The other day, my friend sent a group text to me and our other mom friends. It read, "Guys. I feel awful. Joey fell down the stairs tonight. He's fine, but I just can't shake it."
Our responses flooded the group text. After reassuring her, we all began sending her our own parenting mishaps.
"I slammed Julianna's fingers in the door!"
"I pulled Anderson's arm out of his socket!"
"Aria had a broken arm for an entire day and I didn't even know it!"
Motherhood is messy, and we make mistakes daily. Instead of giving our friend a little jab, we shared our own failures, too—letting her know that every mother has them—daily.
When my children were smaller, the use of the group text saved my sanity, too. I'm not quite sure how our mothers survived without it.
Being a mother is the most difficult job in the world. We all know that. This is where the glorious help of the group text comes into the picture.
When my kids were babies and even into toddlerhood, I texted my friends every day. And they never got sick of me, either. Instead, they wrapped me up in their love, knowing that motherhood can bring any woman to her knees.
Yes, I could have figured some things out on my own, but I trusted the wisdom of my friends who were right there in the trenches with me or had already been through it before me. And I'm so thankful that they always, ALWAYS, answered my texts.
Some days are tougher than others. And it's our mom friends who can help us during those days. I remember days specifically when I had a potty-training toddler and an infant who never slept. My mother was fighting cancer (and won) at the time, too. It was the toughest year of my life.
Without the quick ability to text my friends to vent my frustrations, cry over my worries, or just whine, I likely would have broken.
I remember one afternoon vividly. My baby would not nap and was crying non-stop while my toddler pooped in his pull-up in his crib—and then took it off. He smeared pooped everywhere and my baby's cries ricocheted off the walls. You better believe I let tears fall that day.
So, in an effort to save any motherhood dignity I had left, I grabbed my phone as the mascara smeared all over my face. I texted my friends and voiced my frustrations. They lifted me up and I walked into that bathroom to wipe that makeup off of my face. That's what friends do. They make us realize that no one has it all together.
If a mother looks like she does, she's probably dying a little on the inside trying to amount to all that perfect. It feels so much better to just throw your hands up in the air and admit, "I have no idea what I'm doing—but I'm trying."
Mama, when you're struggling, reach out to a friend. It's that easy. Your friends will be there for you. They'll know just what to say and how to say it—things that our partners sometimes just can't get right.
I know I've tried texting my husband in the middle of the day when I'm in mid-panic mode with the kids, and while I know he's doing his best, it's just not the same as communicating with my mom friends. They are the ones who are in this motherhood gig with me. Yes, it's my friends who understand the daily struggles. They truly get why having a toddler in a no-napping phase can take a hammer to your sanity. Yes, our partners do their best and we're grateful for them, but it's our friends who often know just what to say to help you feel better.
Let's try to lift each other up, especially when we make mistakes. It's okay to pick up that phone to share are our hardships with each other, letting our friends know that they're not alone. Motherhood is already lonely enough.
Next time your mom friend feels like she's failing, let her know you've been there, too. Most importantly, though, tell her what an amazing mother she is. That, my friends, never gets old. Finally, encourage her that tomorrow is a new day and that she can always redeem herself. And if she fails again, tell her to just send another group text—and know, that her friends will always have her back.