Real Moms Dish on the Power of Mom Friends
Every once in a while, something erupts on social media, and the so-called “mommy wars” become a thing again. Whether it's a celebrity mom dishing out unwanted advice or a fight over the best way to do this or that, people jump in with comments and opinions, until it quiets down again, and then everyone seems to simply move on to the next thing.
But that cliche seems to linger out there, ready to pounce when the next big issue rolls around. Why is it that the media jumps at the chance to highlight the negative interactions women might have but pays very little attention to the positive? In a world full of stress and heartache, I say it's long past time to showcase the good.
Mom friends can be a huge source of support, confidence, and laughter. I've often joked about the “blind dates” I felt like I was on every time I took the kids to the park when they were babies. I would scan the playground in search of a friendly face and then strike up a conversation about something inane, like diapers, to get the ball rolling. Those early years can be isolating and lonely, and sometimes, a trip to the local park or bookstore becomes mom-friend gold!
I feel fortunate to have a number of mom friends in my corner, both in my little town here and all over the country. Mom friends get it. Even if they haven't encountered the exact situation I'm in, chances are they've experienced something similar and they have valuable insight (or a really funny story) to offer in return.
Mom friends build us up when we need a lift and make us laugh when we need a break. They listen, respond to every text, and jump in for the save the moment you need backup. Truly, is there anything more powerful than a gang of fired-up moms? I think not.
All of that mutual support, empathy, and kindness provide an excellent example for our daughters. Women don't have to argue, compete, or get sucked into dramatic exchanges. Women can build each other up instead.
Check out these inspiring tales of mom friendships and the strength, courage, and confidence they inspired.
The Partner in Crime
I first met Sondra on Halloween night during my daughter's kindergarten year. Our two girls became instant buddies the moment they met, and to look at them is to see why. Two spunky girls, who happen to have the same name, with mostly mismatched clothing and a ton of glitter, sitting side-by-side and talking incessantly about rainbows and fairies? It was a match made in heaven (or kindergarten, as the case may be).
Anyway, when Sondra's daughter and son showed up at my house, there was screeching and hugging and jumping up and down. It was very exciting, indeed. Our eyes met, and we shared a grin as Sondra approached my door. And the rest, as they say, is history.
While our girls brought us together, our families have forged the kind of friendship that lasts a lifetime. Every mom needs one mom friend who is always on the other end of the line. For me, Sondra is that friend. We laugh, we vent, we become teary-eyed with pride, and, always, we talk and text (and talk and text and talk and text). We are in this parenting thing together, and together we can handle anything.
That's the power of mom friends.
The Support System
Angela Amman has a group of mom friends that began when her son was an infant. Babies united this fun group of friends, but the relationships that developed over the years aren't simply about diaper changes and preschool problems. These mom friends help each other out, build each other up, and let loose and have fun together!
“I have a small group of mom friends I met when my son was about four months old,” explains Angela. “I joined my moms' group for play dates but made friends that enrich my own life as much — if not more — than my children's lives. We've had a running club and a book club. We encourage each other to figure out what makes us happy — both as moms and as women.
“These women have encouraged my writing career, traveled to another state to see me read in Listen to Your Mother, and reminded me that being an adult doesn't mean giving up a sense of silliness and fun.”
Don't you want to grab a group of friends and have a wedding-dress party, too?
The Confidence Builders
Galit Breen takes great care of her friendships. Galit is the kind of friend who always knows when to reach out, when to listen, and when to offer advice. She appreciates her friendships and looks to her group of friends for encouragement and inspiration.
“My mom friends are confident, sassy, and ridiculously smart,” says Galit. “They inspire me to find my edge and ignore my preconceptions of what my limits are. Besides these women being strong role models for my girls, there are three things I hope my daughters see in these friendships: The time we carve out for each other, how we support each other, and how we know what to expect from each other: no drama and kindness always.”
Kindness, always. What a wonderful expectation.
The Forever Friend
Sherri Kuhn has known Vanessa since the two were in junior high school, but bonding over babies strengthened their friendship. A chance encounter sparked a friendship between the two old friends, and between their daughters, that will no doubt last a lifetime. Sherri leans on Vanessa for support, understanding, and unconditional friendship, and she always provides the same in return.
“Vanessa and I actually go all the way back to junior high school but only became close friends after we became moms,” says Sherri. “I happened to bump into her in town when our girls were babies, having no idea she lived here, and we've been close ever since.
“I love that our friendship has been mirrored by that of our own 16-year-old daughters, who have an incredible bond. Vanessa is the friend I can bare my soul to — especially when it relates to my kids — and she won't judge or just try to ‘solve' my problem. I think my daughter has benefited from watching our friendship over the years, and it's helped her when she needs to vent or just be comforted by a friend.”
When Nichole Beaudry met Sherri, it was friend at first sight. Their bond (as fellow writers) began long before their very first lunch, and their friendship grew with each text message, hand-written note, and perfectly timed phone call.
While Sherri is knee-deep in navigating the world of parenting a college student and a teenage daughter, Nichole's kids are younger, just beginning the long and winding road of education, friendships, and identity formation.Nichole and Sherri keep each other grounded when life presents challenges and provide unconditional friendship and support through all of the ups and downs.
“Sherri inspires me every day,” writes Nichole. “I value the fact that I can go to her with any of my parenting challenges and she can talk me off the ledge and give me things to think about. She's my rock.”
Isn't that inspiring?
Now grab a bottle of wine (or a carafe of coffee) and go spend some quality time with one of your amazing mom friends. You will both be better for it.