One of my good friends just announced the big news that she is pregnant and expecting a baby girl! It got me thinking a lot about my early days as a new mommy and all the things I wish someone had told me, from all the gross things that happen to your body, all the way to the craziness of crying at every.little.thing. I can’t help spewing out all the advice that comes to mind. I mean, I must be considered to be an expert since I birthed three children in less than three years and am still alive to talk about it.
BUT the piece of advice that I keep going back to is that she will have to make new mommy friends. Honestly, since becoming a mom, I have more friends than I know what to do with, and it has changed my life. I strongly believe in the saying that it takes a village, but I think that village is more about supporting the mama, rather than raising the child. My number one piece of advice is to be open to new friendships and to work hard at the ones that you already have.
Here are the types of friends that I think all mamas need.
1. The Funny Friend – You will find that being a mom is the hardest job on Earth! It is so easy to get caught up in the stress of parenting, so you need that funny friend to make you laugh, and I mean pee your pants laugh (oh yeah, you lose some bladder control!). When you are on the verge of tears, you need her to turn that poopy situation (literally newborns can project bodily fluids quite a long distance), into one that will make you smile at the thought of it in years to come.
2. The Child-Free Friend – This friend keeps you grounded and forces you to hang on to all those pre-mommy things that you loved to do for yourself, like dancing and mani/pedis. Just because you change diapers all day and some of the only exercise you will get is bending to pick up the endless amounts of toys off the floor or the cup of milk that has been thrown 35 times, doesn’t mean she won’t understand. With this friend, you want to make a conscious effort to keep a two-way friendship. Not all conversations have to surround the new silly things your child is doing.
3. The Brutally Honest Friend – You need this friend to tell you that you have spit-up in your hair and that it’s obvious you haven’t showered. You need this friend to call you out when you try to offer up the excuse that you can’t meet up at the park because you haven’t done laundry in two days. She will tell you her deepest darkest secrets, which, not surprisingly, will be very similar to your own.
4. The Laidback Friend – You will most likely meet this mom at the park or gym class. She will smile up at you from her phone as her children are a few feet away playing nicely together. Don’t worry, she’s got everything under control. Call this friend the first time your little one falls and bumps their head. She will tell you to hold them a little bit tighter and to get an ice pack. Wait a little while before calling 911.
5. The Night Owl Friend – This friend is always there for you. Don’t worry about texting even though it is 2:43 a.m., and you are up for the fourth time to feed the baby. She will get back to you ASAP and keep you from “liking” posts on Facebook while you are half asleep.
6. The Gossip Friend – She will keep you well informed with what is going on at work while you are home, or what the rest of the play group was talking about when you left early to avoid a meltdown. You will continue to feel connected to the rest of the world. Just beware, she tells everyone what you say too!
7. The Know-it-All Friend – She knows everything! Not sure what to do for your baby’s first diaper rash, she will tell you the best store-bought brand AND a recipe for a home remedy. Can’t decide which double stroller to get; she will tell you all the pros and cons of a side-by-side and the best place to order one. Need help finding a babysitter, she’s already scoured the internet and done background checks.
8. The Fitness Friend – Don’t let this friend scare you away; she means well and just wants to help. Who cares if you only feel comfortable in elastic waist pants. This friend will encourage you to become more active and attempt to eat healthy.
9. The Old Friend – This friend has nothing to do with age! She is the very best friend you will ever have since she has known you the longest. She knows who you were and understands the woman you are becoming. This friend can be called upon at any time of day or night for advice, venting, and, most likely, laughter.