Do you have any mommy friends? Before having my daughter I always thought it was funny to think about needing or wanting mommy specific friends. When I was expecting my daughter I thought I had the mommy friend category covered. My best friend from high school was expecting and had a little girl five weeks before me. Another friend from church was expecting a little girl a few weeks after me. I also had other friends and family that had babies in recent years before me. Little did I know how much I would in fact NEED mommy friends. Over time I realized that I and the rest of us in mommy land need these friends for navigating life, body, and mental well-being post childbirth. I believe it's really important to have some of these mommy friends have children the same age as your own child, some that have older children, and some that have younger children. These friends help you realize you're not alone, because they're going through almost the exact same thing right now. They let you know you're not crazy or imagining things, and that what you're experiencing is normal because they've been there. And you get to be that word of encouragement to another mom, and prove to yourself that you're not as clueless as you think. These mommy friends with kids of varying ages push us all along and encourage us in a myriad of ways.
Over time I have also learned that it's great to have mommy friends that aren't exactly like you. What I mean is that you don't have to have the same parenting styles or viewpoint, because you cannot and will not see eye to eye with everybody. These varying perspectives challenge us to think critically and articulate why it is we believe what we do. These friends with different parenting ideas expand our horizons and help explore new ideas that hadn't been considered. In the thick of motherhood we need each other.
Now I know that not everyone has made or found that perfect mommy friend. Communities of faith or a trip to your local park can be a nice place to start. The Internet can also be wonderful place too. It took me months to find a local Facebook group of moms with kids the same age as my own (give or take 12-18 months). It took even longer to find a local cloth diapering and baby wearing group. Many of these moms are ladies I have never met, rarely see, or are women I wish I had the chance to see more often. Regardless of those factors, they have been a great source of guidance, encouragement, and comraderie on this motherhood journey. I've learned that these online groups can lead to great playgroups and friendships offline too!
We've all heard, know, or experienced the awkwardness of making these mommy friends. But I'll make you this challenge, if you can send that friend request to the girl or guy you haven't talked to since high school or college, I think you can make the attempt at the mommy friend request. What's the worst they could say....yes, may be, or no? For all you know, may be they're just to afraid to ask you first. However you make your mommy friends, I hope that you make them.