This post is sponsored by Wente Vineyards but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.
When you become a mother, you suddenly understand how incredibly lonely and isolating it can be. No longer are you communicating with adults all day; but, instead you have a newborn who literally depends on you. So you start looking for mom friends..
You join a mommy and me yoga class. You try a breastfeeding support group. You enroll your 6 month old in music class (let’s be honest–it’s not for the kid!) You go weekly to the library story time for a chance to meet other likeminded moms. You go on walks all around the neighborhood hoping for the chance to meet another mom pushing a stroller.
And when your kids are older, you spend hours at the park every week hoping for a similar minded mom to show up. I’ve been there. I’ve done all of the above–including after a long Wisconsin winter, and the first sight of a chic mom pushing her daughter down our street on a bike, hauling your child out to the street to pretend you were just going outside as well! Yep, been there, done that–and hey, no judgment–that’s how I met one of my best mom friends!
You are desperate to commiserate, to be understood, and to talk to someone who is going through the same four month sleep regression. You want someone to talk to (and a child to play with your child, so you can have a “break” for an hour!)
I feel incredibly fortunate to have met friends from my daughter’s music class when she was 9 months old, and then when we moved, from a chance encounter at the park (and the driveway). I later became involved in my daughter (and now son’s) preschool to help out and meet more likeminded parents (and I have been so happy I did, even though it’s a lot of work!) Now, my girl friends and I not only have weekly dinners with our families but we have monthly girls nights that rotate houses. No fancy attire required! Yoga pants are encouraged! And they don’t judge me when we just have hors d’oeuvres and dessert for dinner! And of course a good glass of wine!
But, along the way, I have found a few things that have made the difference in whether or not a friendship is lasting:
1.) Any mom friend who you wouldn’t be friends without kids, then you probably won’t be friends with kids. Some things don’t change. Chemistry doesn’t change. If you don’t feel like they “get” you, then don’t force it! Let’s just say that I didn’t walk, but RAN, from my local breastfeeding organization’s new mom meeting. As nice as they were, I knew we would never be friends (and it’s not because I’m not pro-breastfeeding or crunchy enough!) I exclusively breast fed both of my children until 14 months and use cloth diapers, environmentally safe cleaning, organic foods, you name it! I just wasn’t feeling it!
2.) Any mom boasting and bashing needs to go. Any mom that deliberately makes you feel not good enough or bad needs to go. I once was told that my children were going to have permanent learning problems because they couldn’t sleep well through the night at a young age. Umm, not true and goodbye Felicia! We doubt ourselves enough as mothers, we don’t need a “friend” to make us feel worse.
3.) Any good mom friend needs to be able to come over to your house unannounced and not judge you that it’s a huge mess. Or not judge you that you drop off your kids at preschool everyday in yoga pants, or 10 year old velour sweatpants (you remember them from high school and college!) and an oversized fleece, with a messy “mom” bun.
4.) Any good mom friend needs to be there when you need to talk, including venting. She needs to encourage you when you are down or doubting yourself, and offer to help when you need it, even if she has her hands full. She needs to be there for you.
I feel so incredibly fortunate to have met and made such good mom friends. It is a lot like dating, and although it can be frustrating, intimidating, and time consuming (heck, you even have to exchange phone numbers!) eventually you will find your tribe.
The good thing is that you’ll learn more about yourself along the way, and who you want to be as a mom. You might grow thicker skin. You will realize what type of mom you want to be. And you will find yourself again, as not only a mom; but, an individual. And when you do, here’s to hoping that you like me can have monthly girls nights!
Wente Vineyards gets it. They are an 130-year old brand and the country’s oldest continuously operated family-owned winery (spanning five generations!) They embrace the common thread that is passed on generation through generation (much like motherhood)–it isn’t about the product, it’s about the journey #loveofthejourney “We don’t make wine because we have to, we do it because we love to.” I don’t think anything could better describe my journey as a mom, and finding mom friends. See more of their amazing wine selection here, and find out about their rich history here. National Chardonnay Day is coming up, and you know what bottle we will be celebrating with!