Sometimes the best advice is unspoken.
A few months ago, a memory popped up on my Facebook feed, reminding me that four years ago, in the late winter of 2014, I became friends with Alaina, Jessica, Elena, and Serena. Four years ago, I was a new mom.
My support system at the time was strong. My mother is wonderful and loving and she is partially retired, so she was often with me, actively helping. I have a great mother-in-law who lives close by and two sisters-in-law who are deep in the trenches raising their own children. I also had many co-workers and friends with older kids. Everyone had lots of experience to offer me and great advice.
But something was missing. I was craving contemporary words of wisdom and an outlet to express my emotions and fears. I woke up one morning realizing a very important fact: I needed MOM FRIENDS.
I wanted to connect with women around my age with babies. Ideally, first-time moms who were going through the same things that I was.
So, I reached out to my friend Tracey, who was also a new mom and together we organized a simple new mom’s “breakfast club”. We met at Uptown once a month for breakfast, usually with our kids in tow.
One sweet year of community.
For one sweet year, eight new moms managed to meet almost every month for breakfast. We watched as our babies got big enough to sit up in the high chairs, to eat off of our plates, to start taking steps (and then run) around the restaurant. God bless those servers at Uptown! They let us monopolize every one of their high chairs, brought extra plates, more napkins and COFFEE! Motherhood requires so much coffee.
When the kids got too mobile and rowdy for the restaurant, we moved the breakfast to each other’s homes. Meeting at a home meant more room for the kids to run around and let’s be honest… mimosas.
That first year of motherhood. It’s so hard. There are so many questions and so much self-doubt. We traded stories of sleepless nights, of the feats we went to to get our kids to eat, of our worries about GMOs and screen time and lack of affordable, flexible daycare.
Every time we met, even though we never actually said the words…we shared the same mantra- “You are not alone.” You are doing it right.”
I’ve never felt more accepted by a group of women in my life.
For that year, that year of newness, of absolutely freaking out about if you were doing this mom thing right- I felt only support and reassurance from this group of women. We all know how hard it is to make friends, how easy it is to crawl into a protective shell of kids/close family/job without taking the time to reach out and maintain the relationships that mean so much. Friendships take time and energy, but they are worth it.
It’s harder now to get together. Many of us have two or more kiddos these days, new jobs, new homes, and busy schedules. Every time I see one of these amazing women in town, it always brings me joy. Erin, Jessica, Tracey, Alaina, Betsie, Elena, Serena- You are doing it right!
Mom friends matter.
Maybe you have a bunch of mom friends. Maybe you are still hoping to find some. You will. I know they are looking for you, too. If you are reading this and there are mom friends that you haven’t seen in a while, take a moment to reach out to them. I’ll be doing the same with mine. And, you can bet… I’m bringing mimosas.