Here’s what I love about the mamas:
1. There’s always something to talk about.
Making mom friends is a cinch. Even when your personalities and life experiences are vastly different, you have something very big in common, and that’s the sisterhood of motherhood. I don’t know how many conversations I’ve had about giving birth—how long labor lasted, what kind of pain meds you received, how your doctor performed, how your husband reacted… Then, of course, there are the kids to talk about. What is baby doing these days? He’s growing so fast, you say? And down the road: How do you like your kid’s school? teacher? friends? coaches?
For several years, I participated in a parenting group with friends in the neighborhood. We would get together monthly and talk late into the night, first about parenting strategies, then about our marriages, jobs, sibling relationships, plans for the future, and how to handle life’s balancing act. Moms have a unique appreciation for adult conversation.
2. Someone to laugh with about urinary incontinence.
It’s the classic laugh-to-keep-from-crying scenario when you’re post-baby facing the realities of fossilized stretch marks, deflated bosoms, and ever-widening hips. Then you try to do a few jumping jacks and realize your bladder isn’t what it once was. I recommend laughing over crying (although both have their merits), but laughing alone can have you looking like a crazy person. That’s when it’s nice to have a mom friend handy who knows exactly what you’re going through, because she’s going through the same crap. And speaking of crap, your mom-friends will relate when you share your tale of the five-star diaper blowout that sullied your favorite stretchy pants (the ones you put on intending to go to the gym, then end up wearing all day without actually making it to the gym).
3. Same society-defying schedule.
Shawn laughs that he can’t go out to stores during the day because that’s mom world. Especially here in Davis County, Utah, where the culture is delightfully reminiscent of the 1950’s (if you live here, come on, you know I have a point), the mamas and littles run the town while the big kids are at school, and the dads are at work all day. You can find us at the gym, the grocery, the park, the library, Chick-fil-A … all the hot mom spots.
We moms also know we can text each other late at night because that’s when we’re all up enjoying kid-free time. Sometimes the enjoyment takes place in front of Netflix. Sometimes it involves doing dishes and catching up on the house (this enjoyment is less enjoyable). Either way, we’re awake.
4. Someone to share your excitement about Disney on Ice coming to town.
Moms get excited about super lame stuff. Because your kids’ interests become your interests, going to crap like Disney on Ice feels like scoring Dave Matthews tickets back in the day. No doubt, when you post those Disney moments on social media, mom friends will pepper your page with hearts and thumbs up.
Mom friends are perfect companions for afternoons at the park or lunch at Chick-fil-A (or other places with playgrounds). You’ll have plenty to talk about while the littles are distracted (see number one).
Mom friends also share your shopping interests—they know a good sale at Gymboree is at least as enticing as a sale at J. Crew. And neither of you will get bored picking through the clearance rack at babyGap.
5. We have low expectations.
Messy house? No makeup? Serving pizza for dinner for the third night this week? We get it. Momming is busy, chaotic and tiring (but fulfilling, too, right?). We moms help each other appreciate the small triumphs (like losing a pound of baby weight), the medium triumphs (like surviving your little one’s stomach bug), and the huge triumphs (like getting a group of six to look good in a family photo). Being a mom often means accepting imperfection, and that can (should!) make us delightfully forgiving of each other’s faults.