I’ve never been one to have bunches of friends. Personally, I’ve always been more of a “one good friend is all you need” kinda girl. When we first got married and then had our first child, I remember having play dates with other moms, but thinking, I don’t need friends…I have my husband and he’s all I need. Maybe it’s the newlywed mindset, or the naivety of a 20 year old but I truly felt like I was fine…I didn’t need anyone else.
And then life happened. We were always short on money, my husband had three jobs, we had three little kids, and I was home all day feeling like my only outlet was my mom group on a pregnancy site I belonged to. I was lonely. I remember being totally excited when my friend invited me to a women’s Bible study at our church. It was like pure joy to hang out with other women, even if it was only once a week.
And then life struck again. We needed money, my husband needed a new job, and we saw our only option as a big move to another state. We moved in the fall, with three little kids, didn’t know the area, or a soul around and the loneliness struck again. I think when you are an extroverted introvert like I am (is that even a thing?) you begin to bottle up your thoughts and struggles, until you no longer even know how to express yourself. By the time spring rolled around, I was bound and determined to make at least one friend or I was going to lose my mind!
One year after moving, we found a church we liked with some young families, and thank God, He had a plan for us! I was really feeling quite fragile at this point, and the lack of companionship that can be filled only by a girlfriend, began to weigh on me heavily. It’s not that my husband wasn’t there for me, or we didn’t have a good relationship. It’s just that he couldn’t possibly understand my mom struggles….because he wasn’t living it too.
Why do moms need other moms to stand by them, support them and say, I understand? I like to think of being a mom as being nothing short of super woman.
We are expected…required really to be everything to everyone at literally the same time, in different ways, and to not crack and totally lose our minds in the process. I’m not even sure how we moms do what we do. If I wasn’t a Christian I would probably think a magic fairy sneaks in at night granting us the super powers we need to get through the 27 temper tantrums we will have to deal with the next day, the sick kids, bad attitudes, never ending laundry pile, and then of course being a wife too.
One of the most special friendships I have ever had, developed in the midst of the chaos of five children, stressful jobs, lack of money, several moves, and health issues. It blossomed when I needed it the most, and has thrived through so much stress.
You would think I couldn’t possibly have time for a deep meaningful friendship, but guess what? I do. I made having meaningful mom friends a priority. I make sure my best friend and I communicate nearly every day, either talking on the phone or texting updates as life happens. I have made sure that even though I have school to teach, dishes to do, bills to pay and kids to take care of, that I still have time for my friend(s). It has saved my sanity, been an unbelievable outlet for stress, and a way to bounce ideas and struggles off someone not in the struggle with me, and has been one of the most glorious blessings God has given me, aside from my husband and kids.
There is something truly special about a friend bringing you a meal because you’ve been ill and cooking is just too much. Or a friend saying, let’s go to Starbucks and just vent and talk! I have so many awesome memories and cherished moments with women who stepped in, offered advice or a shoulder to cry on. Quite literally without my best friend, I’m not sure I would be half as sane today.