Feeling a sense of real emotional connections with other women has been crucial to my adult survival as a mom, wife, and woman trying to live my best life.
I have always entered friendships with little expectations, and when granted the gift of a girlfriend, providing me with the emotional needs I craved, I felt blessed and didn’t take the friendship for granted. I learned that my girlfriends became my lifeline to understanding that I was not alone in my thoughts.
Once I became a stay-at-home mom, I craved connection with other newbies who also recently joined the club of sleepless nights, spit-up, and explosive diarrhea. We have all been there. Making new mom friends is scary yet beautifully fulfilling!
My heart races a bit just going back to that time, almost seventeen years ago. How can I meet a new friend when I barely have time to shower, let alone sleep? When will I have time in between feeding the baby, and bathing, and changing the tenth poopy diaper? I already have plenty of friends, is this necessary?
I don’t know much, but I know that entering motherhood and finding that one friend or clan of women, whichever you prefer, can become a lifelong blessing for both you and the baby.
It takes time and trust to foster these friendships, but if you can find your person or people, motherhood will feel less lonely and more fulfilling. And let’s be honest, it’s always nice to know someone has your back when you need to meet on a random Tuesday night for a margarita on the rocks with salt (even if it’s on Zoom!), intending to pump and dump and not be judged… just sayin’.
We all enter motherhood with a book full of questions and an unbearable amount of self-doubt, but you are not alone. By branching out to other new moms, the initial blow to motherhood can feel less stark. Don’t get me wrong, becoming a mom is a beautiful experience and transforms you immediately, filling you up with love you never knew existed deep within your soul, but it can also be brutal at times.
Often, we try to reinvent who we are after leaving a career or maybe taking some time off. But often, this time in a new mom’s life is dreadfully scary, with many unanswered questions and thoughts roaming throughout our brains. Having a girlfriend to bounce ideas off of and answer the questions not found in any of the twenty baby books next to the nightstand, can make the day seem less daunting.
Or maybe it’s just knowing you can pick up the phone to discuss just anything, from the not so flattering look of breastfeeding bras and feeling like gigantic cantaloupes took over your once perky breasts, to sobbing uncontrollably after a sleepless night, feeling helpless that you used all of your tricks and still couldn’t make it better. Whatever the reason may be, this connection is a lifeline that keeps you afloat.
Or maybe your new mommy friend guides you through the ever-looming decisions of motherhood. Should I stop breastfeeding and move to the bottle, thoughts on teething…Anbesol or no Anbesol…diaper rash…do I need to make my own salve, or can I head to the nearest CVS and pick up the cream on sale?
She can also help you navigate the M word.. the word that enters every mom’s vocabulary almost immediately after the placenta is delivered…milestone. How does my baby compare? Take my advice, mama, don’t do this. Rather trust your maternal instinct and reach out for support from a professional.
Honestly, though, to find that one person, besides your spouse, to lean into can change the course of motherhood and potentially a lifetime. I am blessed to have met my other person week eight of being a new mom in a running class, not knowing how to attach the sun visor to the stroller. I would never have imagined that I would meet my dearest friend on that sunny spring morning, and I am still blessed to still lean on her for absolutely everything while now raising six teenagers amongst us.
So mamas, keep it simple, look around and realize we are all just looking for that one connection who can help make our day a bit brighter, while also reassuring us that we are not crazy because we cried while watching the rose ceremony, during last night’s episode of The Bachelor.