Mom Friends

My best friend from high school, Taylor, was in town from Chicago this week and stopped by for dinner tonight. It has been a couple of years since the girls have seen her, but I think they sensed that she is very special to mama because they were especially attentive and cuddly with her.

I could tell that Taylor was so glad to see me again and spend some time with me, even if we were surrounded by squealing girls who decided to have a wrestling match right in between us on the couch. It was a good feeling, having someone outside our little family being genuinely glad to see me. I hear over and over again from women that their husbands are their best friends. I have never felt that way about my husband. He and I are one flesh, united together by the holy sacrament of matrimony for the duration of our lives. He is so much more than my best friend, I cannot even bring myself to categorize him as such. However, it was unexpectedly invaluable to me to have some girl time. It is also refreshing to have a fellow mama to relate to (she has a son of her own).

Having friendships these days is difficult. My Abuela still has dear friends from her grade school days. From when she was in an entirely different country! Alas, I retained no good friends from grade school, and all of my dear high school, college, and law school friends have either moved far away or don’t have children and probably feel like talking to me now is like talking to an alien from another planet. Not to mention the difficulties inherent in dealing with working schedules vs. SAHM schedules. I just didn’t realize how much I missed hanging out with my best friend until today. I know that sounds weird, but things have been too hectic for me to realize it.

I have had several forays with becoming friends with other moms of small children, but I have had some rotten luck with the ones I was closest to having to move away. (Miss you Sara , Julia , and Christy!!) Becoming friends with fellow moms just seems so much more stressful than it was during my school days. To give you a feel for it, I will describe the typical life cycle of a potential mom friendship for me. It goes a little something like this:

You figure out that you are both moms with similarly aged children.

You arrange a play date.

You meet for said play date (and I usually mess this step up already by being horribly late because I’m usually pregnant and juggling several babes).

You chase your kids around and fail to find a moment to have an actual conversation. Your toddlers completely ignore each other and your babies try to poke each other’s eyes out. Sometimes, if it is going really badly, your children get along about as well as the Real Housewives of New Jersey. Lots of embarrassment ensues as you try to figure out if it would be less awkward to discipline your catfighting toddler in front of everyone, ignore it until someone’s hair gets pulled, or just leave in shame.

You try to arrange another play date months later when you have another free moment, but it never works out.

You figure either you or your kids doomed this friendship from the start. If you had to guess, it would probably be you. Because your children are just so darn likeable! Right? Right. I don’t know. Perhaps my mom friend technique is inherently flawed or other moms just find our adherence to the Catholic approach toward child bearing unsettling. I have had fellow moms in the waiting room at the pediatrician’s office that I had struck up a casual conversation with move to different seats further away from me when I innocently revealed to them the number of children I have and their ages. As if my rebellion from the 2-3 children with appropriate boy/girl ratios status quo was contagious. I kid you not. I think the mom with the toddler hacking up a lung had more people sitting close to her by the time I finished up by saying I was pregnant again with number four. It was a very lonely time in the waiting room for me after that.

This blogging community (as well as Instagram) has proven invaluable to me because I have found so many mamas that have become my bosom friends. I don’t know what I would do without this outlet and their support and encouragement. I wish I could just teleport and visit them all at will!

There are too many factors at play when you are a mom of littles to make forming friendships as easy as it was when you were younger. Your schedules revolve around meal times, nap times, activities, and appointments. A free moment for a prolonged conversation is hard to find. And when you do have a free moment, all you want to do is tackle your endless to-do list or collapse into bed. I suspect that this is the case whether you are a parent or have a busy career (or both!), so perhaps this is an adult problem rather than just a mom problem? And anyway, you no longer have just yourself to worry about, it would really help if your spouses and especially your children got along.

When I walked Taylor to the door to tell her goodbye, I was keenly aware of how much I was going to miss her. A good friendship is so hard to find. I visit my Abuela weekly, and inevitably while I am there one of her friends will call and they will chat and laugh for an hour or so. She had five children, each about a year or less apart. What is my excuse? I really need to make time to foster the friendships I know are good ones. We all could use some more love and support in our lives, especially when we are busy young mothers.

