Let’s Get Real About Mom Friends

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A woman left out of a group.Since it’s February and a month about love and friendship, I want to explore a topic that’s not very commonly discussed – mom-to-mom friendships. There are different types of mom relationships. 

  1. When you have friends for many years, and then you become moms.
  2. When you become a new mom and start looking for other moms to share experiences with but have no previous relationship with them as a person.
  3. When your kids go to school, you start meeting their friends’ moms.

Most of my experience has been with type 2 (and some type 3). My friends from many years ago live in a different country, so I haven’t experienced mom-friendships with them, at least not daily and only as a visitor once every two years or so.  

After having kids, my friendships were forged because we both had one thing in common; we were moms with similar-aged kids. Our friendships started because our kids might or have become friends. 

The problem with these friendships is that we don’t know one another beyond motherhood because we have no experience together before children. When conflict arises between your children, sometimes a mom friendship ends. Honestly, it feels like a breakup, and it’s tough. Motherhood is already lonely and isolating, especially for those who stay at home. 

I think these types of situations happen more than we speak about them. We always hear and read about finding your tribe and having your mom group, but sometimes it’s just not in the stars. It hasn’t been for me for a long time.

I used to think I had my mom tribe. I acted as if I were part of the group and tried to strengthen it, but things went wrong with two of those mom friends. Misunderstandings happened, we hurt each other, and I decided it was enough for me, so I separated myself from everything linked to them.

I protected myself (and my kids) and became very careful with new friendships, trying not to attach myself emotionally to any other mom-friend I had. But I was losing myself in that. 

I dealt with my pain and slowly regained confidence, and started trusting again. 

It hasn’t been easy, and I can’t say I have a tribe, but I DO have very good friends who also happen to be moms. I try to nurture those relationships outside of motherhood as much as I can.

Some of my friends have their kids in the same class or grade as my kids, and we know they mess up and make mistakes in their own relationships because, well, they are kids and are learning about life. However, I no longer take it personally.

Over the last two years, there have been one or two who have tried similar things as the ones that hurt me in the past, and I’m so thankful I can now recognize toxic behavior. People will always try to intimidate or surpass boundaries and hurt you, but the important thing is to identify them fast and not give them the time they want. I have become more assertive while remaining kind and considerate. 

Spend your energy on the friends who are worth it, those who call you when you or your little ones are sick. Those who call you to go out for coffee because they need a break or who are ready to join you when you need one. 

Find positive relationships, and be conscious of your own needs, weaknesses, and strengths. When you are aware of them and can recognize them, you will be ready to deal with any situation better, assertively, and rationally.

It is possible to have good mom friends, and one bad relationship doesn’t need to determine you, your kids, or your future relationships. It takes time. We all need friendships, and believe me, many moms are looking for friendships, and many are good people who will be good friends to you. Sometimes we also need to open our eyes to those who need to be included and bring them in. 

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Marcia is a Mexican woman, wife, and mom of a boy and a girl, who has been recently relocated to the USA due to her husband’s job. Together they have been living abroad since 2011 and expect to continue doing so in the future since they love traveling, making friends, learning new cultures, and exploring the world. She is a former elementary school teacher who is certified in TESOL and has many interests not only including education, multiculturalism, and bilingualism. She enjoys working on crafts with her children and as a hobby, she loves crochet, painting, cooking, and baking, for which she is also certified.