Friendship, Journeys In Motherhood

The Beautiful Complexity of Friendship in Motherhood 

The ability to have friends and maintaining healthy friendships doesn’t stop after we become mothers. There will be obvious changes in the various transitions throughout our motherhood journey for first time moms,those of us who are in the trenches with young active kiddos, and those of us who are mature moms with teens and young adults. Our relationships and friendships evlove naturally as we’re evolving.  Just because we become mothers it doesn’t mean that we cut out the possibility of God sending us enriching friendships that will enhance this unpredictable journey in motherhood that makes this time a little bit more meaningful.

Where My People At ?  

I honestly didn’t have any “Mommy friends ” until my eldest child was almost ten years old! My two closest friends for years were both single and living at home with their parents. I have been on my own since the age of nineteen, divorced, and happily remarried approaching our first decade together in a few years. My two closest friendships have spawn over two decades with one friend, and my second closest friendship blossomed while we were young in college. I enjoyed the bond that we shared even though there were noticeable differences. Despite having my children usually in tow by my side most of the women who were attracted to me in pursuing friendships were single or married with no children. Overtime I could feel that I was missing a deep connection of having someone who could truly relate to me in my daily tasks and responsibilities as a mother. They honestly could not relate to the struggle at times other than comparing what they saw their mothers going through  from the outside looking in. It posed at times in conflict with certain situations within maintaining the friendship. My closest friend had her first child a month or so before my son’s 10th birthday party. I can remember at the time being all excited that we would join the beauty of mommy world together, yet I saw myself with my hands filled with four of my own including two special needs toddlers while she had a newborn cutie.

Welcome  To Mommy World !

I met my first set of mommy friends following my transition in staying at home with my special needs premature twins, and we began our journey in homeschooling for a time frame. I was feeling alone, depressed from not being able to keep my usual routine in working outside of the home, and overwhelmed from the balancing act of our busy home life.I founded during this period an organization in the hopes or connecting other moms like myself with similar interests.I met many other moms in our daily outings and activities as homeschoolers. I eventually met many women who I could relate to. I saw my children playing with friends their own age, and it was a community that we looked forward to meeting with each week. I saw the good, the bad, and some of the challenging experiences in many of those relationships with meeting those women. I will say that despite if the friendship remained strong or if the friendship dissolved I respect those women. I will forever treasure my time with them, and they each filled a void that I knew deep in my heart that was missing. I don’t have any sisters, and I didn’t have any female cousins around on a regular basis so I have always enjoyed times with my “sisters” in friendships. I learned a lot from many of them.I learned the balancing act of what is to be expected in being a friend to someone in being a wife and mother. I learned about the importance of setting boundaries of not overextending yourself for the sake of a friendship. Seeing them manage it all in not trying to save the world and be everything for everybody gave a deeper meaning in setting clear priorities. 

 Being On The Same Page Counts

It’s very important to be like minded in selecting those who you surround yourself with and that of your family in being a mother. It gives a peaceful comfort that goes beyond generic relationship status. My mom always says ” You can’t mix oil and water”, and that applies heavily with selecting friends in motherhood. It’s not that we can’t be open to diversity or different views points from others. Being open minded is always a great characteristic. However when we attach ourselves to those who are not equally yoked with our values, standards, morals, character, and maturity we can also open ourselves up to straining difficulties that can blow in the wind in other areas in our lives.

The Beauty of Diversity In Friendship 

I noticed that many of my friendships became more diverse once I transitioned in being able to participate in settings with other moms. Yes, we were different nationalities, academic  achievements, and work experience but we connected in sharing in similar stages within our motherhood journey with our children. I have some friends that together we get into such deep heart felt conversations or a big hearty laugh that we don’t feel what’s in the moment the obvious distinction of our known differences. We can sometimes laugh about those difference, or we ask in curiosity the other’s opinion without doing so in a singling out kind of way for a clearer prospective . I like the beauty of exposing my children to various cultures in respect of developing in apperication the beauty of diversity. They have a rainbow of friends that I wasn’t afforded as a child that they can play with. I can proudly say that I have the same with many other moms that I love and respect.

Knowing The Big Difference In Healthy Conveniences &  Taking Advantage

My family and I both saw the benefits in convenience in having good mom friends. It made a wealth of difference beyond what I have experienced or expected. It feels good having someone in your corner ,to help if needed in case of an emergency, or to have someone who sincerely cares for your children as if they were their own. Motherhood and parenting in general works as a barter system in many ways to help one another out as a united village. A healthy mom friendship is a give and take with no one overwhelming the arrangement in being onesided. We share a date night with a couple friend of ours. We keep their kids one day for them to go on a date once a month, and they in turn keep our children the same. One of my girlfriends shares in cooking awesome meals, and we in turn host a potluck  dinner occasionally at one another’s home . In case of an emergency it’s great to have a friend to rely on when you don’t have family to watch the kids if needed or to pass on needed information from the school  or  extracurricular activities in case you missed it. Every mom needs that one friend that they can call for advice,support, or a good cleansing cry!  The friendship should not be onesided, so it’s essential to be observant of toxic personalities who are draining. Friends who are needy, controlling, and filled with constant drama can be exhausting to a mother who’s already stretched thin with her energy being depleted in caring for the needs of her family. Friendship for the most part in motherhood in case of an emergency for childcare or a rare date you don’t have to go out of pocket for I later found out. The friendship shouldn’t be considered a friend’s part time job or side hustle without an open agreement of terms. We are also not to be used in being taken advantage of as long term childcare solution for a friend as well! Both will put you at a strain of frustration in feeling used and abused within the friendship. We are to be a listening ear for our friends in need however we are to be watchful in discernment in seeing if a person is constantly spewing negativity. All friendships should have clear boundaries of understanding and respect to not overextending our time, resources, and finances within a friendship that if overlooked can end on a very bad note.

The Best Of Times

Being a mom doesn’t stop us from being good friends or being able to have good friendships in our life. I loved all my friends before I became a mom. I know that they loved me. I can say that my childhood friends who joined me later in my motherhood journey I have a special bond with. We went from sharing prom in fancy gowns to celebrating our children’s  birthday parties in silly hats! The heartfelt moments of speaking to another mom who shared in having a child with autism and special needs connected with me to my soul. I finally felt like I wasn’t alone in my struggles. The potluck meals while laughing at our children play are priceless. Hearing a fellow mom friend tell me how much talking to me made their day in desperate need for some adult conversation warms my heart. I am grateful for those good motherhood friendships regardless if the relationship was temporary in season or life long. I will be a blessing  to see our children wear caps and gowns in walking across the stage accepting their degrees. I will treasure my experience with the wonderful women who are not just moms in my life. I am blessed to call many of these amazing women my friends. Be blessed beautiful people!

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