We carry a child for 9 months. We give birth, put their nutritional needs above the future shape of our boobs, change diapers, and suck snot out of their nose using our mouth and a straw-like contraption. And as if talking about "output" didn't consume enough of our conversations the first two weeks of motherhood, we actually tracked that literal shit on an app.
When Dad comes home from work, he gets the most glorious reception of all time. I get a hangry kid because I forgot to bring snacks for the ride home from daycare.
I don't even bother trying to add broccoli to his dinner menu anymore. I'll pick my battles and that is not one of them.
We blink and suddenly we aren't a "new" mom anymore. We've got a toddler with strong opinions, like a sudden love affair with the shirt he hated this morning but insists on wearing into the bathtub tonight. One who will only wear pajamas with puppies and Target Dollar Spot socks with Dory's face on them.
The struggle is real.
That's why you need mom friends. Specifically, these five:
1. The Seasoned Mom. This type of mom was and still is the most critical to my sanity. They are a wealth of mom knowledge, even if their kid is a mere month older than yours. They will either eye roll along with you during the toddler tantrums or answer your one million questions the first few months of your tiny human's life.
2. The New Mom. If having a new mom ask me something I actually know the answer to isn't a pick me up, I don't know what is. This is a mutually beneficial friendship. You already have some tricks up your sleeve for getting through a sleep regression (although mostly its just coffee) and you're helping another mama out who was you not too long ago.
3. The Laid Back Mom. Type-A moms need someone who doesn't stress over schedules or freak out when their kid eats dirt like we do. Sometimes you need someone to tell you its okay your toddler picked a cracker off of the floor, shared it with the dog, and then finished the last soggy bit you were hoping the dog would get to first.
4. The Organic Mom. Oh the organic, non-GMO, health research moms. You make me feel bad for feeding my child non-organic cookies but you also force me to try harder, even if you don't mean to, so thank you for that! You probably cringe when I tell you my child ate mac and cheese five nights in a row, but I also hope your future offspring will laugh in the face of your homemade organic broccoli bites ... so lets call it even. By the way, can I get that broccoli bite recipe? K, byeee!
5. The Fellow SAHM or Working Mom. While we think we know what its like for the other moms, the ones who get to go to Target at 10 AM or speak to adults about something other than Mickey Mouse all day, we don't. The reality is Target at 10 AM is a hot mess and pumping at work might be worse than the giant post-birth maxi pads, so we are all sacrificing. We need someone who shares our guilt of sending our kid to daycare or counts down the minutes until dad gets home so mama can pee in privacy.
Whether you're neighbors or live miles apart, you need a mom tribe in your life.
You need them to virtually fist bump you when you're feeling down, confirm you are in fact not the only one covered in spit up, or to remind you everything is a phase.
They will listen in non-judgement and complete solidarity when you tell them your child pooped in the last diaper you had on hand, in a classy downtown restaurant, and all you could think to do was use a pad as a diaper. (Yep, you read that right.)
You don't have to agree with their parenting decisions. You don't even need to heed their advice. You just need to be there for each other. I guarantee your tribe will make you better at this exhausting, beautiful thing called motherhood.
At the very least, they'll approve of that large pour to help you make it through witching hour.