The following post was written by Guest Contributor Crystal Harris.
Let’s be honest for a minute – mom life can be hard! Sometimes it can feel like nothing more than paying bills, making meals and herding children from one place to the next.
To help us get through all the ups and downs of mom life it’s so important that we have a “mom tribe” – a group of friends we can call on for support as we raise our tiny humans.
At 3am a Facebook group may not be as helpful or supportive as you need it to be. We need real connections with people in our everyday lives who can be there for us when things get tough.
With that in mind, here are my three tips to help you make and nurture friendships with other moms as you build your tribe.
Skip the Qualification Round
Have you ever wondered why we call it “making” friends? Think about it. We don’t say “happening upon” friends or “stumbling across” friends or “earning” friends.
When is the last time you heard someone say, “I earned a new friend today”? Most likely you haven’t, because that isn’t how it goes down.
Have you ever noticed how good children are at making friends? With few inhibitions (and sometimes a lacking sense of personal space!) they’ll confidently walk up to another child on the playground and say, “Want to play?”
We should all take a cue from our kids. You want to find have a tribe of mom friends? You are going to have to step outside your comfort zone, approach another mama and ask, “Will you be my friend?”
You’re going to have to take the first step at making that friendship, which depends a lot on what your definition of friendship looks like.
If you define a friend as someone you can tell anything, then start sharing with your new friend! And don’t stay comfy and safe in the shallow end, sharing things they’ve probably already learned about you when they Instagram stalked you before agreeing to meet for coffee.
Choose to be open and share things in confidence. The right people will honor your vulnerability with friendship.
Take it As it Comes
Don’t get hung up on trying to find lifelong friends. Think about the story of the Good Samaritan. If the man who was in a tough spot and needed a friend had hesitated, wondering if he the Good Samaritan were going to be lifelong friends or not, the story wouldn’t have ended up well for him!
The same goes for us. Maybe the friend you meet at La Leche League will still be your friend when your kids go off to college. Or maybe she’ll help you through the toughest bout of thrush that gentian violet has ever encountered, and that’s the extent of where that relationship will go.
But guess what? You had the benefit of a friend and supporter through the worst bout of thrush that gentian violet has ever encountered – and that counts for something! Enjoy what you can, while you can.
Also – don’t make the mistake of waiting for “just the right time” before reaching out for community. Get out there and get connected with other mom friends who can support and love you right where you are now.
Don’t wait until your house is clean or your roots are done, or until you perfect making crème brulee in your Instant Pot. Take it as it comes!
Be Honest & Loyal
When it comes to building your mom tribe, remember the golden rule. Remember to model the type of friendship you expect by being the type of friend that you want.
I personally want my friends to be totally honest with me. So, I make sure to always be honest with them.
I also want my friends to be loyal. Like Thelma and Louise loyal. Like stand next to me and burn it down to the ground and tell me I was in the wrong while we are fleeing the scene loyal.
A dear friend of mine and I actually have a code word: lavender. We always default to complete and total honesty in our friendship….like, “You know your teeth look yellow in that lipstick” kind of honesty.
However, if one of us mentions the word “lavender” we switch into the kind of loyal friend mode where for a minute or two, we tell the other person exactly what they want to hear.
Everyone has moments where they need to hear that it is ok that they taught their kid how to Pop Tart and Netflix so they could stay under the covers for an hour longer on a rainy Saturday morning.
So, the next time you see that mom with the cool sunglasses at yoga class who stays in child’s pose as long as you do and carries her mat in an Ikea bag, you’ve got a plan!
Building your mom tribe is so important to your happiness and fulfillment as a mom – so don’t delay! Get out there and make some friends, mama.
This guest post was written by Crystal Harris, creator of the Brauxiliary Band, a hands-free pumping band for breastfeeding mamas! She has made it her personal mission to make life easier for pumping moms. She nursed her two sons while working from home, but returned to work in an office setting after the birth of her daughter. This led her to invent the Brauxiliary Band! Her gorgeous children, John IV (5), Bennett (3) and Josette (1) look and act just like their amazing mama! Crystal is married to her husband John III, a man who understands and celebrates her particular neurosis; church, Dunkin Donuts and solo grocery trips. Fun Fact about Crystal: All three of her children were born on Sunday mornings, which make Sundays her favorite day of the week. She and her family reside in Charlotte, NC. To connect with Crystal social media, check out her Facebook and Instagram accounts @Brauxiliary or visit http://www.Brauxiliary.com.