What Makes a Great Mom-Friend BFF?
Real moms share how they make other mommy friends, what makes those friendships work and why they matter so much.
Some of my absolute mommy besties are not necessarily the most likely candidates at first glance; we may have different parenting styles, clothing styles or lifestyles, but we get along like gangbusters and love to hang out, even (especially?) without our kids in tow. These ladies mean the world to me, and keep me sane.
I asked four other moms about how they make mom-friends, what makes those friendships work, and why they matter so much. Check out what they had to say:
- “I met one of my dearest friends shortly after our babies were born. She and I had used the same midwife, and we exchanged phone numbers at an after-baby party. We got together a few times before she returned to work, but I honestly thought our friendship wouldn’t go anywhere. On the surface, we were so different: She works full time, and I stay at home. She has a PhD and owns a successful business, while it took me until I was thirty to get my bachelor’s degree. She’s actively religious, and I’m an atheist. Still, something stuck, and we continued having play dates once a week. I soon discovered that she is one of the sweetest and sunniest people I have ever met; she’s fun and interesting, and she listens without judging. I value who she is as a person, a woman and a mom. She’s a true friend, and I’m so thankful I made the investment in getting to know her. Plus, our kids adore each other!”–Samantha Packham, mom of two, Austin, TX
- “I was involved in a playgroup, shortly after my first son was born, and there were some silly mean girl dynamics going on .. .the kind of stuff I’m tired of now in my late thirties, and especially had no patience for when my kid was itty-bitty and I was already depleted in other areas. One mom in particular was really at the center of it, so as much as I felt somewhat desperate for other mom-friends, I quietly disengaged from the group. I am still friendly with her and hang with her on occasion, but even when I do, I see the gossip girl come out in me, and I don’t really like it … The mama friends I’ve ended up being closest to, on the other hand, are distinctly drama-free. I look for the kind of people I want to be around, and also the kind of people I want my kids growing up around. I think a good mama friend rolls with the punches (i.e. is flexible on plans and particulars), listens well, supports your parenting choices even when they may not totally line up with her beliefs, and is someone you can call upon when you need to. Those friends are out there, and I’ve learned it’s okay to be a little choosey, and patient, when assembling your village.” – Nicole Ray, mom of three, Minneapolis, MN
- “When my son was eight months old, we left our home and community in L.A. for a suburb. I just couldn’t picture myself raising a baby in a big metropolitan area. But once we got to the ‘burbs, I had a hard time picturing myself fitting in there, socially speaking. As I hung out with my baby at the park, coffee shop, mommy-and-me music classes, and so forth, though, feeling awkward and lonely and out-of-place, other moms smiled at me, or inquired about an item of jewelry or baby gear, or just simply asked how old my little one was. I was sometimes surprised by how much we had in common; even if we were ten years apart in age, we had cute babies and lack of sleep in common, so it wasn’t difficult to make conversation. I realized other moms want company and community as much as I do, and that they aren’t judging me nearly as much as I might think. (Often it was me who was judging them!) I’ve made close friendships here that I might never have explored if it weren’t for my baby. That’s a motherhood perk I never saw coming.” – Bree Monahan, mom of one, San Marino, CA
- “My three closest friends are all moms, but I’ve known them all since well before we met our husbands, let alone had kids. I think the foundation has to be there for the friendship to survive the challenges and changes of motherhood. But what keeps us close now is the shared experiences; they understand my exhaustion during teething, or that I can call them to vent or just to get out of the house. And even when one of us is faced with unfamiliar territory, like my son being identified as needing testing for delays, and possibly autism, the rest offer true support as opposed to platitudes or empty assurances. Those are true friends to me. I have mom friends who are great people, and fun for play dates or moms nights out, but my true friends know all of me, not just the mom part of me.” – Becca Woodward Tabbutt, mom of two, Parkesburg, PA
What’s the back-story on your best mommy friendships? What makes them tick?
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