Do you remember your first mom friend?
My husband and I met Jenniffer and her husband at a birthing class. While talking with the teacher, Jenniffer mentioned she lived only a few blocks from the hospital.
“What street are you on?” I asked.
We were *almost* neighbors. We exchanged our birth due dates and email addresses. We didn’t interact much after that. Jenniffer and I were wrapping up work projects (and get-the-house-ready-for-a-baby projects) before the births of our sons.
After I gave birth, she and her husband showed up on my porch with a container of salmon. “It’s really healthy for you after giving birth,” she said.
A month later, she gave birth. We had two beautiful sons only a month apart. As the days passed, we learned from our little ones how to be moms. And as Jenniffer and I became friends, she showed me how to be a good mom friend.
Here’s what I learned from her:
Not only did Jenniffer initiate the exchange of our contact information, she followed up. When I gave birth, she brought over a meal. When I felt up for it, we went for a walk, infant in tow. Thus she established the steps for me to follow when she had a baby. Her boldness in initiating was the stride that thrust our friendship forward.
As our babies grew into toddlers, Jenniffer was the first person who introduced me to kids’ programming. I knew about library storytimes, but she found mom meet-ups and other toddler play groups. She welcomed me, and we found a weekly rhythm with three other moms. We had our own troupe of tottering toddlers. We shared snacks, went to local gardens, and then rushed to our individual homes to make naptime.
Even moms we didn’t know, Jenniffer invited to join us. Sometimes they would accept and other times decline. It didn’t seem to offend Jenniffer when they declined. She extended friendship anyway. When I moved to a new community, the way Jenniffer included others inspired me to give out my phone number to other moms at the library and park. It went something like this, “Hey, it seems like our kids are really getting along together. Here’s my number in case you want to meet up. We’d love to play again.”
Kids + Moms = Friendships
Jenniffer taught me that when you combine kids and moms, friendships flourish. She showed me that it’s okay not to have everything figured out as a new mom or a mom in a new stage of life. We navigated babysitters and colic together. She checked in on me when she knew life was challenging. And when we moved away from her community, I carried the lessons she taught me and befriended other moms.