It's the one thing that all women crave. A connection with someone who is going through something similar or who just is a sounding board. A person who raises you up and doesn't tear you down for your choices. Someone who will be at your side with a smile, hug or cry right along with you. A heart on your sleeve, no BS person in your life who just gets you and tells you like it is.
We need to talk about how we search for this kind of love as moms. It needs to be spoken because we have all gone through this once we have children, go through a loss, move or any life change. It happens to all of us and it is challenging when we have to grieve the loss of a good friend and seek to find new ones.
You know that saying ‘go through a tough time and find out who your true friends are’? True to the core. It also goes to show that in times of despair, focus on the helpers. There are kind people who rally together to get you through a difficult moment. This is the tribe you need who have your best interest at heart and will raise you up.
I found my tribe. I lost some along the way too - by choice. Some have been long time friends since kindergarten. Others have children the same age. Some shared a room with me in college and others support my dream to build this business. The people that you let in and out of your life all matter and make an impact - whether long term or short term. Once you realize that they all serve a special purpose, the grief of losing them or removing them isn't as profound. - Kelley, owner of Baby Jack & Company.
Having kids is a game changer. The friendship circle sometimes begins to morph into mostly people who have kids because ‘they got it’. Non kids circle suddenly do not understand why it is hard to get a baby sitter or why bedtimes are existent. This is okay. People come and go in your life and it doesn't mean they will not be a part of it later. Priorities change and friendships evolve. We need to accept that as women.
Sometimes medical complications alter real friendships and family connections too. Often times they bring people together who are undergoing a similar situation. "When Emily was born with CHD and Down syndrome, I met an entire community of moms in my exact position and it was an instant connection. My most true friendships evolved because of this similar connection and are stronger now than before. It is a level of support I never knew existed and am truly grateful for their presence in my life." - Laurie of Emily's Heart
Kelly of Prayers for Finn shares her story:
The day I announced I would be a special needs mom rocked every world to the core. Certain family members took it personally and made it about them. Some judged my decisions to continue the pregnancy and some even said it was cruel to fight for this baby to live. I was devastated and to this day it hurts. It always will. But this is the situation where some magic happened. I networked with strangers and friends I hadn’t spoken to in years rallying around our family and showering us with love, prayer and support. I love these warriors more than I can put into words and I’ll never be able to properly thank them. There may have been so many friends who have faded but there were so many beautiful souls beaming into our lives now.
What is the key learning about mom friends? Don’t be surprised. Everyone is different and everyone handles life changes differently. Focus on the people that are a constant in your life and take a break from the ones that are not. Never discredit a person as they may be your biggest advocate. Pray for those that turn their backs. Surround yourself with positive people. Grab hold of those really great friendships and nurture them for if they are in your life right now, they are a gift. Cherish your present people.