There have always been certain things a lot of us need (or don’t need) in a friendship after we become a mom. First and foremost, understanding. We have to be gracious enough to realize our lives are completely changed and if we cancel plans or change our mind about something it shouldn’t be taken personally.
Add a global pandemic on top of our already over-scheduled lives where we carry most of the emotional labor, and we need friends that are there, but also aren’t there.
You have to be okay with your mom friends disappearing sometimes.
There may be weeks when they can’t even remember their own name much less remember to text you back. If they left you on “read” it’s probably because they finally had a moment to themselves on the toilet, saw your text, started typing back, then they were interrupted.
In that split second their attention is diverted and even though they didn’t get back to you, they are thinking of you and they still love you.
Many of us need to have time to ourselves right now in order to process all that’s happening. It’s also taking a lot more energy to get through our days. A lot of us disappear to recharge and there’s nothing wrong with that.
You have to be okay with some (or a lot) of venting.
These times are so hard for so many moms. Our kids are getting the swing of getting back to school, only to have lots of schools shut down again. The COVID numbers are rising and it seems like there is no end in sight. Prices on everything have gone up. People have lost their jobs, and are concerned for the future.
Even if you and your friends aren’t worried about finances, or have a supportive partner, or their kids are well-adjusted, this is a really tough spot for a lot of us. We feel hopeless and we’re allowed to vent about it. Complaining and confiding in our friends is necessary for our mental health. We don’t want to feel alone, we want to be heard and validated.
Just because we verbally vomit, that doesn’t mean we aren’t grateful for the gifts we do have.
Stop with the toxic positivity.
You can’t tell someone to just ‘snap out of it.” This is a trying time and no one is choosing to struggle with it. Telling someone to ‘get over it” or shaming them because they don’t have their usual energy is toxic positivity. Also, it’s not going to get them out of their COVID funk. Realize there are times when it’s best to listen and not dole out advice.
We need our mom friends now, and always. But right now things have changed and just like everything else in life, what we need in a mom friend is changing. Let’s be patient with each other.