Mom Friends. God Bless them. Really, count yourself so lucky if you find yourself fortunate enough to have found a group of mom friends, a sisterhood. And if you are still in search of your pack of moms; take heart, they are there, waiting to embrace your stressed out “Am I the only one going through this?!? 3:00 am questions.
I just can’t emphasize the value this group of woman has added to my life. I can’t recommend enough to any new mom how important it is that you invest your time and effort into developing this kind of support group in your life. Parenting is amazing. But it is also tiring, stressful, confusing, scary and sad sometimes. Having a group of people in your life who understand what you are going through is the glue that holds you together in this long march called motherhood.
When I found myself newly married, newly pregnant, and new to town my husband and I signed up for the “pre-baby” classes at St. Francis Medical Center in the last remaining months before our first child was born. Breastfeeding class, car seat class, “Lamaze class”, and baby first aid. We were going to rock this parenting thing. And even though I can’t recall anything I took away from those classes today, I can tell you the best thing I got out of them, “My Baby Group”. During the breaks at those classes we chatted casually with other couples in our same situation, new parents all there to learn the specifics about latch techniques, epidurals and the pro’s and con’s of cloth diapers. What began organically, developed in to coffee dates and couples dinners. Then magically, we transitioned into parents, one at a time, but all within a 2 week period in September, five years ago.
We started a closed Facebook group where we organized monthly play dates with 6 very different couples and our adorable “September Babies”. Even though we were all very different people with different jobs and parenting styles, we were brought together by these crazy babies who all teethed at the same time, crawled, walked and talked at the same times. They grew into unique personalities as our friendships grew with them. Eventually, we got smart and started leaving the babies with the Dads so we could meet the other moms for mom’s night out.
Five years later, some of those babies are now starting kindergarten (September cutoff babies!) and even though some things have changed, (more babies, new jobs, new houses) there is nothing I appreciate more than knowing that advice and solidarity is just one text away. These woman have been there through some of life’s biggest joys and most heart felt loss and disappointments and I can not even begin to articulate how much these friendships have meant to me.
So, if you are a new mom- put yourself out there, join a MOP’s group, a church group, reach out to other new mom’s in your neighborhood and build those relationships. You never know who else might be up at 3:00 am with a baby ready to chat.