Being a mom is a heavy task, and when you step back and really think about the daunting responsibility you have of not messing someone up entirely, it’s enough to send you straight to your wine shelf. Really, you–yeah, yeah, and your partner and community–are responsible for the outcome of a human being. Think about it: the power to turn your child into a total dick is right at your fingertips.
Maybe I’m being a bit dramatic, but all that considered, it’s no wonder even the calmest of moms is occasionally riddled with anxiety and guilt. For the number of Super Bowl champs who say they first and foremost need to thank their mothers, there are even more sociopaths who blame theirs for their problems. I’m not saying my son will turn out like Norman Bates or anything–my God, I would not look good stuffed–but the possibilities of his future personality are endless.
It’s times like this, when I find myself going down an irrational rabbit hole, that I am particularly thankful for my mom friends. You know the ones I’m talking about: the friends who justify your neuroses, pull your head out of your ass, and bring some friggin’ levity back into your life.
I hate to categorize friends in this way, sticking them in the oft-dreaded ‘mom’ bucket, but I’ve found that there’s really no better term for the kind of person I mean. Simply put, a real mom friend is not just a fellow mom you call to schedule play dates; a real mom friend is someone with whom you can commiserate and share your greatest parenting fears and victories. Non-mom friends can certainly lend a sympathetic ear, but I’ve yet to meet a non-mom friend who can comfortably discuss baby poop, much less casually over lunch.
What does it mean to be a mom friend? Let me count the ways.
A mom friend will…
- Convince you that your baby won’t develop body dysmorphia because you think it’s fun to use Snapchat filters on him.
- Never ask you to do jumping jacks because she knows that no amount of kegels will prevent you from peeing yourself a little (or a lot).
- Drink a glass of wine in solidarity after you text her the word “poo-pocalypse.”
- Encourage you to keep watching HBO in front of your baby because it’s highly unlikely he understands the concepts of sex or violence yet. And that Jane the Virgin is actually educational what with the exposure to Spanish and all.
- Concur that it’s totally normal to shower every two days and wear yoga pants exclusively.
- Hear you utter the words “I’ve got a sausage in my pocket” and appreciate that you brought a snack instead of judging you for your sexual euphemisms.
- Agree that it’s prudent and not at all absurd to have a zombie apocalypse plan.
- Talk with you for 45 minutes about your nipples without batting an eyelash.
- Be so well-acquainted with your labor and delivery story that she probably knows your vagina more intimately than most of your sexual partners combined.
- Assure you that the dirt your baby just fisted into his mouth is an efficient and all-natural alternative to a probiotic and a multi-vitamin.
- Offer to watch your baby when you feel the need to be literally anywhere but with said baby.
- Remind you that there’s really no such thing as an “overachieving” baby and that they all develop at different paces.
- Help you weigh the pros and cons of going back to work and support your decision no matter the path you choose.
- Have a meaningful conversation with you about politics, religion, and the scary world we live in because she respects you and reserves judgment even when she has different opinions.
- Open up to you as much as you open up to her.
Most importantly, a mom friend will lament with you, listen to you, or give you a hug when you’re feeling sad, guilty, happy, or all three (read: postpartum hormones). A lot like a spouse, I suppose, a mom friend will love and support you in the good times and the bad.
So let’s all rejoice in our mom friendships! Being there for your fellow mom during what can sometimes be a serious and isolating experience is something to be celebrated and cherished. And, really, who can better understand how hilarious it is to watch your baby get stuck in a hamper?