They say it takes a village to raise a child, but I would be willing to argue, to also raise a mother. Suddenly, everything we knew changes. One day we only have to worry about ourselves and then, they place this helpless being into our arms and we are completely responsible for its survival. The fear is real when you leave the hospital and look at that tiny baby that’s completely dependent upon you. You know it is your responsibility to not only keep them alive, but help shape them into the adult they will one day be.
It is a massive undertaking and one we are never really ready for. We have no idea what it really means until those hospital doors close behind us. It becomes even more apparent with each passing year the huge responsibility parenting is. That is why it is vital to have significant friends in our lives to help us along the ever changing path of motherhood.
1. The Mom with kids slightly older than yours
This mom has just walked in your shoes. She gets it. All of it. She completely understands where you are right now. This is the mom that you can vent to, cry to, laugh with and often accept great hand-me-downs.
This mom is in your corner. She will lament with you. She will celebrate with you. You can ask her a million questions. You never have to worry she will think you are a bad mom. She will be that friend who will encourage you. She will be your cheerleader and often you will be her’s. She will share all the good and the bad of mommyhood with you.
2. The Older and Wiser Mom
This mom has children that are significantly older than yours. This mom provides that calming force when you feel like your world is spinning out of control. The mom who shares her wisdom with you. The one who swoops in with the incredibly helpful advice from a different perspective. Her teenage kids are thriving and you know you can trust that advice. She isn’t afraid to tell you when you are overreacting, but will do so with love and support; not judgment. The one who helps you to see that even in those really challenging days, motherhood is a beautiful gift we have been given. She reminds us to be grateful and embrace the challenges with a joyful view.
3. The Co-worker mom
This mom is sharing the same world as you. You work in the same field, you have the same demands. She gets the work/mom balance you are trying to maintain. This is the mom that will cover for you when you are running late because of a kidtastrify in the morning. She will watch your classroom for a couple minutes while you slip out to answer that phone call from the doctor’s office you have been waiting for. She will show up with a coffee on Monday morning. She will allow you to cry in her office when you have hit a breaking point. She will meet you in the bathroom with an extra shirt and baby wipes when the baby puked on your clothes at daycare drop off.
This is the mom that supports you at work because you also support her. You often become work besties. You see the world through each other’s lens. Your job is a better place because she is in it with you.
4. The Single Friend
This person keeps you grounded in a totally different way. She helps you remember what life was like before kids. She loves your kids as if they were her own. She is there for you when you need her. She isn’t afraid to jump in to help when called upon. She also gets your butt out of the house for some much needed relaxation or fun. She helps you to remember that you have an identity outside of being a mom. You are not just someone’s mom. You are still you.
There are so many pieces to who you are. Mom is one part. She loves you and is understanding of the changing dynamics of your life as a wife and mother.
5. The Husband/Significant Other
The friend that may just be the most important, the husband/significant other. Living with your best friend makes a huge difference in tackling the challenges of parenthood. No relationship is perfect, but he sees you. He notices when you are struggling and he is there. He splits this parenting thing. He gets up with the kids in the middle of the night too. He goes outside and plays with them. He cooks dinner, even if his version of cooking is picking up Chik-fil-a on his way home. He does laundry. He cleans the bathroom. He never lets everything fall on you. He sees your lives together as being part of a team. He supports you in all your endeavors. Family is important to him and it shows.
While motherhood may never be easy, the people who fill these roles are vital to this surviving and thriving at parenting thing. We often feel God’s love through the people He places in our lives. We need to not only receive that love as the gift that it is, but also be the ones to give it as well. Finding these friends to help along the way is important, but filling these roles for others is equally important. It is how we grow.