Nothing forces you to prioritize what is important quite like motherhood. In an instant, time is more precious and the stakes much greater. Life is much fuller and the days are too. We have more to love and less to give to others. Priorities change, and as families grow, some friendships fade.
But the friendships that don’t just stay, but grow, in motherhood are something really special. These friendships—with moms and non-mothers alike—aren’t maintained with happy hours and coffee dates and training for 10Ks like they were during life before kids. In fact, they aren’t built on face-to-face get-togethers at all because we all know finding time for happy hour with a toddler and a full-time job is about as rare as completing a load of laundry with every little baby sock that went in (although both have a tendency to happen sometimes!).
Rather, these friendships are built on a level of trust and vulnerability that I didn’t even know I could give or receive until motherhood exposed the rawest moments of my life.
I may never see my friends, but I feel closer than ever to the women in my life. Our relationships often live within the confines of text messages, FaceTime sessions, Instagram memes, and perhaps the occasional coffee date, but the depth of relationship is much richer than it ever was before.
It’s late-night texts about the struggle of breastfeeding laced with humor and support (and the occasional Nordstrom’s shopping list) to keep you going.
It’s the mid-week check-ins to see how your daughter’s appointment went. It’s remembering that behind your strong face is a mama who worries endlessly.
It’s the celebration, not comparison, of your child’s accomplishments and milestones. It’s the genuine love and interest in your child outside of their own.
It’s the admittance that life isn’t perfect and the vulnerability to ask for help and advice.
It’s the ability to vent without judgment about the struggles of marriage, parenting, and work in this new stage of life with someone else who can relate to the highs and lows.
It’s the truth that yes, sometimes you pee your pants when you run too and that you really don’t care about the last 10 pounds of baby weight.
It’s exposing your fears, despite how crazy and unrealistic they may seem.
It’s revealing your dreams and speaking them aloud so someone else can hear them.
It’s the motivation to get out of bed some mornings or to make it through one more business trip.
It’s the ability to remind someone what they already know they are capable of.
It’s telling you unprompted that your little human is perfect in every way.
It’s the daily reminder that you are doing a good job.
It’s the constant presence of support, friendship and sisterhood to remind you that you aren’t alone.
As my friends and I fumble through calendars and sleep schedules to actually see each other face-to-face, I like to joke that we should just get something on the books 18 years from now.
And while I do genuinely hope my life as an empty-nester is again filled with weekend trips with my girlfriends and activities I took for granted before kids, right now this is the type of friendship I need in my life. But even if it is just once a month, one quarter, or even once a year, nothing replaces the value of a big hug and glass of wine with a treasured friend.