Motherhood

Mommies Need More Than Playdates

needs a friend
I’m just a mommy most of the time. But I like sushi and coffee and conversation. I’m one of these mommies I’m writing about.

I’ve noticed a phenomenon of late that is concerning to me. Mommies are missing out on something they desperately need – really good friends.

Just watch this video from What’s Up Moms?

Sure, it’s hilarious. But it’s not very far from the truth. Mommies are looking for someone to connect with beyond the conversations about their kids. We’re looking for someone to see us as more than an extension of the person we used to be.

This post is an open letter to call mommies out of their fog of sleep depravity, guilt over balance and all the other things we hang on our shoulders.

If every mother would take a look around, she’d notice that there’s a little bit of sadness in her fellow mommy’s eyes. She’s lonely.

And I don’t care if you work at home, outside the home, stay home, homeschool, live on a military base, have a deployed husband, etc. Whatever your situation, this loneliness is real.

The number one problem in a mom’s life is that she is always needed by someone else.

Someone is crying. Someone lost their lovey. Someone at work needs you to take the lead on another project. Your husband wants you to talk about something other than boogers and dirt and the dishwasher that needs emptying.

I say that being needed all the time is a problem. It’s a great problem. It’s the thing that keeps me going somedays, but it’s exhausting. It’s very hard to be “on” all day and all night for our families.

I think this especially holds true for single moms. I’ve never been a single mom, but I can only imagine picking up the slack for two parents.

We moms were never meant to do this mommy life alone. Heck, we humans were never meant to do this life alone. We were designed to be in relationships with other people. And I’m not talking about just the tiny ones we’re entrusted with not messing up.

We mommies deserve good friends. We deserve connections with other women who know what it’s like to stand in the bathroom and cry because it’s all a little too much.

And that means more than a comment on a baby picture on Facebook or Instagram. That may sound harsh, but social media is a tool for making connections. But it doesn’t replace the connection of a phone conversation or the chat over a cup of coffee or even a Skype chat.

Social media just gives us the illusion that everything is ok. And while many of us love to share our lives and use it as a way to connect with family and friends who live in other places, it’s just a lens looking into someone’s life. But you aren’t seeing the parts they cropped out. The stuff they really need a friend to wrestle with.

You can’t judge tone by Facebook or email or Instagram. But you can hear pain in someone’s voice or see it on their face. You can hear joy over nothing. You can change a life with a few words of kindness.

So, I’m issuing a challenge to all those mommies out there. There’s a woman in your sphere who is really in need of a friend. A good friend. A great friend. She may not even be a new person in your life. It could be a relationship that was once great. She needs you to reach out again.

She needs your conversation. She needs your texts. She needs you to reach out to her. She needs an invitation to be your friend. Not just someone you talk to on the playground occasionally. Someone that you invite into your life.

Even if you think your life is full of friends or other stuff, she needs you. She needs you to help her feel like a person. To talk about stuff only girls like to talk about.

We worry so much about our children’s socialization. But we really need to be worried about our fellow mommies. The kid years go fast. And when we come out on the other side of it, we can lose ourselves.

We can stop this loneliness problem by being a little bit more interested. By putting ourselves out there a little bit more.

It doesn’t cost a thing to give another mom a smile, a kind word or your phone number.

You don’t have to meet up all the time. You don’t have to plan expensive nights out.

Being a friend is as simple as checking in and saying, “How’s life treating you?”

Next time you’re out, look around and see if you don’t see what I see.

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