out without our kids or maybe we wouldn't be friends in any situation that didn't involve both of us having offspring, but I don't care. Just having someone that I can wave "hi" at in the school parking lot, call if I'm really in a pinch and need someone or text frantically if I forget some school event is life-saving at this stage of the game.
And no matter what friendship stage you're in, mom friends are the best kinds of friends because they are completely undemanding.
They don't care if it takes you days to answer a text back, if you have to run off the phone suddenly, if you never answer the phone because OMG I can't talk right now, if you look like total shit, if you have your shirt on backwards, if you don't actually want to do anything but just sit in silence and smile at your kids. Mom friends don't care if all you do is talk about your kids or complain about your marriage or commiserate about how tired you are. Mom friends get it and we don't require much to survive. We're the best kind of houseplant you could ask for, just water us with the occasional coffee, give us a little bit of sunshine and a few sparse conversations and we're good to go.
In a lot of ways, I don't feel like I could survive motherhood without my mom friends, no matter how trivial our friendships may be. Mom friends are the best friends, because we don't ask questions and we don't demand any other time than the time when we are both losing our minds and need a little human interaction. Mom friends are the best friends because we get it.
We get that sometimes, you just need someone to text your toddler's latest antic to. We get that sometimes, you just need to vent about the latest school drama. We get that sometimes, you just want someone to help pass the time on a bright Tuesday morning when you are trying your hardest to avoid going home to yet another boring laundry day.
We get it. Because we're moms.
Some might scoff at the questions like, "How is she sleeping?" or "How old is he?" that moms and parents doll out to each other, but I welcome them. When in my life has small talk been so easy? When in my life have I ever felt so comfortable to walk up to a perfect stranger and strike up a conversation?
Some might say that "mom talk" is trivial, but it's the connection behind the talk that can literally be life-saving.
Maybe I'm not cultivating deep, talk to 3 a.m. soul-sister friendships, but simply having the bonding experience of being mothers has given me a wide circle of mom friends that I can call or text anytime for a playdate, coffee or just a WTF did my kid just do moment.
And that's thanks to the universality of motherhood. As an introvert I appreciate that motherhood makes bonding almost easier. There's just so much to talk about, from potty training to pregnancy. Some might say that "mom talk" is trivial, but it's the connection behind the talk that can literally be life-saving. And I believe that to be true.
I've been in a period of deep depression as a mom and in stages when I've been so isolated at home that even brushing my teeth felt like an insurmountable task. I've known what it feels like to feel completely alone, trapped at home with toddlers, which is exactly why I will never scoff or roll my eyes at any seemingly insignificant "mom" friend or "mom" conversation I have.
Because to me, mom friends are the best friends. They're the only ones who get me, after all. So to all the mom friends in my life: Thank you. I'm so grateful to know you.