There are so many awesome parts of parenting, but we know that there are also a lot of grittier, difficult aspects, too. We talk a lot about how new moms need a “support system”- people that can help out with the endless tasks that spring up once a baby enters the picture.
That kind of help goes a LONG way to easing the stress of new parenthood… but the need for a support system doesn’t end when the infant stage does.
Parenting is hard, y’all. Being a mom requires you to put up with a lot of crap- figuratively, and literally. It can push you to the very limits of your patience… and then beyond.
Motherhood often requires us to push through some really tough stuff to put the needs of our families first, and the stress can take a hefty toll on the mental & emotional health of a mom if left unchecked.
It’s what we do with our feelings that can make or break us. Instead of bottling up all of our emotions until we can’t take it and eventually erupting like a volcano of frothing mom-rage, it’s vital to have someone in our lives that we can share our honest, uncensored feelings with.
Simply put, every mama needs a bitch buddy.
While “bitch buddy” is our own unique term, it turns out that having a “vent” buddy -a trusted friend you can call & share with when you need support- has multiple benefits for moms.
Just what IS a vent buddy, anyway? According to the description in Smart Parenting, your vent buddy is:
the one you go to whenever you are feeling overwhelmed with everyday life and just want to talk to someone you know will not judge you.
A vent buddy is typically a fellow mom, & for good reason. While sharing honest thoughts with your significant other is healthy & necessary, there are some things that only moms truly “get” about what motherhood is really like.
Think of a typical scenario: you’ve been home with your kids all day. No matter how hard you tried, you couldn’t seem to get anything done, & the few things you DID get done… the kids quickly undid. You’re frustrated, and tired, and you’re trying to explain precisely why it was such a hard day, but… your spouse just.doesn’t.get.it.
While he or she may try to understand, some things can only be truly grasped by someone who’s walked in the same shoes.
One of the biggest advantages to having a vent buddy is the reminder that you are not alone in your feelings and challenges.
Motherhood can feel very, very isolating. We’re often busy managing our kids & households, some while working full-time, and a lot of us struggle with trying to find the balance for it all.
Social media can also make us feel like we’re simply not “measuring up” to the seemingly perfect family images we see others posting online, so… we stay quiet. We let our insecurities & doubts about our mothering marinate in our own minds, until our self-worth plummets.
But talking to a vent buddy and sharing your deepest struggles about being a mother can make a world of difference.
Sometimes just being able to complain, to whine, and to share brutal, honest feelings can feel as if we’ve lightened the psychological load. Knowing that you’re not alone in your doubts goes a long way in realigning your perspective on yourself & your circumstances.
Two of the best words you can hear when sharing a mom fail? “ME TOO!”
The act of unburdening your emotions to a “bitch buddy” is not just emotionally beneficial, but can have a positive effect on your body as well.
A 2009 study done by researcher Bernard Rimé indicated that subjects who verbally disclosed their stressors to others actually experienced lowering levels of cortisol, a stress hormone.
Most of us are already aware that stress is a contributing factor in higher blood pressure levels, cardiac issues, and a variety of stress-induced illnesses. But some may not be aware that TALKING about your stress, and processing it with an empathetic individual, can be surprisingly effective in combating the effects of stress.
Bitch buddies can be the perfect person to give you much-needed advice… because they’ve been there.
Sometimes we just need someone to listen without giving advice or perspective. A bitch buddy can do that for us, but they can also offer us a unique perspective on our own parenting challenges.
If you’re the mother of a three-year-old who is in full “threenager” mode and you’re just over it, it can be so helpful to vent your frustration with the mom of an older child who GETS IT. You won’t only get sympathy, but you’ll also have the benefit of advice from a seasoned mom who experienced that phase of motherhood & lived to tell about it.
Venting with a trusted friend is also a bonding experience, cementing the intimate friendship between you and your vent buddy.
One of the best feelings in the world is the feeling of being truly understood. A vent buddy can be one of the few people in the world that you feel you’re “real” with- the good, the bad, & the ugly stuff. If the relationship is healthy, then you’ll provide a sympathetic ear when your friend needs to unload.
You can trust your bitch buddy with your deepest darkest feelings & fears about being a mom, and your bitch buddy can trust you for the same. It’s a cool bond that only grows deeper with time.
One of the most significant benefits to having a bitch buddy: it’s good for your KIDS.
Studies actually indicate that there is a correlation between a mom having a consistent circle of friends and a child’s boosted brain development. While that may seem odd, it makes a lot of sense. As Smart Parenting states,
When mom has people she can turn to for advice and support, her parenting stress is reduced and her health is improved — factors which are both positively associated with child cognitive development.
Studies concluded that a healthier, happier mom is optimally engaged with her child, and that interaction stimulates a child’s cognitive development.
The bottom line: no mom should go it alone. Motherhood is an amazing experience, but it’s also fraught with countless challenges. Having a trusted friend, aka “your bitch buddy” to share the ups & downs of the journey with is an invaluable benefit. If it takes a village to raise a child, then it takes a friend to raise us back up to our best selves, too.