It’s hard not to love that new Ed Sheeran song, Castle on a Hill. The anchoring, driving beat, the nostalgic feel, the narrative vibe. But there’s this line in the song that sent my eyes into full waterworks mode- “but these people raised me.” I started thinking about the friends in my life, the ones who’ve raised me. The ones that shaped me into the mother I am today.
As a mom it’s common to hear the phrase, ‘it takes a village’. But I’ve always felt that the phrase applied more to raising me than my children. I’m fortunate that I have all kinds of friends, in different stages of life, who have played significant roles in easing my transition into motherhood. They support me, encourage me, lift me, laugh with me, and love my children unconditionally.
I pinpointed 6 types of friends in my squad-tribe-crew-what have you. Women that I truly could not survive motherhood without. If you have women like these in your life – thank them, hug them, and never let them go.
1) The “auntie” friend – These friends tend to feel more like family than simply friends, and guess what, they don’t even have to be moms!
Why you need them: They come over to play and help with the kids, and they do it willingly. They don’t mind washing a dish, folding the laundry, or watching the kiddos so you can catch some zzzz. They adore your children, but YOU and your sanity are their top priority. Like I said, family.
2) The “been there, done that” friend – Ok, do not confuse this with a know it all mom (ain’t nobody got time for that!). This is a friend whose kids are older than yours and so they can teach you a thing (or two).
Why you need them: These friends not only paved the way, but they also normalize the stressful seasons that you think are ONLY happening to you, i.e.…potty-training, three-nager antics, and tantrums. To hear someone say, “yea, mine used to do that too,” is the equivalent of a soft, warm hug to my heart. Maybe it’s the teacher in me, but I love learning. And I hope these friends never stop teaching me their ways.
3) The “encourager” friend – When your baby is born, so are you! You’re born into the world of motherhood. You can read every book, blog, or article that’s in the universe, but nothing can prepare you for what lies ahead. It’s new territory and it’s easy to feel like you’re lost at times.
Why you need them: Please tell me what’s better than a friend who reassures you; “you’re doing great, you look amazing, you’re doing the best you can, don’t worry about that, you’re a fantastic mom”. It’s my personal belief that in a time of mom guilt and mom shaming, we could use more “encourager” friends in the world today.
4) The “social director” friend – This is a friend who knows all the exciting events and places in your community. They’ve done the ground work and they know the best parks, parades, local events, story times, play centers – you name it!
Why you need them: It’s easy to get stuck in a ‘mom’ rut, doing the same routine day in and day out. This friend keeps your mom life from getting too mundane and bo-ring.
5) The “come over we’ll have wine while the kids play” friend – You’re having a tough day, your husband is working late (or on shift as in my case), and/or you’re just desperate for some conversation that is NOT revolving around the newest characters on Disney Junior.
Why you need them: Texting and phone calls are great, but nothing makes you feel better than ACTUAL human interaction. (I feel confident that some study out there will back me up on this!) The benefit is that your kids get some much needed play time and YOU get a much needed gab sesh with a fellow mama. Pour me another!
6) The “confidant” friend – You feel down in the dumps about your son’s wild behavior, you had a disagreement with a parent, and if your husband drops his clothes in FRONT of the hamper one more time your head might EXPLODE. Oh, is that just me? Every now and then you need to vent, get it all out, in order to start fresh again.
Why you need them: Whether we want to admit it or not, moms are judddggggeeeey. ‘She fed her kid what? He goes to bed at what time? She goes to what school?’ AND my favorite – ‘do you think she’ll like…lose the weight?’ It’s enough to make my skin crawl. But the “confidant” mom, she’s just there to listen. She doesn’t judge. She sees two sides to every story. She’s on your side, but gives you unbiased advice. I mean she’s basically a saint, an angel on Earth, there’s no other explanation.
To all the mamas out there who are one (or more) of these for me….I thank you, I love you, and I’m NEVER letting you go. Seriously, you’re my hostage now. Kisses!