Friendship is the source of the greatest pleasures, and without friends even the most agreeable pursuits become tedious. -St. Thomas Aquinas

IMG_3260
Taking the girls to buy a king cake to celebrate Mardi Gras with Taylor. We are obviously new at this king cake business and were displeased to find that the baby is not actually baked into most cakes any more. Presumably for liability reasons. I suppose I should be more glad that we didn’t spend the evening fishing a tiny plastic baby out of a toddler’s throat.

Advertisements

About sylcell

Wife, mom of four girls, Catholic, insatiable sweet tooth
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Mom Friends

  1. morgan says:

    You forgot to mention the “fun” of rescheduling time and time again because one of those little brats is sick. again 😉 A close friend of my husband had twins and since the day they were born we unsuccesfully try to schedule to meet up with them. But every time we finally fix a date one of the kids gets sick. And since there are six kids in the mix… the twins are almost 18 months old now… at least we managed to attend their baptism 😀
    I can’t count how many times I came home from a playdate and then it suddenly hit me that in between all that screaming and fighting my mama-friend told me something horrible or life.changing or whatever else I never reacted to… *head desk*

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Natali says:

    I enjoyed this post! We are a military family, therefore constantly on the move. I am not a social person, but God has always provided a friend. Hang in there.
    I just had my 5th child 3 weeks ago. I got lots of looks when I went grocery shopping with my older 4 and was pregnant. I am going to have to build a thick skin because, I know I will get them more often as my littlest grows.

    Liked by 1 person

    • sylcell says:

      Congrats on your fifth! Yeah, I am not very social either. I need to just get over that and be more outgoing. You never know, maybe I’ll find someone that isn’t bothered by large families.

      Like

  3. Sadly, the blogging community is the one of the only places that I find acceptance for having 4 children close in age. My family accepts it (mostly) but, as far as Momma friends…. I’ve been told too many times that their singleton babes find my children ‘overwhelming’ To me I always felt the kids were playing great together and I am always left feeling its other moms who find my foursome overwhelming. Ah well. Who needs playdates when you have four kids to entertain each other 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • sylcell says:

      Yeah, I’m beginning to think play dates are for the birds. You don’t get to socialize with the other mom, and your kids couldn’t care less. And is that what it is? Perhaps our family is just overwhelming? I never thought of it that way.

      Like

  4. I miss you so much! Some people don’t seem to get it that having a kid the same age as someone else doesn’t make you automatically real friends. It’s such a treat to find other moms you actually want to be friends with. And even better when she doesn’t defriend you because your son decides to knock her baby girl over on her head! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, the story of arranging play dates! Sounds so familiar! I feel fortunate to have a few close Mama friends here locally that have grown into motherhood together. It makes all the difference in the world to have someone with which to share the ride (other than your husband) . Glad to have met you via the blogging world.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. So true! And I love the St. Thomas Aquinas quote!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. MJ says:

    Awesome! Your post made me laugh…it is all so true. When I tell others how many children I want, they act as though I have some infectious disease and slowly back away as well. The same happened with my so-called friends after I had my son. They will no longer hang out with me and barely speak to me. I am on “Mommy Planet.” Lol

    Liked by 1 person

  8. dsudatta says:

    I feel sad that you would think that other moms do not want to be friends with you. You come across as such a wonderful person, I cannot help but think I wish we stayed closer.
    Recently, I came across two moms with four kids each, and when I see them, I can just marvel at it – Wow, how do they do it?
    People who want to judge you will judge no matter what – oh, she has too many kids, oh, she has brown skin.
    I would like you to know that there are so many people who would be friends with you in a heartbeat. I simply love you!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. christywulz says:

    I cherish this blog and your friendship! The good news is that we’ll be back in Atlanta soon(ish) and our kid count is slowly catching up to yours. The chaos of life is much more exciting with friends in the same boat!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s