The Mom Village: Do We Need Mom Friends?
It’s been ten years since I moved away from my hometown, but I haven’t missed “home” as much as I have in the last year and a half. I have the best friends a girl can ask for back home. They’re funny and kind, and can make me snort my drink through my nostrils with their humor. We call each other names and make insensitive jokes. They know my deepest secrets as they’ve seen me through them, first hand. They know what I’m thinking and what I need. They can verbally smack me around, because I know in my heart that they want the best for me. And, to top it off, we love each others kids.
They are my village, but since I live so far away, they aren’t the day to day mom village that I need.
A year after my daughter was born, I met a fellow mom that would become my best mom friend. Our kids were similar ages, and her son was the perfect balance to my daughter’s spirited temperament. For over a year, the four of us spent every day together. While our husbands worked, we ventured into motherhood together and tackled parenthood one adventure at a time. It was fun. It was supportive. And it was filled with growth. In her, I had the mom village I needed to grow into the kind of parent I wanted to be.
And then she moved away.
That was over a year ago, and I still haven’t recovered. The day she left my house, with one final hug good bye, I cried harder than expected. I knew then what I am still feeling now – building a mom village is not easy task. And sometimes for me, it feels down right impossible
And so, I wonder, do we even need mom friends? Or is it good enough to just have friends? Do I need to commune with other women because our children will benefit from the socialization or interaction, or can I connect with a parent strictly on the desire to create my own village of support and kinship?
I love my family, I adore my husband, but when I think of uprooting my family and moving back “home”, my friends are often what looms at the end of the yellow brick road. A place where my motherhood and womanhood are not mutually exclusive and where my village of umpa lumpas await.
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