When I think about my female friends I see a mental montage of the current ladies I value most, followed quickly by snapshots of various friendships I’ve held in different parts of life. There are some key moments that make it clear that female friendships will always matter to moms, and motherhood has provided so many of those moments to me. When I stop to think about the friendships that have meant the most to me, I see my elementary school friends who didn’t judge my giant glasses, middle school friends who were especially tolerant of my boy-crazy tendencies, college friends and work friends who tentatively ventured into adulthood alongside me, and now mom friends, who understand how I’m feeling when my son sheds tears over chocolate-covered graham crackers.
I’m lucky to have a small handful of women who’ve been with me through multiple stages of my life (and plenty that weren’t), and still some more that are a bit newer to me but who I hope stay around for whatever comes next. Having a second child? Having school-age kids? Juggling family and mid-career developments I’m not even considering yet? Trying find time to make it to one of those Backstreet Boys cruises? Please, someone send help. I’m overwhelmed just thinking of it.
The way I see it, female friendships will always matter, and here’s a snapshot of mom moments that have confirmed such a fact:
When Your Friends Who Became Moms Before You Can Commiserate During Your Pregnancy
For the most part, I listened to that frequently offered advice of not sharing news of a pregnancy until you’re into the second trimester. However, I caved and revealed to just a couple of close friends who, thankfully, understood every ounce of exhaustion and discomfort I was feeling. I definitely don’t regret it.
When You’re Freaking Out And They Reassure You That You’ll Make It Through Labor And Delivery
I mean, I suppose it’s not unlike other times I’ve freaked out in my life over things, like finals and boyfriends and various seasons of The Bachelor. However, my friends' perspective, and their insistence that all will be fine, always bring me a dose of necessary comfort.
When Your Baby’s Finally Home And They Respond To Your Incoherent Newborn Text Messages
Most importantly, they don’t judge you for it. One of my nearest and dearest has never once questioned my forceful texts insisting that an Australian teen dance show was the best thing for me to watch obsessively when nursing.
When They Come Over And Don’t Care That Your House Is A Disaster
And when they literally roll their eyes and change the subject when you try to apologize for not cleaning up your house for them.
When They Come Over And Don’t Care That YOU Are A Disaster
They’ll expect nothing less, in fact. If they're a best friend, they’ll offer to hold your baby while you finally change into something you haven’t been wearing for three days straight.
When They Help You Laugh About The Fact You Got Barfed On At The Park
I mean, vomit isn’t usually funny to me. I know some people are chill about it, but I’m not one of those people. Thankfully, one female friend in particular has helped me through this very situation, and had me laughing about it in not quite no time, but very little time.
When The Gifts They Bought Your Baby Are The Best Ones You Received, Because They’re What You Would Have Purchased
Of course, material things are not nearly as important as the support they’ve offered over the years. However, a few amazing pairs of footie pajamas or maybe some of those over-sized flowery headbands aren't the worst things.
When You Finally See Them In Person And Can Feel Like A Whole Person Again (And Not Just A Milk Machine)
Lunch with a girlfriend is a wonderful treat on almost any occasion. It’s an especially wonderful treat if it happens on a day when you’re starving and desperate for adult human contact and a conversation with someone who can answer in more than just spit bubbles and gurgles.
When They Play Along As You Plot The Future Marriages Of Both Of Your Children
I mean, my son is betrothed to multiple people right now. Of course, not in a serious way, but in an, “OK, of course we want our kids to be with whoever makes them happy but wouldn’t it be awesome if we were related?” kind of way. This is clearly for my (and my friends') benefit, you guys.
When They Help You See Life Beyond The Parenting Phase You’re Currently In
Whether they’re parents with older or younger kids, or not parents at all, the best of friends can be an awesome reminder that there’s more to you than playdates and laundry.
When They Loan You Baby Maternity Gear, Nursing Gear, Baby Gear, Toddler Gear...
It’s a far cry from college days when my friends loaned me party tops and hair crimper, but I appreciate it just as much. Even more, actually and now that I think about it, because I certainly got more use out of those nursing tanks than I did out of those pink silky concoctions I wore to college parties.
Either way, thanks ladies.