If you're lucky enough to have close girlfriends — even one of them — then you know how vital that kind of relationship can be when you become a mother.
For many of us, motherhood is a huge slap in the face in regards to what we thought we knew before. Any assumptions or expectations about parenting essentially get tossed out the window when the reality of motherhood actually hits.
Your best friends who became moms know this feeling too.
Having amazing friends who also live near you must be a dream. I can imagine trips to the park, play dates, chatting, and laughter. Maybe that's not how it really is — but it's my fantasy.
When your close friends are at a distance, however — across the country or even in another country — you have to take what you can get.
Those text messages commiserating about temper tantrums, poop, no sleep, illnesses, and constant stress can be a real lifesaver. The late-night calls to compare notes and vent about your day make all the difference in the world. They really do.
To know that your intelligent, capable, skilled, gorgeous best friend is also tearing her hair out over her kid or kids is strangely comforting. It like a beacon in the night — a point of stability in your chaos. If she can handle the bad days and keep slogging through it, then surely you can too. It's a unique camaraderie that glues your sanity together.
Even if you didn't have kids at the exact same time your close friends did, there's always something to relate to. Some of your friends may have older kids and can give you valuable insight into their behavior or problems. Other times, you may be the one doling out the wise advice that fixes a rough patch for your bestie.
Many of my close girlfriends didn't start having babies until their 30's like myself. For a while, some of us didn't know if we would ever have kids. A few of my friends opted not to take the parenting path in life at all.
I wouldn't say I'm only close to my friends who have kids but I can tell you that when you're having a panic attack in the middle of the night about whatever issue is going on with your baby, toddler, big kid, or teenager — it really helps to have a person to call or text who already knows you — maybe even from a young age and who knows exactly how to talk you down from the ledge.
Honestly — boyfriends, husbands, or partners don't always know you as well as your best friends do. They give you a support that you may never get anywhere else.
Best friends will often tell you what you need to hear before you even realize you needed it. They'll also call you our on your sh*t and let you know when you're wrong. That's what makes these friendships so crucial to motherhood.
When the kids are grown and off to pursue whatever they end up doing in life, my friends and I will still have each other. That friendship will be richer, sweeter, and more layered from every joy, crisis, tragedy, and life event we have shared together.
Not many other people besides your best friends will patiently respond to a 10-page text or stay on the phone with you while you change a diaper, yell at your kid, or sob uncontrollably. No one else is going to make you laugh until it hurts when you're mad either.
My best friends make me a better person and a better mother. And I will always be grateful for them.
More from Michelle: 3 Tips For Stepmoms To Recover From Terrible Step-Parenting Days
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