The transition to motherhood is dramatic and life-altering. Though in theory you’ve had months to prepare, when you are suddenly thrust into the role and find yourself solely responsible for another human being, it can be a bit isolating and even borderline terrifying. In past civilizations, you’d have simply turned to the other women in your community for help and support during difficult times. But now, more women are waiting longer to have kids, if they have them at all, which means that if you do drop a shorty, you're more likely than ever to not be surrounded by a ton of experienced moms to help you navigate this whole mess.
Because as awesome as they are, your childless friends have little to offer in terms of understanding and encouragement. It’s not that they don’t have your back—they do! But especially during the early parts of parenting, when there’s not as much time for the non-mom parts of your life (which do come back eventually), you have less in common with your child-free buddies—and more need than ever to have people around you who not only care about you, but can actually relate to some degree to what you’re going through.
This isn’t to say that once you have kids, you should only be friends with people who have kids. That is… a thoroughly insane and depressing thought. You should obviously still be friends with the same friends you had pre-baby. That said, you’re going to need some mom friends. You just do. Don’t argue. Just do it. Find some. For the sake of your sanity, it is imperative to begin building a mom squad immediately.
Now, the composition of your mom squad is crucial: It needs to be composed of other women who are serving in the trenches just like you. They will be your buddies. Your comrades. Whether they are veteran moms, or newbies like you, they will understand the struggles of parenthood. They will identify with the dark circles that have permanently taken residence under your eyes, and they won’t judge the baby puke that is plastered to the maternity pants you still wear.
These women will be your lifeline. They will go to bat for you. When that vapid, child of a Starbucks barista smiles knowingly at your belly and asks when you’re due, while you hold your 6-week-old baby, these are the women that will slosh that iced pomegranate chai tea in her face. You want them in your corner. In fact, on some days, you honestly won’t remember how you survived without them.
But not all moms are created equally. There are some that are simply a notch above the rest. Here are the 5 best women to recruit into your own mini mommy mafia.
The Old School Mom
This lady rules her home with an iron fist. OK, maybe not iron per se, but she’s definitely more hardcore than you are. In her home, schedules abound and rules are adhered to strictly. You are equally terrified of her and in awe of how well her children listen. While your child is using your lipstick to paint a mural on the wall, hers is sorting toys into color-coordinated containers. She is a necessary tool in your mommy arsenal. Seeing how much her slightly older children can accomplish, will inspire you to stop making excuses for your own all the time, and up your disciplinary game a little.
The M.O.M (Mom of Multiples)
Motherhood is not for the feint-hearted. It can be trying at best, and grueling at worst. There will likely be days that you want to throw in the proverbial towel and give up. You will question your sanity. You will question the universe for putting you in charge of a child. At that moment when you feel like you cannot take another second of crying, screaming, or leg-tugging, you will remember your mom friend with twins, or triplets, or more. You will think about how her days must feel twice as hard and twice as long. You will remember how she still somehow manages to shower and function normally in public. She will be your own personal superhero. If she can handle multiples, then you can at least change from your pajama bottoms to your yoga pants today.
The Crunchy Mom
You’ll might meet her at Prenatal Yoga, the farmer’s market, or a local La Leche League meeting. She’ll be wearing her baby in some kind of carrier, sling, or wrap made of organic, undyed fabric, of course, and sipping an locally-farmed, red cabbage juice from the juice bar you didn’t even know existed. She will absolutely radiate positivity, almost annoyingly so—at first. But then you’ll realize she’s different. It’s not a façade. She has bad days too. Sometimes her kids have tantrums, she has fights with her husband, or her Netflix won’t stream Once Upon a Time like it should. But she picks herself up by the bootstraps of her Birkenstocks and chooses to focus on the best. And when your kid draws that lipstick mural on the wall during mommy group, and you are on the verge of tears, she will swoop in with a baby wipe and a compliment about his early Picasso-esque style. This one’s a keeper for sure.
The Totally Put-Together Mom
Your first instinct will be to hate her, and why wouldn’t you? She seems to have it all. A fancy house, a beautiful family, a loving partner, and her hair, makeup, wardrobe, and awareness of current events is always as on point as if she just spent hours at the salon where she was reading every relevant news source on her phone while a team of professionals made her look amazing. Meanwhile, you lovingly refer to your own growing, clean laundry pile as “Mt. Laundry” and for the life of you, you can’t seem to keep the baby from using the toilet brush as a teething toy. If you can overcome your initial intimidation, and befriend her, you will find that the “totally put-together mom” is more like you than you know. She’ll tell you that while she loves the Manolos and ~the lifestyle~, she’d much rather have her spouse home more than always away on business; She’ll tell you she’s often lonely and overwhelmed. That some days she feels like a single parent. She will be open, and vulnerable, and honest if you just let her. And you will love her so much for it.
The IDGAF Mom
This is the mom who could give two f*cks what other people think. She typically won’t find her stride until the second or third kid, but when she does, watch out! She drives her mini-van unashamedly and has a baby on her hip while perusing the wine aisle at the grocery store. At library story time, she’ll talk (a bit) too loudly about the time she had to hide her vibrator in the attic to ensure her snooping mother-in-law didn’t find it. Her self-deprecating and blatantly honest style will make you seem like an all-star mom in comparison. Plus, if someone tries to cut in line, after you and your screaming kids have waited two hours to see the damn Easter Bunny, you’ll be happy you have her in your corner.
Images: NBC; Giphy(5)