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Challenge: WHO Are You?

Why Every Mom Needs Several Types Of Friends

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Perhaps more now than at any other time in our lives we mamas need our friends. They lift us up, tell us that kid-phase is normal, give us respite from mom-life, and let us cry on their shoulders when we’re feeling low. If you’re lucky, you have a group of friends who fills each niche below.

The friend you can tell anything to

Life can be hard, yo. It can throw you unexpected curveballs–good or bad–that get a girl off her game. We all need someone to confide in, someone who knows us: the good, the bad, and the downright ugly. She’s on your side no matter what, but also understands you want her to give it to you straight.

The friend who inspires you to do crazy stuff

I’d also suggest that every woman needs a friend who inspires. The friend who runs an ultramarathon like it ain’t no thang, or the one who takes off on multiple, solo international adventures, attends art school in Florence, learns Italian, meets a gorgeous man while in Italy, marries him and has his babies. Or the friend who walks through fire with grace and strength. We need friends who inspire the big dreams, who make us realize that it’s never too late to start. We’re not disqualified because we’ve birthed babies, aged 10 years, or put on 10 pounds. It takes a certain type of friend to remind a gal of that reality.

The friend who knew you as a girl

There’s nothing quite like shared history. Friends who knew me as a young girl are precious to me. We change as we age, though I hesitate to admit it sometimes! Relationships, motherhood, life experiences: these and more shape us as adults. Occasionally, it’s nice to remember the long-ago girls we once were. When we were innocent, sweet, and wonder-filled at the wide, wide world. I’m mean, I like to think I’m still sweet {ha!} but walking through memory lane with a childhood friend–remembering outdoor adventures, hopeless boy crushes, school shenanigans–well, it’s an exercise that reminds me of the young girl I once was. And as sweet as it is to remember, it’s even sweeter to have a friend who knows all versions of me.

The friend who has been there, done that

You’re a lucky girl if you have friends who are at different stages of life. Often we end up surrounding ourselves with friends who are just like us; we’re in the same life stage. But sometimes, having a mama friend who’s been there, done that, is an unspeakable comfort. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel, right? Having a trusted friend, one who shares her experiences generously? Well, that’s pure gold, friend.

The friend who gives sound, wise advice

It’s a gift to have a wise friend, one whose advice you trust. Life gives us situations and circumstances that can blind, hurt, and overwhelm us. A friend to help me to navigate such murky waters? She’s absolutely priceless.

The friend who is different than you

What’s the saying? “Birds of a feather flock together?” In the Northland, we tend toward homogeneity. But I’d suggest that having friends who are different than you is an incredible gift, and a gift we should seek out. To be entirely honest, most of my friends are like me: white, middle-class, college educated, etc. But I am blessed to be friends with a few women who come from different backgrounds than I do. They have given me incredibly wise advice. They have seen me cry ugly tears. They have comforted me. They have challenged and changed my perspective about various issues, and I’m richer for it.

I’m guessing that as you take a mental inventory, you’ll find that you already have types of friends that reflect the above criteria (some friends meet multiple criteria!). If you feel like you need more girl friends in your life, look for a wide variety of women to gain wisdom and friendship from. As “they” say: it takes all types!

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