When I found out I was pregnant, I was beyond excited and my friends and family were, too. I was the first one to be having a baby, and it was a really exciting time in my life. I couldn’t have hoped for more love and support throughout my pregnancy, and I’ve been lucky to have that love, support and excitement continue to this day. Luke is so loved. Everyone – family, friends, everyone – is so involved in his life and he’s constantly getting cuddled and doted on.
With that being said, I didn’t really have any close friends who were moms. And although my friends and family were all so supportive, I sometimes felt like they just didn’t get it. They didn’t truly understand how tiring being a new mom could be, how abrupt the adjustment is from childless to newborn, the struggle to accept your postpartum body, or the worries of a new parent. Or they had done it 27 years ago (hi, mom!). They always offered (and continue to offer) love and support, for which I will be forever grateful, but sometimes I just felt like I needed to talk to someone who had gone through or was going through the same things I was.
I think I’ve mentioned it before, but I live in the best neighbourhood. We regularly spend time with our neighbours and have become pretty close with quite a few of them. Some of my first real mom friends are my neighbours. Amazing women who are nearby and who are happy to cuddle the baby when you’ve had a long night, or to tell you that you’re doing a great job when you aren’t sure if you are. These women (you all know who you are!) changed how I experienced motherhood. I felt like I had joined a team, an exclusive club, and all of a sudden I never felt alone, or crazy, or misunderstood. They knew and understood whatever I was going through, and some of them were even going through the same things I was.
Once I realized the huge, positive impact having mom friends had for me, I made a conscious effort to reach out to other moms. Since then I’ve reconnected with some friends I hadn’t spoken to in a while, and made some new friends, and it’s been such a fantastic experience. Building a support network of moms, a group of women I idolize and admire, and some little friends for Luke has been an awesome, unexpected perk of motherhood.
Mom friends just get it. They get that we can only hang out for three hours during the day because of nap time. Want someone to go to the apple orchard with you and spend 90% of the time taking pictures of the babies and 10% rushing around to pick apples so you can rush home for nap time? You can bet your mom friends want to do exactly that. Need someone who will then soothe the overtired babies in the car while you drive home like a madwoman? Your mom friend is on it. Too tired for real pants? Is that smeared food in your hair? When is the last time you had a shower? Mom friends understand the struggle and don’t judge. You don’t even need to explain. If they aren’t in the same boat that day, they were there once and know it might be them again tomorrow.
At this point, with Luke over a year old now and expecting our second little one, I’ve somehow become one of the seasoned/experienced moms. It’s pretty cool to go from the brand new, nervous mom, to a mom that other moms look to for advice and support. In my experience so far (other than the time I was mom shamed), motherhood is a unique sisterhood and I’m so glad I get to be part of this group of women.
(This is not to say that you can’t or shouldn’t bother to hang out with your friends who aren’t moms, I’m just trying to explain that there’s some kind of different/special/weird understanding that moms seem to have for one another. And I love it.)