One of the things I have enjoyed most about being a part of the Quad City Moms Blog is getting to know so many great women and fellow mommies, whom I now consider my friends. This has been an extra blessing for me, because in my group of friends (or at least before the moms blog!), I am basically the only one with children! Some of my friends are focusing on their work, some just aren’t ready to be mommies yet, and others have suffered through both infertility and miscarriages. And so, after nearly 5 years of being married and baby #3 on the way, I was starting to feel a little distanced from my friends. It wasn’t their fault—in fact, I don’t think it was my fault either—it’s just the way it was.
When I started writing for the Moms Blog, I was introduced to my co-writers at our first meeting, and I went home so excited! I had just sat around a table for an hour or two with a bunch of wonderful girls, all around my age, and all of them were mommies! It was new and strange to me to be able to have other people to talk to about raising my children, or at least other people who are going through it now, and not who went through it five, ten, or even fifteen years ago! That night, I’m pretty sure that I talked my husband’s ear off about how excited I was to meet all of these fellow moms. And my excitement has only grown in the last year of writing for the blog…going to Mama’s Night Outs, Playgroups, etc. has been so fun for me and for my family, too!
But wait…I know what you’re thinking. What about my friends? What about those girls who have been with me since the awkward Junior High days or the carefree college semesters? Don’t worry, I haven’t left them behind! In fact, I would say that I feel even closer to my not-yet-mommy friends than I did before. Being able to interact with other mommies has helped me fulfill that part of me that was missing, that need to commiserate, to talk about naptime woes and dinnertime tips and all of the other endless things that we mommies worry about.
And after fulfilling that void, I was able to find that place in my heart for my friends again, that part of me that still needs those girls so much. They are always ready to share a laugh, to run out for a shopping spree, to grab a bite to eat. And it’s so refreshing to spend time with them. Not only because they represent another side of life—one without snotty-shirt sleeves and piles of grass-stained laundry—but because they remind me of the other side of me. After all, even though I have given birth to two beautiful babies, and I am preparing to do so again, that doesn’t define every part of who I am. I’m still the girl who likes to have the last laugh, who likes to eat cupcakes at midnight, who likes to wear cute clothes and eat at yummy restaurants. My friends, my real friends, are still here to bring that person out in me, to remind me that “mommy” may be my first (and favorite) quality, but it’s not my only quality.
So, this post is dedicated to all of my friends. To all of my girls that have been with me through thick and thin (sometimes literally! Ha!)—I thank you for reminding me of who I am, for always being here when I need you, and I pray that I can be that kind of friend for you when you become busy mommies, too. And to all of my new mommy friends from the blog—thank you for welcoming me into your circle, thank you for making me realize I am not crazy, and I hope that we can all continue this wonderful network of moms helping moms.
I was recently having a discussion with my best friend, Laura, about how it’s sometimes hard to find the balance between being a mommy and being a friend, especially to those friends who don’t have kids yet (Laura being one of them). She told me that she thinks I do a great job finding time to spend with her, both with and without my kids, and that she thought I should write a blog post about it. What a great compliment from my friend—I’m so glad she feels this way!
How about the rest of you moms out there? How do you find the balance between friends with kids and friends without kids? Any tips for making it work?