At times, it feels next to impossible to have a social life when you are a mom. Struggling to stay on top of caring for your kids, following through on commitments, and working does not leave much time to hang out with the girls.
However, having a friend that you can be open with, validates your struggles, but is reassuring enough to remind you you are doing a good job - can be a mother's saving grace. Despite what we tell ourselves about not having 'enough time' to see our friends, we should really reconsider those excuses because 'girlfriends' keep us sane in the chaos of motherhood.
12 Friends Make Good Sounding Boards
Having a close and trusted friend who can act as a sounding board, can be imperative for a mother who is prone to second-guessing herself or who over analyses situations and criticism. Sometimes having that person who keeps you out of your own head and reminds you of your capabilities, can change your perspective on what is stressing you out.
Whether it's parenting, relationship, or work-related advice that you seek; you know that your friend will provide clarity when you feel you can't tackle a problem on your own. You know that no matter how vulnerable you are while opening up, she is the friend who has your back regardless.
11 Friends Distract You From A Monotonous Life - and Bring Out Your Wild Side
Motherhood and monotony go hand-in-hand, sometimes. It's the same routine, expectations, and worries day every single day. When you finally get a chance to hang out with your friends sans kids, it's inevitable that things might get a bit crazy.
Friends remind us that sometimes the 'best self-care' is to be a little irresponsible every once and awhile. They give us a reason to laugh, be silly, and maybe a little inappropriate.
Why shouldn't a mother let her 'wild side' out every once and a while? We are entitled to let off some steam, especially if we are expected to do the same tasks every day without complaint, right?
10 They are the 'calm' in the storm of motherhood
Most mothers relate that they often feel 'unheard' amongst the chaos of raising children. Although, even when given the opportunity, it can be hard to put in exact words to describe how we are feeling at times. Without being able to express inner turmoil, it can make a mother feel very isolated.
Having that girlfriend that can hear and see you, regardless of the proverbial storm that's causing you to feel defeated, has the uncanny ability to comfort you even without words being spoken. She is there for all of the messy AND glorious moments of your motherhood journey.
9 Girlfriends are the best shoulder to cry on
Women are naturally more empathetic when trying to console someone who is crying. Whether you want to associate that nurturing trait to a woman's biology, a girlfriend is typically the best shoulder to cry on.
Women don't generally shy away from showing emotion, therefore, they realize the importance of crying as a way of 'getting it out.' Girlfriends also understand the value of being properly consoled and what to do to make their friend feel better: such as letting her friend "ugly cry", opening a bottle of wine, eating ice cream out of a container, and so on.
8 Your friends remind you of who you were before becoming a Mom
You realize quickly, when you become a mom, how true some of your friends really are. Granted, maybe you don't have some of those friends anymore because they haven't started having children of their own yet, making it harder to relate to each other. However, it's the girlfriends who never left your side even with the huge change of becoming a mom, that are so special.
When you are a mom, you can forget what made you the person you were before becoming a mom. Those special friends who have been there from the beginning, are the perfect reminders of who you are so you don't lose your identity even with the mom title.
7 They are our 'back-up' squad
There are so many beautiful parts to motherhood, especially the community of mothers or tribe you gain who love and support you and your kids by any means necessary. When we feel like we are falling short or behind, they are the back-up squad running to your rescue to pick you back up.
These ladies may be referred to your children as 'bonus aunties' because they are so close to your family, that your children know those women care about them also. They are the women who you would trust your children's lives with, without a sliver of doubt.
6 They remind us we aren't alone
Relatability goes such a far way when we feel in over our head. Having that close mom-friend who listens to your concerns, without judgment, and can relate to your struggles or remind you that you aren't alone is the best kind of mom friend.
There are so many different ways to raise children with conflicting information or pressures, that can make any woman feel like she has no idea what she is doing. So when we make a 'mistake' we feel like the repercussions will be catastrophic, when in reality it might not be that bad. Talking to a close friend about what is going on, can be the best weapon to use against annoying mom guilt (the guilt that blows everything out of proportion.)
5 Girlfriends reel us in and keep us accountable
Girlfriends are great for emotional support but are also the best ones to keep us accountable when emotions run away from us, thus leading to moments of being irrational. Friends can provide the best type of honesty, even though at times it may be hard to hear. We know that when they reel us in, they are doing it out of love and doing it in our best interest.
It seems like its easier to be receptive to criticism when it comes from those we truly care about. Since they've seen us in our best and worst moments, their feedback is a welcomed perspective despite how harsh it might seem. Sometimes being knocked down a peg or two, can help a mother feel grounded when her world feels like it has been turned upside down.
4 They love our kids
There is no better feeling having someone who loves your kids almost as much as you do. Even though there are days a mom may feel like her children are little spawns from hell, the unconditional love for her kids far outshine their moments of being little monsters. Moms see the best in their children no matter what, and it feels great when there are people who can see it too.
Friends who love us and our kids, even during times we are far from our best, is incredible. Having a collection of friends who cheer as loudly as you do when your child succeeds, and share in the same amount of concern when your kid struggles, is priceless support that reminds us that family is much more than blood.
3 Friends remind us we belong
Belonging plays a huge part in developing anyone's sense of self-worth. Humans are social beings, and at the end of the day, we just want to feel like we are worthy of meaningful connections. Belonging to a group of women who love, support, and hear each other is such a powerful force.
Of course, being a mother means you already belong to a family unit. You have your spouse, your kids, and perhaps a family pet. However, if a mother feels like she belongs to more than just the family she's created, it can be helpful especially during moments where she feels stuck.
2 Because we don't have to feel lonely
It can be so lonely when you only have your own children to talk to all day. In fact, loneliness can be a huge contributing factor to a mother becoming withdrawn or feeling depressed.
Isolation can cause a mother to think that no one cares, which can have devasting effects on her self-esteem. Moms need to spend time with other adults so skills like being able to effectively communicate, socialize, and cope isn't compromised or diminished. Just because you are a mother, does not mean you have to be alone with your kids 100% of the time.
1 It's scientifically proven that having friends is good for your health
According to a study on friendship conducted at Brigham Young University, having strong social ties can actually extend your life as effectively as exercising and eating healthily. What was the most interesting finding of the study was the results remained consistent regardless of a participants gender, age, health, and cause of death.
The study also showed that it didn't matter how many friends a person possessed, it was the quality of friendship the participants had that created the most profound impact on how the person coped to stressors.
Therefore, there you have it, moms! If you want to live happier, healthier, and longer: dedicate time to spend with your friends!