When I first became a mom it was sleep deprivation, new mom anxiety, and approximately 139 doctor’s appointments that kept me from my friends. As my children grew, play groups, napping schedules, and tantrums were the cause of my antisocial behavior.
Nowadays, school, work, sports, church, and play dates try and keep me from staying close to the people who help me through it all. Still, I have survived because my friends have fought hard for me and for our relationships.
Mom lives are busy lives and it is easy to fall into the “let’s make plans” routine, that never ultimately gets fulfilled.
We all have people we truly care about, but rarely see because life gets in the way. I am blessed to also have friends that are like family, who have never allowed that routine to stick.
They hear my excuses and they offer up a new date to meet, they force me into a phone call, they make avoiding human connection less tempting by showing me how important it is to my mental health.
Even when it has been uncomfortable, they have found me and stood by me, during the times when I wanted to hide away.
When I was drowning in diapers and smelled a little bit like baby puke, they didn’t care.
When I cried more than I talked, and had no energy for makeup or fake pleasantries, they didn’t care.
When my house was covered in crumbs and I had no food in the fridge to offer, they didn’t care.
When I jumped from topic to topic because my mind was disjointed and my thoughts spilled out all over the place, they didn’t care.
When I didn’t bother to put on a bra or brush my teeth, they didn’t care.
And now, when I share the embarrassing, ugly, shameful, scary bits of motherhood, they hold my hand and say they feel that way too.
As a mom there have been many times when I faced more than I could handle alone. I have been overwhelmed, grief stricken, and I have shut down.
There have been days when I simply did not have the strength to pick up the phone and call for help.
My anxiety and sadness have convinced me that I would sound foolish, that no one would understand, that my struggle was unimportant.
Luckily for me, my friends never allowed for too much distance.
I owe so much to the women who continually push me to make plans, who ask how I’m doing and call me out when I hold back the hard stuff.
They share their struggles, and through our hardships we find that going through it together, lightens each of our burdens. They see me hiding and pull me out by letting me in.
If you have friends like these, hold on to them. Grab on when they reach out. Don’t let them search for you in vain.
If you don’t have friends like these, become a friend like this. Find strength to support women who will in turn support you back. Look at your mama friend who is on the edge, who can’t reach out, who is feeling alone, and remind her that she is anything but.
Friendship is worth the fight, and I’m so thankful for the women who fought so hard for me.