The 4 Sanity-Saving Mom Friends Every Woman Needs When Your Mom Isn’t Around
The 4 Sanity-Saving Mom Friends Every Woman Needs When Your Mom Isn’t Around
Having a strong supportive network of mom friends is essential for all women raising a family. It’s surprising how many women believe that they should be independent and able to care for their families on their own. This simply isn’t true.
How to Make a Mom Friend
Women aren’t born knowing how to be a mom. We learn how through the support, guidance, and modeling of those around us. For most women, having access to a supportive mother is invaluable. All moms should intentionally create a community of support and guidance. Still, it becomes vitally important if you are one of the millions of women separated from your mother by death, distance, or estrangement. You can learn more about being a motherless mother HERE.
Having support for moms is an essential part of healthy communities. Being part of a vibrant moms club can be an easy way to meet other local moms, or if the club is virtual, you can build connections with other moms around the world.
When creating your mom community, there are four people every mom should have in her life, especially moms, without a mom. These people can include friends, family members, work friends, and professionals such as counselors, psychologists, coaches, and teachers. Your mom community may change over time which is both normal and ok. People come in and out of our lives for various reasons, but that does not diminish their importance in our lives.
Every mother should have the following mom friends as part of her moms club.
1) The Wise Woman
We all need a Wise Woman as one of our mom friends. A wise woman knows things. She has had a variety of life experiences and doesn’t mind sharing. And if she doesn’t have an answer, she knows where to get it. She is comfortable advising and offering suggestions when asked.
I have had many wise women in my life, but unfortunately, there were many times I didn’t seek them out and thus went on struggling. I’ve noticed that part of my struggle is the fear of appearing incompetent or, dare I say it, stupid. It has taken years to recognize how ingrained this tendency is and how often it gets in my way. But as I continue to walk down my path of personal growth, I’ve found that Wise Women are so incredibly generous with their knowledge and never (in my experience anyway) look down on those they assist.
2) The Emotional Supporter
As one of our mom friends, the second person we need is an emotional supporter. This is a person who is a fantastic listener. She will let you pour your heart out no matter the emotion. This person is unique because she won’t try to cheer you up or give advice. She listens. We live in a time when success and action are valued. However, we are more than what we do. We exist. We feel. And expressing that is so vital to our emotional health.
We all experience emotion at different levels of intensity. There is a usual emotional ebb and flow within our day-to-day lives. This occurs for both the feelings we feel comfortable with, such as joy, happiness, excitement, and love. And it occurs with those emotions that we are less comfortable with, such as sadness, fear, loneliness, and anger.
Having a Mom Friend Helps Our Nervous System
When experiencing higher levels of intensity of the uncomfortable emotions, our body may interpret this as distress. Our body has a built-in mechanism to handle distress. I like how the online magazine Simply Psychology describes the process, "The sympathetic nervous system is involved in preparing the body for stress-related activities, and it slows bodily processes that are less important in emergencies such as digestion. These are processes which are not under direct conscious control, occurring automatically without conscious thought." For more information about the biological processes associated with distress, check out the articleHERE.
Our bodies sense and react to the intense emotions of those around us. This is normal and healthy. Unfortunately, many people are uncomfortable with intense feelings and thus automatically attempt to soothe them, alter them, or avoid them. We have all had the unsatisfying experience of sharing our emotions with someone to have them make a quick remark about how it could be worse, or it will get better or don’t worry, it will be ok. They are not intentionally trying to dismiss us. Their nervous system directs them away from their discomfort with intense emotion.
An Emotional Supporter is a person who is comfortable with intense emotion and can keep their nervous system regulated and calm even while their emotions are elevated. It feels so validating to share our emotions with someone who can simply witness them alongside us. Sharing the experience with someone can allow for the natural dissipation of the intensity. When our emotions are shared in a safe space with a safe person, our body releases tension and lets go of stress.
3. The Go-Getter
I like to call the third person to join our community of mom friends, The Go-Getter. This is the person that knows how to get things done. We all know someone like this. They don’t typically sit still; they are always doing something. These are the people that have completed thirty things by 8 am. They have a natural rhythm that lends itself to activity, and they enjoy being active with tasks.
This is the friend to call on when you feel overwhelmed with life's tasks and things feel like they are piling up beyond your ability to manage. So, for example, I have a friend who will periodically come over to my house and do both of my sons’ laundry. That simple little task is huge on several levels. It takes one thing off my plate, but it is also a reminder that I am not alone in caring for my kids.
This Mom Friend Lightens Our Load
The emotional boost we get from having someone help us goes way beyond completing the original task. If you are a mom without a mom, you carry an additional burden of needing to ask, whereas, for many with mothers, there is an unspoken awareness of one’s need. Over time, this drain impacts us through fatigue, irritability, and withdrawal.
There have been times when I felt terrible about myself because I wasn’t as skillful at getting things done as some other moms were. It is essential to recognize that being high energy, task-oriented, goal-driven, and efficient are simply a subset of many personality characteristics. Each of us has our own unique set of features and traits that make up our personality. One isn’t better than the other, and the fact that my personality doesn’t include the gifts of getting things done quickly and easily doesn’t diminish my value as a mother.
Examples of what I call the "go-getter" can be found in descriptions of two of the "doer" types within the Myers-Briggs Personality types. The Sensitive doers who "are very caring, generous and always willing to help" and The Laid-Back Doers who "have no problem handling several tasks at once and to blossom out in crises" can be relied upon as "go-getters" within our community. To learn more about the Myers-Briggs Personality typing system, click HERE.
4. The Late Night Talker
The fourth person that every mom should include as one of her mom friends is the woman I like to call the late-night talker. This is someone who tends to be awake at all different times and makes herself available when we need her. Every mom who has had late-night feedings or had to soothe a baby whose sleep pattern was incongruent with the typical day/night schedule knows how easily one can become overwhelmed and need a little friendly boost.
Thankfully, it is becoming easier to find this person nowadays as our social connections become global. Sometimes having a simple text chat via cell, messenger, or other social media platform can help a mom feel less alone in the feelings of overwhelm, exhaustion, and uncertainty that becomes more prevalent at night.
These conversations don’t need to be in-depth or profound to be comforting. And yet, the intimacy created late at night has the potential to propel these casual interactions into meaningful friendships.
There may be times when a mom needs the assistance or support of someone at night, and they cannot connect with any friends or family. For these instances, I highly recommend using one of the available hotlines.
- The National (USA) Suicide Prevention Lifeline: tel:1-800-273-8255; or Live online chat
- National (USA) Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741 from anywhere in the USA, anytime, about any crisis.
No matter who you reach out to, if you are struggling, please reach out. Every mom has been in that place, and I have yet to meet a woman who is angry or upset when a friend reaches out for help, even late at night.
Moms Help Moms
Despite what we see in media and society's expectations, we shouldn't raise our children alone. Both moms and children thrive when moms support moms. Having a solid community of mom friends you can rely on is essential.
I believe strongly that every mom should be supported by a supportive community filled with mom friends. I can help you create your mom community during a complimentary 30-minute coaching call. You don't want to be left scrambling in the event of an emergency trying to figure out who to turn to. Now is the time to get your community in place.
Click HERE to schedule your complimentary coaching call (no sales pitch - I promise), so we can make sure you have your community in place to support you in being the mom you have always wanted to be.