I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for 13 years.
In the early days, back in my 20s, we didn’t have internet to connect us with everyone. We had just moved to a new city, so I didn’t have a church family or any local friends.
It’s hard to imagine now how I survived all those days without friends to talk to.
I watched a lot of tv, read a lot of magazines, and actually took naps when the baby napped. I also visited my parents several times a week. Looking back, that was the only thing that kept me sane.
Years later, a brief stint teaching preschool, involvement in MOPS, homeschool coops, and network marketing has given me a large and ever growing group of friends.
I may see them more on Facebook than anywhere else, but there’s a connection there!
Over dinner with a friend last week, I realized that there are 5 different types of friends that every mom needs to give us perspective and round us out as humans. They say you are the sum of the 5 people you spend the most time with, so having a good variety keeps you balanced!
And I’m all about balance!
The 5 Friends Every Mom Needs
1. The Older Mom Friend
This mom has been around the block before. Whether her kids are 5 years older than yours or 20 years ahead, she knows what it’s like to be a mom. She remembers the late nights, the messy floors, and the sticky kisses.
She gets it. She’s been there.
She can help with advice, but also with perspective. She sees what a great job you’re doing! She knows how the day to day tasks you do for your kids add up to make a significant impact on the people they turn out to be.
She can encourage you and cheer you on!
And she just might be available for babysitting sometimes.
2. The Younger Mom Friend
She may be younger than you or just newer in the Sisterhood of Motherhood, but this gal looks up to you.
Why you need her: she makes you feel like a rockstar momma! She asks you about stuff like diaper rashes and when to change to the Medium flow nipples on the bottles. She thinks you’re a freaking genius when you show her how to swaddle and soothe her baby.
Even after the newborn phase, when you’re just a few steps ahead of a mom, you can offer her perspective on things like toddler tantrums or pre-teen angst with the wisdom of a mom who’s been there. Since you’re only a few steps ahead, you remember with great clarity and can really give detailed advice! Unlike her mom, you know the rules on carseats, lunchmeat while pregnant, and smartphone usage for kids.
Your younger mom friend NEEDS you, and being able to answer her questions validates your own skills as an awesome mom!
3. The Comrade in the Trenches
This mom has kids the same age as you. You’re both running to the same practices and events. You’re both dealing with the same developmental issues with your kids.
Why you need her: She gets it! When your 9-year-old has a whiny meltdown, she knows it’s not because you haven’t taught that child how to behave, but that 9-year-olds are just whiny and emotional, OK?! You can call her and commiserate about returning your 2 year old to bed 14 times a night before he finally falls asleep. And you can check in with her about how she’s handling the new trends in dating. “What does ‘talking’ mean exactly? Ok, and they’re not actually ‘talking’ right, just texting and giggling all night?”
She knows you’re not crazy.
And you can probably split the chauffeur duties with her. “You drop them off and I’ll pick them up, ok?”
4. The Non-Mom with Similar Tastes.
If you’re not careful about it, life as a mom can begin to revolve around your kids. You don’t go shopping because they are annoying brats at the clothing stores. You skip the new restaurants in town because the kids wouldn’t eat anything there. You decide that at-home date nights are really the best thing ever because you don’t have to pay through the nose for a babysitter.
The part of you that likes going out, trying new things, and actually trying on clothes before you buy them? That girl is still inside you.
You need the non-mom friend with similar tastes because she helps you find the best sushi joint and ensures that you know about the latest trends.
She also helps you remember WHO you were before you had kids.
I recently spent a weekend with my college roommates. Even though I feel really true to myself and happy as a mom of 4, these girls (ok, we’re all adults in our 30s now, but I still call us girls) helped me remember what it was like to be ME… not mom or wife or anything else. I could totally let my guard down and just be myself. It was awesome.
5. The Hobby and Interest Mom
When you are only around kids all day, you need something to keep your mind engaged and learning. Having a hobby or interest can do just that! Whether it’s photography, crocheting, sewing, baking, growing an online business, or anything else…there’s bound to be a Facebook group about it!
Some of my favorite people are people I’ve never met in real life. I have tons of Facebook and Instagram friends that share similar interests and hobbies as I do. Some are moms and some are not, but the important thing is, we have something to talk about besides just our kids!
We can encourage and support each other. Teach each other new things.
A friend with similar interests helps you become better at what you do and keeps you from feeling like what you do is unimportant. These people are TREASURE!
Actually, all these friends are treasures!
Motherhood can be a lonely place sometimes, especially if you’re staying home with your kids. Sometimes, even our “friends” on social media can make us feel lonely because the highlight reel of their life looks so much better than ours. Having a few legit, awesome friends you can talk to can help keep all that in perspective. You may not get together very often (though I encourage you to make that a priority), but just knowing they’ve got your back is a blessing.
If you’ve got these 5 special friends in your life, share this article and give them a shout out.
Then set up a coffee date or video chat soon!