As joyous as it is to have a newborn, life at home with a wriggly, crying little human can be isolating. Finding your #momsquad is a necessity for survival. Whether you meet your mom friends through a Facebook group, listserv, or playgroup, you’ll be sure to encounter lots of women you might never have befriended had you not given birth within the same couple of weeks. Not all mom friends are created equal, however. Here are 9 moms you can expect to meet when you have a baby and how to deal with them.
1.The Straight A Student (or, The Tracy Enid Flick): She read all the parenting books so you don’t have to. She sends you and your mom group PDFs of the most important chapters. She made an excel spreadsheet of all the neighborhood Two’s programs and their application deadlines before your babies even hit the six-month mark.
How to deal: Consider yourself lucky. Yes, she makes you feel bad about yourself as a parent but the perk is – she does the stuff you’re too tired to do. Think of her as the friend who lets you copy her homework.
2. The One And Only. She has no other mom friends (except you, oh lucky you!) You have no idea how she managed to walk the same exact blocks and visit the same exact parks you do and still not make one other social connection. A lesser person would ice her out, but you feel too guilty to abandon her.
How to deal: Bring her to one of your mom get-togethers or baby classes and introduce her to your pals. Maybe she just needs a good wingwoman. Or maybe she needs a stiff drink to loosen her up a little. Try both.
3. The Long Distance Relationship. She’s a mom friend who moved to another borough…or the suburbs. You tried to have weekly phone dates to keep in touch, but your babies are on completely different sleep schedules.
How to deal: Some of the strongest friendships are maintained via 3am texts. When you’re up with your baby while the rest of the world sleeps, send her elaborate texts to read when she’s up with hers. It isn’t the same as hearing her voice, but knowing that you’re both rocking your babies at ungodly hours makes you feel less alone and more connected to someone going through the same thing.
4. The Just Can’t Even. This mom can’t do anything. Today is never a good day for her to meet up, or even for you to come over to help her out. She cancels on you when you’re already almost at the park because she inevitably has suffered an insane diaper blowout or is on her way to the ER with yet another perceived allergic reaction.
How to deal: Don’t. You’re going through the same exact stuff, and she acts like she’s the only person on Earth with a baby. You don’t have room for this in your life right now. Let her make the effort if she wants to get together, and make it on your terms. That way, if she cancels, you’re not by yourself with a cranky baby at the out-of-the-way park that you don’t like.
5. The DryBar. This mom friend always looks like she’s just floated out of a salon. It is just unfair how glamorous she looks even after a grueling SoulCycle workout (which you don’t know how she finds the time or energy for). You’ve never seen her with a hair out of place or a chipped mani and she never, EVER wears flats.
How to deal: Take a cue from her once in a while, and remember that you, too, deserve to spend time on yourself. There is no secret to her look – she has no more minutes in the day than you. So maybe her child is busy chewing on her makeup brushes so she can get in those 5 extra minutes to beautify. Is that really so bad?
6. The Smug Mug. Her daughter is a precious angel, who, since the age of six months has been sitting sweetly at the restaurant and coloring in the lines. Your child acts like the high chair is covered in shards of glass and always manages to find the most breakable object on the table and hurl it to the floor. This friend starts most sentences with, “Well, what I always do is . . .”
How to deal: This friend means well, so be patient. She thinks her baby is well-behaved because of her awesome parenting skills. Just wait until when she has her second, and that one turns out to be Terror Child. She’ll realize some kids are who they are despite our best efforts and that they are not One Size Fits All. She’ll take it all back, then will ask you for advice on how you got through it.
7. The Badmouth. This mom has nothing nice to say about anyone, ever. She likes to blather on about how she is so non-judgmental, but what she really means is – she only reserves judgment from people who think and who parent exactly like her. You are sure she is also talking about you, especially on the days when you don’t make it to Mom Group.
How to deal: Lighten your friend load and let this one go. Her energy is toxic and if you are not careful, one day she’ll take your nervous giggle after a snarky remark she’s made about another mom for agreement on your part. Before you know it, she’ll be telling everyone that YOU also said that same mean comment she made about your mutual friend.
8. The Girls Night. Literally every week she’s sending out group emails titled, “Girls Niiiite!!!” and texting you emoticons of wine glasses and martinis every day leading up to the event. Yes, a girl’s night would be fun, ONCE IN A WHILE, but all the time? Whenever you do agree to go, all she does is get hammered, flirts with the waiter, and slurs about her husband “the d-bag.”
How to deal: Consider that perhaps she is dealing with some really serious shizz and could use a friend. Like, a real friend, who will listen to what’s going on. She might be trying to surround herself with distractions so she doesn’t have to face the problems at hand. If your attempts at a real connection fail, and you’re trying to decline the fourth Girl’s Night of the month, maybe it’s time to ask her to “unsubscribe” you from her email list.
9. Your New Ride or Die. She’s one of the best things that happened to you since having a baby. She’s the mom you put down on your baby’s emergency contact list because you trust her like a family member. You both plan on doing everything together on this child-rearing journey, so she better not get pregnant again without your first synchronizing your ovulation days.
How to deal: Do not take her for granted and do treat her problems as your own. Because this mama is THERE for you. Like, will walk through a rainstorm with her stroller to your apartment even though her kid hasn’t napped because you’re having a shit day. And bring you your favorite cupcake. You’ve suffered through lots of bad mom friends to find this one gem. And it was all worth it.