I’ve been blessed with more than my fair share of friends in my life. And as much as I love and admire and am grateful for each one of them, there’s one friend who has been a lifeline for me as a mother. She and I met when we both had preschoolers and a baby, and we’ve been mom BFFs ever since.
She’s the one I always turn to when I need to know if whatever weird thing my child is doing today is normal. She’s the one with whom I can talk for hours about parenting and all things that affect parenting. She’s the one who sees the world through the same lens I do, like we’re wearing the same motherhood goggles that color everything else in our lives.
We laugh together, cry together, and commiserate together. Without my mom BFF, my childrearing experience would not be nearly the delightful, chaotic, heart-wrenching, rewarding experience that it is. Because of her, I know I’m never alone in my mothering journey, and her constant solidarity means the world to me.
Much like falling in love, you’ll likely know when you’ve found your mom BFF. But here are some clues that you may have found the one:
1. When you have a traumatic parenting experience — i.e., your child falls down the stairs or your kid nearly lights the house on fire — she’s the first person you want to call to verbally process your terror.
2. Your kids like her and feel comfortable being around her — so much so that eventually they start thinking of her as their second mom.
3. You can tell her you don’t like being a mom on any given day, and she’ll totally understand that you’re just having a rough moment. She never judges you for the words you say when you’re feeling overwhelmed.
4. She totally gets that you actually do love being a mom, but that loving being a mom doesn’t mean you don’t need breaks. She’ll yell at you to get your butt out of the house and do something for yourself when you appear to be losing it, and you’ll listen to her.
5. When you need to get out of the house because you’re losing it, she’ll come over and take your offspring off your hands. Or if she lives too far away for that, she’ll be the only one able to convince you to spring for a babysitter or mother’s helper.
6. You share enough parenting values in common to feel totally confident leaving your kids with one another for long periods of time, knowing they’ll be cared for with the same care you give your own children.
7. It doesn’t feel overwhelming to have her come over, no matter the day or time, because you know that she’ll help fold your laundry or cook a meal or entertain your kids while you take a shower if that’s what you need, and that you’ll return the favor.
8. When your kid says something hilarious and inappropriate, you text it to her immediately — sometimes even before your husband — because you know she’ll be the person who will appreciate it the most.
9. She knows your kids’ secret nicknames that you only use in your head (Whiny McWhinerson and PeePee LePew, party of two), and you know hers.
10. Your friendship is rooted in motherhood, but it eventually grows and branches out to other areas of life. You know that even when your kids are all grown, she’ll still be the first person you call to share the news of your first grandchild or a mortifyingly embarrassing experience.
Mom BFFs keep us sane through all phases of motherhood with their unwavering support and shared sense of humor. They let us know we’re not alone and that we’re totally capable of raising our kids without screwing them up beyond repair. They’re a shoulder when we break down and a fellow audience member to our children’s entertaining shenanigans. They are our anchor, our cheerleader, our therapist, and our partner in parenting crime.
Here’s to the mom BFFs who get us, support us, and help make our motherhood experience a blast of a journey.