Be that friend
Updated: Dec 6, 2020
You know how you have friends? And then as you become a parent, you have mom friends (or dad friends, but I’m a mom, so I can’t relate to that)? And you may try to vent to your friends about parenting things but it just doesn’t feel like it “fits?” It’s not like your other friends might not sympathize with the fact that your toddler threw their lunch on the floor for the third day in a row, or that they’re teething and won’t take their nap because of it, so you missed out on that much needed break/”me” time. But unfortunately, no matter how hard they try, they just don’t get it on the level that your mom friends do.
Sometimes, I worry that venting to my non-mom friends might make me come off as unappreciative that I have the life that I do. Or worse, that I dislike my daughter. Or that I’m a bad mom with no patience. And if I’m honest, there are times I worry about that being the thought when I vent to my mom friends, too. But there are a handful of people that I don’t have to give a second thought about if I turn to them with literally anything. I don’t feel judged; I don’t feel silly; none of it feels uncomfortable. They know me to my core and despite having hard days or hard moments, they’re there for me and know that I have never loved this life of mine more.
I have one friend in particular that I have leaned on very heavily throughout the life of our friendship. She quickly became a very important person in my life, and I don’t know what I would do without her. It’s funny though, we didn’t hit it off right off the bat. But she was one of my husband’s closest and longest friends, and so we spent a lot of time together as I was developing a relationship with Michael. As we spent more time together, getting to know one another, we realized how much of a friendship could really blossom. And it did. And is it cliché to say that it’s been beautiful? Because it has. I have now stolen her from my husband and have claimed her as my friend. And you know what? I’m not even a little bit sorry.
Our friendship has gone through many of life’s seasons together. Engagements, marriages, babies… We were lucky in that we came into motherhood around the same time. Our girls are all of 2 months apart. She was there for every step of my pregnancy, and I hers. And she has been there for every step of my mommin’ journey (praise sweet baby Jesus).
One of the things that I love most about her is that she checks in often. She always asks how I’m doing, regardless of what’s going on in her own personal life. And she truly, genuinely wants to know, whether it’s good or terrible.
She listens. And I mean reeeally listens. If I need to vent, she always finds space. And she lets me do just that: vent. Because sometimes (or all the time, if you’re me) you really just need to vent. You don’t need someone to fix it. You just need to be heard. You need someone to say, “wow, that does sound like a lot.” Or, “I hear you. I am so sorry. I am here for you.”
She was there for me in the darkest parts of my miscarriage. She never pried or pushed. But she reached out, and made it known that if I needed her, she was there. Which was so appreciated, because despite most people knowing what I was going through, I rarely had more than 3 people reach out to see how I was. She is one of the only reasons that I didn’t feel completely isolated and broken with this miscarriage.
I have found myself opening up to her about some of my very dark, deep feelings that I might be embarrassed to admit to most other people. She makes it easy. I have come to really appreciate her and our friendship in this phase of life and have leaned on her more than I ever intended to.
Sometimes, I feel like there’s absolutely no way that I can give her back what she’s given me. She’s seen me through a lot of my adult life and is consistently a shoulder to lean on, whether I realize I need it or not. I hope you are all lucky enough to have a friend like that. Who is there without a second thought, who listens, who never judges, who calls you out on your bullshit, who shows up, who loves you through everything, big or small. Because that is truly a friendship worth having and I feel so lucky to have stumbled into it.