When you're the first person to have a kid in your general group of friends, there is a definitely a wide range of emotions involved, from excitement at being the first, to loneliness at being the only. Because being young and making friends when you have kids is hard. It just is. And since you've probably lost a good chunk of your pre-baby relationships to the undeniable lifestyle differences that exist between you and your childless friends (not impossible to navigate, but certainly annoying enough to cast off any loose acquaintances), you've got to build new relationships now. As a young mom, you don't have the time or patience for meaningless, superficial friendships; you barely have time for your most valued relationships, to be honest. And while all of this might seem like a hindrance to having a fulfilling social life when you're a mom, it's actually the basis of why young moms have the best relationships, both platonic and romantic.
Making friends as a mom can be intimidating, sure, and pretty much insanely awkward. But young moms can appreciate good relationships when we spot them, and we aren't yet too jaded to come up with a bunch of negative, preconceived ideas that make us write people off before giving them a chance. We're open, yet discerning; We've got all the time in the world, yet no free time at all. But if you're a young mom, you can absolutely relate to the reasons why we make seriously awesome friends and partners. Granted, it isn't easy making friends as a mom, and to the same tune, getting and maintaining romantic relationships comes with a whole extra set of criteria, but when we form new relationships, they last like crazy.
1. We Have Lost Too Many Friends Already
Unfortunately, it's just a sad fact of life that young moms (and pretty much any moms who don't have immediate mom friends) lose friends once baby arrives. Young moms know better than anyone how to nurture new relationships that much more because of losing other ones. Once you've seen what it takes to let a friendship or relationship fall apart, you know better how to keep them together in the future.
2. We're More Mature, And The Little Social Insecurities Don't Bug Us Anymore
When I first became a mom, it was sometimes really painful to see the many Facebook posts of friends going out and having nights of debauchery without me. It felt like I didn't exist anymore. It's not that I didn't love my baby, or even wanted to go out, but there was still something so acutely hard about seeing my friends going on with their lives without even thinking of me. And then, sort of like an epiphany, I realized that stuff like that wasn't really important anymore, and didn't mean much in the long run.
3. Relationships Not Based On Partying Tend To Be Stronger
When you have friends that you seem to strictly party with, those relationships have a hard time translating to daylight hours. That's not to say none of your party pals will turn into real friends who will be totally down to hang out with you while you're breastfeeding and researching preschools, but... I mean, a lot of them won't, and that's fine too. Not everyone is meant to be in our lives forever.
Once you are finally done with that kind of nighttime social scene, you can make room for relationships that are built on more than shared shots and holding each other's hair back to puke. I'm all for having fun nights out, but I'm also totally for cultivating relationships by having Netflix and chill nights. And, as it turns out, relationships that aren't based on partying are so much more solid.
4. It's Weirdly Easy To Bond With Someone When You Both Have Kids
If you are a more seasoned mom, you might not think that a young mom would have much to offer in terms of friendship, but you'd be surprised at how much having kids can bring you together. And from there, you can enjoy all sorts of Real Housewives varieties together.
5. With Romantic Relationships, Young Moms Know What They Want
Don't get me wrong: Dating when you're a young, single mom is totally a thing that happens, and that's all great. But when it comes to choosing between flings and more meaningful romantic relationships, young moms tend to not want to waste time on something that isn't going to give them exactly what they want. So no matter what type of relationship that is — someone to have sex with occasionally, who won't demand too much of a young mom's valuable time; or a potential soulmate — a young mom knows what she wants, what she doesn't want, and is usually so clear and unapologetic about that.
6. When We Do Go Out, We Spend Out Time Wisely
If you're like me, you get one or two nights a month to count as your "nights out." Granted, I could probably have a lot more of those nights, but didn't I already tell you how my priorities have shifted? Anyway, being that I end up only going out one or two nights a month, I take care to make great plans for those nights that consist of something other than drinking on someone's couch. Like, young moms might not go out where often, but when we do, we make sure we have a very good time, and actually do something interesting and worthwhile (as opposed to just getting wasted and make ourselves miserable the next day).
7. We Have A Knack For Honesty
Lying and being fake requires energy, and we have no extra energy. Determining who among your friends is lying or being fake requires energy, and... You get the point. There's no one who will be more honest with you than a young mom, and there's no one who will value honesty and be incredibly loyal to honest friends and romantic partners than a young mom.
8. We Keep It Very Real, And Who Doesn't Want A Relationship With Someone Super Real?
It's kind of hard to act all smug and superior when you have hair that is perpetually thrown up in a sloppy top knot, and a drawer full of nothing but yoga leggings. But more than that, I find it tiring to worry about only doing things that will look "cool" when I post about them on social media. Young moms want to wear what makes them comfortable and do what makes them happy — no pretense, no pressure to conform. Which makes us, by far, the most fun to hang out with, and the most genuine to have relationships with.
9. Having A Kid Kind Of Makes You Superwoman
And who doesn't want to be in any kind of relationship with Superwoman, right? Seriously, juggling a kid (dear god, or kids), keeping a home running, maybe going to school and/or having a job and anything else going on in young moms' lives makes them seriously admirable. Who wouldn't much rather have a Superwoman in my group of friends than a Lex Luthor.
10. Who Doesn't Want To Have A Mom Around?
Young moms might've been the "mom" of their friend group before they had a kid, or maybe they weren't. Either way, the skills, knowledge, and emotional qualities that moms hone through the process of raising kids are all inevitably translated into their other relationships. And who doesn't love having a mom around sometimes? I mean, it's just a fact of life, right? Moms are there for you and quick to be crying shoulders and sounding boards or someone to help you decide if your ankle is actually broken or if you're just being a giant baby.
11. Young Moms Choose Carefully And Wisely
Because of young moms' tendencies to take great care in who they choose to enter into any kind of relationship with, you can bet that they aren't going to take any of those relationships lightly. We don't play around. The people in our lives also end up being the people in our kids' lives — we're not only going to be way more selective about the people we get close to, but once we decide to be close to someone, we're going to take such good care of that relationship (because we aren't the only ones who will be losing someone if we are a crappy friend/partner and let things fall apart).
12. They're More Likely To Actually Listen
Remember that whole maturity thing I was bragging about? Because of it, I have come to see my daily or weekly problems as miniscule things that are really nothing in the bigger picture. And as such, I find it easy to listen to the problems of friends and come up with advice for them, without just waiting for them to finish talking so I can get in my own complaint.
13. Young Moms Realize The Importance Of Friendships And Relationships
Now, more than ever, I realize and appreciate the importance of the friendships I am making and the relationships I'm cultivating. Making friends as a mom is hard, sure, but totally worth it if you can find the friends to really bring some depth to your life. And yes, that includes Real Housewives marathons. Can't you bond over some of those train wrecks?