by Marya Sherron
As a young woman, the notion of motherhood terrified me. The first six months of my pregnancy were spent reading everything I could grasp on how to raise children. Of all the wonderful things I was able to glean from the many books, magazine articles, and mommy manuals, one of the most important things I now know is that all moms need friends. Not just friends, but 3:00 AM friends.
I’m talking about the girlfriend you can call at 3:00 AM and cry your eyes out when you feel like you are failing as a mother; the girlfriend that will listen intently to your heart, encourage you, and then spur you on to continue to do the good, hard, and fruitful work of raising children. That is a BFF!
Today, our two boys, Theo and Dylan, are thirteen and three respectively. My budding teenager and restless toddler are delightful in most every way…separately. A simple car ride to the grocery store has its challenges: while one is wailing the lyrics to Elmo’s Song, the other cringes and sighs, “Can we please listen to something else?” My homeschooling years were often described as Algebra and ABCs at the same time. I knew I was struggling when I started teaching the Pythagorean Theorem to my toddler and ABC phonics to my teenager! Yes, in the world of life’s many possible challenges, these are minuscule. I know. Nonetheless, at the end of countless days, I found myself exhausted, frustrated, and wondering if I was raising or ruining our boys.
It is precisely days like this that I need to take some me-time or a mommy-minute, and reach out to a sound, trusted friend. We all need this. We’re not meant to raise our children or go at motherhood in isolation. Doing so can cause anxiety, insecurity, general stress, and a gravely inaccurate belief that we are the only one, the only mom, facing challenges.
Parenting is all encompassing, so much that it is easy to lose sight of the greater picture of our overall life. I often forget that ‘Mom’ isn’t my sole identity. I have been deeply blessed by the many women I am surrounded by that speak truth and life into me. I have countless stories of girlfriends picking me up, dusting me off and sending me back into the ring…cheering me on all the way. I love this. I need this. Each friend does this in her own unique way, but in the end they all share the desire to see me grow and walk my motherhood journey joyfully.
The peace I experience after a visit with a girlfriend is indescribable. After a short time in a girlfriend’s presence, I always leave feeling renewed, equipped, encouraged, and ready to joyfully continue. I’ll admit that one of the highlights of time with a good friend is a simple, loving hug. So, there you have it…it’s true: moms need hugs too!
What to read more articles like this, then read more at Becoming Family.