In adulthood there is a sense of security when it comes to the group of loved ones you gather close over the years. You know whom to call if you desire a night-out. You know who will be beside you when you mourn. You know who to trust, who to love, who will cry, laugh, and who to share your worries with.
With motherhood there is a new need that must be fulfilled; one that’s nearly impossible to be met by a friend who has never experienced the rawness of motherhood. It’s a new form of companionship that allows a trust and comfort that you may never have known you would need.
Finding a Mom-Friend may not come as naturally as you desire. Living outside of your comfort zone, in order to attract a like-minded friend, may be something that you welcome more times than none.
This may come unintentionally to some, like waking early with your newborn and dragging your un-showered self to the local café and stumbling over the words of your usual order because of the broken sleep from the night before. You make eye contact with another tired parent waiting for their drink at the café bar accompanied, clutching a newborn close their chest. Eyes dulling telegraphing, ‘You too?’
That morning, that early, early morning, slithering out of bed to walk down to that establishment of dark, controlling, caffeinated elixirs invigorating you back into the land of the living, where the weak get strong and the strong get going, led you to this stranger, this mom, this exhausted, kindred soul growling under her breath to the fresh-eyed barista, “Black. No sugar, no cream. The more caffeine the merrier.”
But let’s be clear, meeting a like-minded Mom-Friend may even be a virtual connection. There are days where social media connects individuals easier than the playgroups we pay to be part of. This too could be an uncomfortable yet intriguing conversation to initiate with another parent; one that may lead to a life-long relationship; one that will help your parenting journey through its ups and downs.
A Mom-Friend could look very different than a friend-friend. They also could be a Dad-Friend. Anything with an offspring can be a Parent-Friend. They can be the grandparent who cares for their grandchild Monday to Friday while the child’s parents are at work. They can be the aunt, the uncle, the primary care-giver who has full custody of their nephew or niece. They are that individual who understands and empathizes motherhood, parenthood, with all its beauty, its pain and struggle.
The portrait of the Mom-Friend is diverse, inclusive, and desperately needed.
There are those individuals you go to for validation. They provide the warm heart when you need comfort. There are hosts to that messy home that needs not to be cleaned, yet welcoming you and your cranky child at any moment’s notice.
The Mom-Friend is that new type of consolation; that new type of love. One without judgment, one you can partake in free-of-speech, where what you may have disclosed last week may have been influenced by a sleepless night and there is no need to apologize for your perceived inadequacy when it comes to your mother methods. For the Mom-Friend is there to accept your mistakes. To remind you that there will be a next time. That someday, she will call upon you to return that acceptance because there will always be a next time.
The Mom-Friend, the super person with baby spit-up on her shoulder and pureed pear on her shoe, is the friend that you may never have thought you needed until you finally meet. One that you will never want to return for a non-Mom-Friend. One you couldn’t imagine life without.
You will want to stick together. You may even want to expand your clan, since everyone is welcome (unless you feed your child sugar and stay up past 9pm).
But then again- who are we to judge? We are here together; collectively navigate our way through parenthood.
We just need to find the right Mom-Friend to join us in our own, motherhood adventure.
Words by Julian Jamie
Photographed by Florie Berger for Mother Muse No.11 cover story available here