Here's To "Mom Friends," The Friendships Born Out of Motherhood
Motherhood can be a strange and lonely place at times, especially early on as we first embark on the metamorphosis into "mom." At the time when I started that journey, I had many close and cherished friends, but most of them didn't have kids yet and even more lived scattered across the country and the world, as I had several big moves behind me and was just settling back down in Chicago.
I have never struggled to make friends and many people are surprised to learn that I am an introvert, yet the thought of going to social groups geared toward new moms was about as appealing to me as dropping a dresser on my big toe or attending a professional networking event. Awkward, forced, unnatural. Not for me, thanks! It was therefore begrudgingly and to my own surprise that I joined a lactation group shortly after my first child was born. I needed the breastfeeding support but, looking back, I also realize now how isolated and lonely I was in those early days. That's where I met my first "mom friend.”
Through conversations in the group, we realized we were neighbors and eventually exchanged numbers — which felt a lot like being asked out on a date — and agreed to meet up for a stroller walk. It started with coffee and one long meandering walk around our neighborhood. We were both newly minted moms, just a few weeks postpartum. As our babies slept in their strollers, we poured out our struggles and our triumphs and moved our tired and broken bodies together. An immediate bond was formed and we agreed to meet again soon. Not long after, we were meeting up several times a week for our walks and they got longer and longer. As our maternity leaves wound down and we couldn’t do our daytime walks anymore, we’d meet for brunch on the weekends and soon our husbands became friends, too. Our kids have known each other their whole lives and to this day, she is one of my closest friends in Chicago.
"The “mom friend” is a very special kind of friend indeed. I had no idea when I became a mom how much I would need you. When I hear the phrase “it takes a village,” I think of you."
My lactation group friend was the first of several meaningful and irreplaceable friendships I’ve found along the way through motherhood. With almost every daycare or preschool classroom my kids have been in, I’ve found at least one kindred spirit in the other moms. While there have certainly been exceptions and I haven’t formed a connection with every one of my kids’ friends’ moms (there have been some bad “first dates,” too), it’s kind of funny how the friends my kids choose tend to align with the moms I would choose as friends, too.
In honor of National Women’s Friendship Day, I’d like to thank all of the amazing moms who have come into my life over the last seven years. The “mom friend” is a very special kind of friend indeed. I had no idea when I became a mom how much I would need you. When I hear the phrase “it takes a village,” I think of you. You are a source of great support and sisterhood. You are the concierge customer service line for mom/life/work problems, and you are just a text away. We share different struggles and triumphs with one another than when our kids were younger, and we even talk about things other than our kids now, but we continue to grow together in our ever-changing roles as “mom” and women.
I’m forever grateful for you and excited about the mom friendships I haven’t yet made.