The question hit me like a toy that was being thrown from my toddlers hands. Never intending to hit me, but landing square in my face, leaving me reeling from what just went down.
“So is your guy’s friendship just perfect?”
In an instant, questions began flooding my mind, as I stood next to one of the best friends in our little trio.
Is that how we come off?
Are we only showing the good side of ourselves, and our friendship?
How much should we share?
What will she answer?
I quickly retorted with a reader’s digest story of a time we drove back at 1:30 in the morning after traveling for 12 hours, from the airport and got offended with each other. Then didn’t speak for a solid 24+ hours–which for us equates to at least a week. Which seemed to give relief to our other friend who had intially asked.
Since then, I’ve been mulling those questions over about the dynamics of our friendship. Often times, we hear about the beginning of mom friendships, or at least the desire. How it feels like dating all over again. What we don’t hear more of is how to keep them, and what they really look and feel like.
For the record… …our friendship is no where near perfect.
Perfect doesn’t exist, in any relationship, let alone mom friends. And if you feel like it does, then you aren’t being real with yourself, and your friendship probably is surface level. That stings a little bit, because I think we all desire a deeper connection. Especially with mom friends, we want to feel seen and heard in motherhood.
We’ve been friends for years. I can’t even really remember what motherhood was like before these two came into my life. We group text daily. Send video messages when we have heavy things our hearts, or are just too lazy to type out a message. Audio messages flood our text stream, and disappear in minutes. We do motherhood together daily thanks to technology. One of us shares her heart while she folds her laundry, and another one pours a cup of coffee and wrangles children in the background as she downloads us on her thoughts rolling around in her mind. One of us goes to bed early, and always wakes up to I’m sure 40+ texts from the night owls she is friends with.
We get offended. Get opinionated. And we get frustrated.
This is just a product of doing life together. And then we take a step back, remind ourselves that ultimately our relationship matters more than an argument, disagreement, or offense. Choosing to lay down our own pride and give the grace that we also desperately need at times.
We show up in inboxes, front doors, and in real life ways.
Resisting the temptation to pull away when things get messy. When we don’t see eye to eye, or even when we really, really want to because sometimes it is just too much. We hash things out together, and before they cause real damage to the relationship. Going to one another first with whatever hurt we have. And yes, we hurt one another without intending too, and still seek forgiveness and restoration of the relationship. Because that’s ultimately how healthy relationships work. It’s unrealistic to think that those acts wouldn’t be necessary in a friendship for the long haul.
We support one another’s dreams, goals, and choices…
…even when they don’t align with our own. Learning from each other, and continue to grow into the mother’s, and friends we want to be.
We ask questions, sometimes deep reflection type questions. Sometimes heart check questions. And sometimes just want-to-know-what’s-going-on-in-your-daily-life questions. Sharing way more than is necessary, things that will never be repeated. They are the first to celebrate the accomplishments, the growth, the victories in each other lives. We pray for one another in the hard times, and on the regular.
Ignoring each other when there is offense, or feeling unseen and unheard–for a minute. And eventually we either realize we were focusing on ourselves, and admit it, or just move on with life. Letting go of the offense we carried around there for a little bit. Calling each other out in love, and for the good of each other. Not to tear down, but to build up and encourage each other in this hard journey of motherhood.
When you find other moms who will see you for your real self, and continue to pour into you and your kid’s lives–do everything you can to reciprocate that, and don’t let go.
It certainly won’t be perfect, but it will be so worth it.