My husband and I moved to a new city five weeks before our daughter joined our lives. We knew three people who lived 45 minutes away. I was skeptical about joining a moms group (although I probably should have sooner, because I love mine), so thank goodness I met my best mom friend when my daughter was just a few months old. We were sitting next to each other at a coffee shop with our husbands and daughters and immediately hit it off. I can't count how many times my mom friend literally saved my sanity since.
Your mom friend doesn't necessarily have to live within walking distance in order to save your sanity repeatedly, but it sure does help. Especially when my daughter was very young, strapping her into the car wasn't exactly the stress relief I needed. But popping her into the bassinet of the stroller and wandering over to visit another mom — who was just a smudge ahead of me in the mom game — was incredibly therapeutic.
As our babies grew, the list of ways she saved my sanity grew, too. From rescuing the witching hour to reassuring me I wasn't a bad mom for letting my daughter empty my makeup bag for hours on end, she was always at the end of a panicked text message (with the perfect emoji).
When The Witching Hour Hits
Around two hours before our partners get home, three hours until bedtime, and we'd used up all our mom tricks entertaining babies all day. Sometimes all you need to get through the witching hour is a distraction. Or a glass of wine. Or both.
Thank goodness for my neighborhood mom bestie who was always in the same boat at the same time! A quick text and a meet-up on one of our porches and those few hours would pass in a flash (and the babies would get a play date out of it). #Winning
When We Get Cabin Fever
Sometimes cabin fever means I'm even sick of our usual playground or our usual walking route around the neighborhood. My best mom friend is always there to save my brain from cabin fever insanity, and link up for a jaunt to somewhere new and interesting.
When I Need Some Exercise
There's something about pushing a stroller around the neighborhood that's not necessarily appealing or motivating. However, pushing a stroller around the neighborhood while talking to a friend about anything and everything doesn't really feel like exercise. We'd walk for hours (when our girls were willing to sit in their strollers for hours). Those were the days.
When It's Too Darn Hot Out
We live in Houston, so we have more heat and humidity than we know what to do with in the summer months. But even in other places around the country, sometimes it's just too darn hot to think straight. It's amazing how therapeutic a kiddie pool for two babies, that you dip your feet in, can be.
When The Baby Won't Eat
My daughter went through a phase where really the only thing she wanted to eat was animal crackers, so she would eat animal crackers all damn day. Honestly, I think she could eat her weight in animal crackers if she tried. It was the first time she refused to eat other food and, while I rationally knew it wasn't my fault, I felt pretty guilty.
Enter my best mom friend, with two giant chocolate chip cookies in hand. One for me, and one for the kid I was worried was going to eat only animal crackers for the rest of her life. Two problems solved, instantly.
When The Baby Won't Nap
The memory of the days when my daughter wouldn't nap and I felt like I was going to crawl out of my skin is starting to fade, at least in part due to the fact that I almost always had someone to share that pain with. Whether we were texting S.O.S. or crying uncle and declaring it time for the park (wonder why our babies wouldn't nap?!), she was always there in my time of need.
When The Baby Is Awake At 4 A.M.
Possibly the best texts I ever got from my savior mom friend (except maybe those about wine) were the 5 a.m. texts when I was already awake with a tiny terror, too. When we were both awake that early, we knew we'd be needing extra reinforcements in the form of coffee and probably sugar by 9 a.m. at the latest.
Knowing someone else was awake and struggling at an inhumanely early hour was so helpful, and having a mid-morning buddy to commiserate with was even better.
When I Need To Complain For A Minute
Sometimes you just need to vent to someone who's in the thick of mom-ming with you. With every new stage of development there's something new to learn or figure out about your child, and that can be exhausting. Thank goodness for my mom friend and her willingness to listen to me vent (and without judgment).
When I Feel Like A Bad Mom
Sometimes you just feel like a bad mom. For me, it typically corresponded to being severely overtired, but it also came at the end of days when my daughter wouldn't nap or wouldn't eat anything other than animal crackers, or when I let her play on her own for hours unpacking my makeup bag so I could get a little work done.
My mom friend always talked me down off the bad mom ledge and reminded me that I was being much too hard on myself (and I'd definitely do the same for her).
When I Was Outnumbered
My best mama friend was with me through all the ups and downs when we had several foster babies come through our doors. She remembers each of them and still asks about them or how I'm doing without them. She loved them as though they were my own for as long as we had them. That saved my sanity completely when on the days I wondered why we were doing what we were doing.