When you're pregnant, it feels like other people— especially other women— genuinely want to be your friend. They're eager to learn how you're feeling, what you're naming your baby, and if you're prepared for their arrival. But once your newborn arrives, things change in the blink of an eye.
You'll still see lots of friendly faces— like many of the ones I see on Sunday mornings— but as far as "Mom Friends" go? I'm sorry, but good luck. I've maybe made one new mom friend since having my daughter last October. Unless you're down to complain about what your kid's doing (or rather not doing), there are no new friendships to be formed. At least that's how it's worked for me.
Here's a good example. My little girl was five months old in May when I went to the salon to tune up my balayage. Everyone in there had been laughing and having a great time— or so I thought, until the topic of conversation turned to our babies sleeping through the night. I kept my mouth shut until someone directly asked me if my girl slept well because I knew my response would be an unpopular one.
"Yes," I said, "she's slept about 11, 12 hours straight every night since she was three months old, thank goodness." I caught the other stylist glaring at me, so I quickly added, "but she doesn't nap at all."
I felt the need to throw in that extra remark because I knew I was not going to make a mom friend that day. Looking back, that girl was never going to be my friend— and truthfully, I know now that she's not the kind of mom friend I need in my circle. I hate to say that, but I can't sugarcoat it. The look in her eyes said everything.
I still haven't figured out why more of us don't come together or celebrate other moms' successes. Yes, that woman's child might be doing something you wish yours was doing. But have you ever considered that maybe your baby is excelling in other areas that she only wishes hers would? Motherhood is a lifelong journey that we're all trying to figure out at the same time. It's not a competition! Nobody hands us medals for which mom is doing what the best, and let's face it— sometimes it's a sheer blessing that our infants do what we actually want them to do, and not because we've taught them some sort of trick. That being said, why don't we reach out and encourage the mom next to us instead of shooting her a side-eye glance?
I'm not always the best at this, so I'll say it again: I'm not perfect, but I do try to check on new moms because I understand a lot of what they're going through. I can empathize with the overwhelm and the isolation that can occur, and I'm always ready to share in on their joys. I think more moms should hop on board with this concept. The "check on your mommy friends" message may be funny— but really, it floats around so much because moms are hoping you'll check on them. The words are written out plain as day. A quick message to say, "Hey, I'm thinking of you," would benefit another mama and you way more than you think. Real friendship could even come from it, too!