I am not someone who can say she was always a good friend. In my lifetime I have been a terrible friend to many, but I like to hope these failed friendships are part of what made me into the type of friend I am today. There are a lot of things that have changed my idea of friendship through my journey of becoming a mother. I found that with motherhood came a vulnerability I had never felt before in my friendships. I have a knack for making surface level friendships but opening up and truly being vulnerable can be a struggle. Motherhood made that vulnerability unescapable. I remember even while pregnant I felt like for the first time I was exposed, unable to hide my struggles from the world around me. I started to feel alone while standing in a room full of people, the same people who I had happily surrounded myself with for years.
This feeling was the beginning of a shift that takes place through motherhood. It’s an unavoidable progression, sometimes more graceful than others. In any case, it is painful and can feel scary, as does any moment in life where you are progressing to the next chapter. This new chapter of motherhood may not be a chapter of life all your friends can come with you into. Motherhood is all encompassing and consuming. As a new mother I was barely keeping my head above water. I was so engrossed in the little creature we had created even if I miraculously got a moment to converse alone with a friend all I could talk about was him! I would leave a lunch date and realize while driving home I had not asked one question about my friend’s life.
There are some friends who will make it through this stage and it will evolve into a stronger friendship. However, many friends will not make it through these moments of all-encompassing motherhood. I’m not telling you this is going to be easy, it’s painful to lose friends at any stage in life. What I am telling you is that there is a new world of friendship that comes with motherhood. A type of friendship I have never experienced in any other part of my life. The type of friendship that teaches me the value of trust, loyalty, empathy, and above all else unwavering love, every day. The bond between mom friends is so strong we refer to it as a tribe, village, or community. To me my mommy friends are my family.
The support these women bring to my life is beyond anything any other word can define. When I became a mother I realized quickly motherhood can be a very lonely thing. It can easily isolate you, and make you feel inadequate in the blink of an eye. If you take anything from MOM monster I hope it is that you are never alone as a mother, no matter how lonely you feel. Motherhood alone bonds women with the most diverse backgrounds. The vulnerability of motherhood can feel overwhelming and I understand the urge to hide this from the world. I felt like I needed to stay isolated until I ‘had my shit together again’ before I went out and found my mommy friends. I thought if anyone saw my vulnerability they wouldn’t want to be associated with me. In my mind my messy bun and puffy tired eyes were a reason not to put myself out there.
Little did I know those were the things that would bond us mothers the most. Our shortcomings, our mistakes, the moments we cry, or scream, our yoga pants we’ve worn all week, and our tantrum throwing toddlers. Those are the moments your mom family stands the strongest. I was lucky enough to have several women in my life become mothers around the same time I did. This showed me something that has been invaluable to me, WE ARE NOT ALONE IN OUR STRUGGLES. I saw all of us trying to hide the vulnerability of motherhood because we all felt the pressure to be this Pinterest perfect mom. Because of these women I felt brave enough to say no. Our vulnerability is beautiful! There is no such thing as a perfect mom! We are all just trying to do our best.
Showing your vulnerability to others can be scary but your bravery can allow others to feel supported as well. Sometimes all it takes to not feel alone is to see that you are not the only one struggling as a mother; that it’s totally normal to feel crazy, and tired, and overwhelmed; no matter what age your children are. In letting my vulnerabilities shine I have formed the most beautiful friendships of my life. Women whose presence in my life is irreplaceable. The beauty of friendships formed in your most vulnerable moments is that you know you are loved at your lowest. Many women in my mom family have been with me from the start and my son trusts and loves them as I do.
Having friends who you trust inherently with your child is something that is invaluable in motherhood. I know that when I am at a playdate at a park and all our kids are running around crazy, each mother is looking out for all the children. I’m seeing the value of this even more now watching my friends have their second children. A group of women who understand your struggles, support your choices, and inherently trust each other is one of the most important things in providing you with a healthy motherhood journey. It can be so scary to be vulnerable but the payoff is worth every moment of vulnerability.
Raise your mom flag high, show your vulnerabilities, do not be ashamed of motherhood. If you feel alone put yourself out there! Remember the woman sitting at the park next to you might be feeling just as run down and alone as you are. Always be open to other mothers around you, you never know who will end up being a lifelong friend.
If you have found your mom tribe let those ladies know you love them this week; and if you are still feeling the loneliness of motherhood I urge you to show your vulnerabilities! You are never alone in motherhood, give yourself the gift of acceptance.
Get out there and mom together this week MOM monsters!