The importance of having mom friends (whether you meet them at mommy & me class or with a mom app) when your babies are little is a no brainer. You’ve been thrown into the whirlwind ride that is motherhood and everything is new. There are sleepless nights and diapers and colic and feeding and weaning and all that stuff that can drive you crazy if you don’t have someone to share it with. Poopsplosions. Milestones. Finger foods. First words. But little babies eventually grow up and while they’ll always be your babies, suddenly you have a whole lot more time on your hands.
Mom friends? Still important, even after the school years start and the whole family is making every major decision based on college admissions factors. That’s because while the baby days are old news, your kids can still surprise you. The questions you and your mom friends eventually answered are replaced by different questions. Fresh conundrums. New worries. More guilt. And it’s your mom friends who are there sharing it with you because they’re going through the same things. The big thing no one tells moms of young kids is that it actually doesn’t get easier – it just feels that way because the challenges change.
But let’s take the children out of the equation. Sure, when I get together with my mom friends our talk is more often about kids than current events. That’s only natural considering that our kids have a much bigger impact on our day to day lives than European economic policy. But sometimes we do talk about current events. Or husbands. Or hair. We actually talk about hair a lot, which is weird because I wouldn’t call us girly girls. Sometimes it’s when I’m chatting with my mom friends that I get to have the best non-kiddo convos because we’re all so dang tired of gabbing endlessly about our children with partners and teachers and doctors and everyone else.
Of course, many times we were able to have those conversations because my kids were keeping their kids busy and vice versa. Whereas if we’d tried to have a coffee date that wasn’t also a playdate no one would have made it or (worse) no one would have gotten a word in edgewise. That said, as our children got older and in some cases grew apart, we never did let that stop us from meeting up not as mom friends but just as friends.
Because isn’t that the point? There are acquaintances with whom you will share many things. People you can talk to because you’re in the same stage of life or facing the same difficulties. And some people have put down the whole idea of having mom friends as more of a convenience than anything else. But when it comes to the very best mom friends it’s not like that at all. There will be years where you feel like you spend more time chasing down sticky fingers than actually chatting but those years will be gone in a blink of an eye. When you emerge from those years, suddenly able to sleep whole nights and leave your kids alone in the house for longer than a minute, the women with whom you shared those years will still be there.
Mom friends. Real friends. Because if you’re lucky, one day you’ll discover it was never about the kids at all.