I’m here to say it: there is no way I could survive motherhood without my mom friends. Some of them live in my phone, some of them live down the street, but all of them are my saving grace. For me, having a well rounded roster of Mom Friends has proven to be an invaluable Peanut Gallery of advice, opinions, and knowledge and they each fuel me when I’m running on empty.
Are you out there looking for a Mom Tribe? Here are five types of mamas that you absolutely need in your life (and where to find them):
1. The Justifying Mom
My absolute favorite type of mom friend is the mama who is there to support my less-than-conventional parenting moves. No matter how desperate the situation gets, she’s the first to employ a White House-worthy spin on it to make a girl feel better about her stellar motherhood skills. Oh, so the kids had popcorn for dinner? She’s quick to point out that popcorn was once a healthy ear of corn so, really, it’s not so far off from serving the base of that damn food pyramid. They had unlimited screen time for an entire day? No problem, think of the hand/eye coordination those kiddos are developing. The Justifying Mom is always looking out for you, reminding you that you’ve got this shiz and she’s got you.
Where to find her: the Chick-fil-A play place. She’ll be scrolling social media while her kids hit the slide because the best dinners are the ones that come with a toy.
2. The Same-Stage-As-You Mom
There might not be a mom more valuable to stash in your Mom Arsenal than a mama who has a baby exactly the same age as one of your own darling offspring. She’s right there in the trenches with you, unjaded and worrying about the same things that you are. Who else could you possibly text “should her poop be neon orange?” (complete with photo evidence) without a preemptive warning? If it weren’t for my Same-Stage Mamas, I probably would have expected my firstborn to crawl at four months and held off on solids until he had a tooth. Hey, it takes a village, am I right?
Where to find her: the Bouncing Babies story hour at the library. It’s free, segregated by age and you can gauge her level of chill by her enthusiasm over the chicken dance.
3. The Been-There-Done-That Mom
She’s seen it all, and will be the first to remind you that “were you breastfed or formula fed?” will not be on your child’s college applications (and that he won’t take that pacifier with him when he gets in). The memories of sleepless nights are a bit hazier for her, but her perspective on what really matters is invaluable. When you feel like teething will never end, she’ll be the one to point out that braces are just around the corner and, unlike teething, braces ain’t free. This mama will inspire you to appreciate your littles when they’re little, but remind you not to sweat the small stuff because you’ll be onto the next stage before you know it.
Where to find her: the school volunteer committee you were roped into joining. She’ll be one of the head honchos because she’s been around a while but she knows what’s up (and, since you’re friends, she won’t stick you with clean up duty).
4. The Sympathizing Mom
She’s the first to pour you a cup of coffee when you find out your kid is the biter in class, during day three of potty training or after that time you had to drag your screaming preschooler out of a children’s theatre show about balloons. Bless her, the Sympathizing Mom never asks why, never suggests you read that latest parenting book on the “spirited child” and never, ever starts a sentence with “well, have you tried…” She’s calm and steady, ready to remind you that you will survive this motherhood thing, even if just barely.
Where to find her: the pediatrician’s office. You’ll bond over your respective baby ear infections and she’ll know the best remedy to help your little sicky sleep and the best wine you can grab at CVS to help you sleep, too.
5. The Down-For-Whatever Mom
Just got a call from the Husband that he’ll be working late? This mama is your go-to girl for a last minute Happy Meal and wine playdate dinner. She is flexible, doesn’t take her schedule too seriously, and you never clean your house for her. She’s the one who won’t roll her eyes when you tell her you just can’t handle another Snow Day off from school and she always knows which playground is closest to a Starbucks. She’s down to do whatever it takes to make it through the day. Bonus: at least one of her kids is always in pajamas and she has never once made a kid-friendly craft from Pinterest.
Where to find her: at the playground, sitting on a bench while her kids are in shouting distance. She definitely won’t be hovering near the slide to make sure they stick the landing.
Now get out there and build that tribe!