Making friends when we are older is tough. Making mom friends can be particularly hard if you don’t find the ones who are on the same wavelength as you are. And it’s important that we find our tribe, make mistakes, keep the ones who support us and gently leave behind the ones who aren’t a good fit.
Here’s the thing. Unless we learn from our errors, the past has no value. It is just going to be a repetitive train wreck where we crash into our mistakes, pick up, dust ourselves off and go careening down that same track all over again.
However, what if we had someone to help us out? What if that person talks you down from a cliff of indecision? What if she reaches out and gives you a hug to say that things may look bleak now, but they are certain to look up very soon?
How many of us can say that we have that one person? I am not talking about your spouse or your significant other. In no way am I discounting the presence and importance of that person in your life. But, sometimes, we just need our girlfriends , don’t you agree?
It gives me a specially warm feeling to admit that I have not one or two such persons, but nearly 30 women I can reach out to, on any given day. Sounds surprising, I know. A very close-knit online community that I moderate has some incredible mom friends, those who will jump to the rescue of every other member on that group. The most interesting part of this is the fact that less than half of us have met face to face and just once in the last 6 months!
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What, then, are the lessons that these incredible Mom Friends taught me?
We are all alike:
We may come from different backgrounds, hold varying political opinions, not concur on certain parenting practices, but underneath it all, that same heartbeat called Motherhood beats. It is that pulse which says, ‘Hey, I know what you’re going through and it sucks. BIG TIME! Do you want to grab a cup of coffee and let your hair down with me?’
We shouldn’t Judge another:
Do you know how incredibly hard this one is to follow? The minute you see a toddler throw a raging tantrum in the middle of a supermarket floor, don’t you grit your teeth and feel annoyed? Oh yeah!
When our group came into being, we laid down three simple guidelines:
- Be Frank and Open
- Be Supportive of Another
- Be Non-Judgmental always
Simple maxims. And all it took was a conscious mindset to start following these guidelines. So, the minute someone vented about how her child was being defiant or how another spoke about the frustration that comes with every single thing about the daily routine, 45 other voices would jump in and say, ‘Hey, I get where you’re coming from. Breathe. Let it go.’
It is very tempting to jump in and be mean to someone because they disagree with you. But, it just takes a pinch of effort to hold back and say nothing at all. Try it, if you haven’t already. It’s worth it.
Did I not know these lessons already? Did I need my friends to teach me any of this? Let’s just say it doesn’t hurt to have daily reminders of the things that matter. At the end of the day, you and I, we’re just the same and we are on the same journey. It’s just that our paths to get there, may be slightly different.