This time eight years ago, I rolled my double-stroller into a local breastfeeding support group thinking, “I hope my babies nurse well, and the Moms are nice there.”
At the time I was a stressed and sleep-deprived mother of three adjusting to my new reality of being a nursing mother of multiples.
Now, fast forward to where I hosted these same Moms I met eight years ago in the group. Reflecting on the past, I was moved to raise a glass and toast this amazing group of women while thanking them for being my Mom safety-net.
What started out as conversations about nursing and new motherhood morphed into more meaningful conversation.
We initially shared our expectations of motherhood versus reality. We asked and answered questions like:
“How does adding a baby to the family change our marriages?” “What are our relationships like with extended family after becoming mothers?” and “How do we define ourselves as mothers and professionals?”
Our group of seven women continue to meet for “Mom’s Night Out” at a restaurant or someone’s home, where we catch up on life. Because we are the parents of young children, we try to connect after our children’s bedtime and keep an open-door policy because we never know what will happen. Moms can come and go at any time, and there are no hard feelings if you have to change plans last-minute. Life is unpredictable. We get it.
Our relationships have grown in depth and breadth, but most importantly, our foundation is built on trust, understanding, and a complete lack of false pretense.
I want to know what you did when your kid wasn’t hitting their developmental milestones, having a hard time in school, or running into issues with behavior or mental health.
Now our conversations are focused on school-aged kid issues, marriage and relationships in general. On any given night, our discussions are sprinkled with words like marriage counseling, therapy, IEPs, 504 plans, ADHD, interventions, medication, evaluations, testing and more.
Undoubtedly, someone else in the Mom group is experiencing the same struggles, and another Mom can offer advice and support based on her recent lived experience.
We have each other’s backs and hold each other’s hearts with great tenderness. We discuss the tough stuff of life, but also provide meaningful advice and guidance.
I hope everyone has a group of Mom friends, because I would truly be lost without my Mom friends.