You've probably heard the phrase, "It takes a village to raise a child." In my experience, it’s true. But I've also realized that it's takes a village of other moms to help "raise" me into the mom I need to be, too. That's why I'm so grateful for my group of mom friends, and I'm not exaggerating when I tell you that there have been so many times when this mom squad literally saved my ass. I can’t imagine life without them, and honestly don't want to try. I honestly wouldn't be the best mom I could be if they weren’t here cheering me on and backing me up and supporting me at every turn.
Never was their support more necessary than when I became a single parent. My group of mom friends gave me the support and confidence I needed to leave my abusive husband, survive as a working single mom, and eventually, when I was ready, put myself back out there and start dating again. Now that I’ve remarried, my mom squad is still here for me, too. If I feel lonely, I can post online in my parenting group and someone is always available to chat, to have a play date, or go out for drinks. When I need parenting or relationship advice, I know who I can count on to provide a listening ear, nonjudgmental support, and occasionally some objective tough love to help me make it through. The same goes for when I need a boost to my self-esteem. Their words matter and can even change my mind about how I feel about myself, and that's saying a lot.
I’ve learned over the years that mom friends aren’t only nice to have, they can make or break your experience as a mom. I know it sounds cheesy, but I totally couldn’t do this without them, and I am so glad I don't have to.
When I Left My Ex-Husband
When I left my ex-husband, didn't think I would survive as a single mom. Honestly, I might not have if it wasn't for my mom squad. My group of mom friends gave me the courage to leave him, helped me move, babysat my kids, and brought me tequila. They were like my personal cheerleading section. I don't know what I would have done without their help and encouragement, and I am so glad I never have to find out.
When I Needed Adult Interaction
Being a mom is lonely business, especially when you work from home and go days without seeing another adult that's not your partner, barista, or a cashier at Target. I always know that if I need a friend, I can post in my parenting group online and someone will be available to hear me vent about poopy diapers and moody preteens, and without judging me or making me feel like a bad mom.
When I Was Sick
I recently received a really scary medical diagnosis. My group of mom friends assuaged my fears, and even helped me find a new doctor when the one I was seeing dismissed my symptoms. Several of them offered to go with me to my next appointment in case my next doctor was dismissive, too. And they made sure I did self-care, because when you are sick it's easy to forget the little things... like taking a shower or eating well.
When I Was On Bed Rest
Being on best rest is so difficult. Not only are you confined to your house or the hospital, but you also have a potentially serious medical condition and gestating baby to worry about. My mom friends totally saved my ass while I was on bed rest — bringing me food, chatting with me online, and telling me that I had to stop Googling my symptoms. They even threw me a virtual baby shower, you guys. Yes, I ugly cried.
When I Was Depressed
Depression is a lying jerk. He tells you that you are nothing, that you are nobody, and that things will never get better. I feel blessed to have a group of blatantly honest mom friends to tell me when my depression is lying. I don't even want to think about what life would be like without them as a sounding board.
When I Needed A Sitter
I don't know how I could have managed all the "oh sh*t" situations I often find myself in without friends who are almost always willing to babysit. Whether it's for a special event, an unforeseen issue that leaves me stuck at work and unable to get to daycare before it closed, or a situation that leaves me without daycare at all, they're there.
When I Was Postpartum
I am not going to lie, the postpartum period was hard all three times I experienced it. I had breastfeeding challenges, suffered from postpartum depression and anxiety, and felt so lonely and isolated. My mom friends brought me food, cleaned my house, took my older child to and from daycare, brought me wine, and never once judged me for not putting on a bra or real pants when they came to visit.
When I Need A Night Out
Moms need nights out and one-on-one time with other adults. We need to shake of the monotony of parenthood or the frustrations of the day, or to simply not be touched by a child for, like, an hour straight. Someone from my mom squad is almost always available to fill this need, and I am so grateful because it's so necessary.
When I Needed A Self-Esteem Boost
My mom squad sees me — not just the set of flaws I see when I look in the mirror — as a fierce, strong, capable person who can get through the toughest of times. When I feel "less than," I can count on them to build me up. They are my mom squad. They are my friends. They are my village. We help each other raise our kids, and occasionally save each other's asses. But perhaps most importantly, we are raising each other.