Friday, March 11, 2016

the nine essential friends for every new mom.

I make it no secret that I struggle with a bit of anxiety. My new job as Eva's mom has unsurprisingly cranked the dial waaaay up on that anxiety and I find myself deep in the throes of worry about lots of aspects of parenting, both big and small. Lately I've been practicing ways of keeping that anxiety in check so that it doesn't swallow me whole and one thing that helps is remembering my tribe.

I realized that I am lucky to have a handful of legitimately incredible people that are in my corner cheering me on, supporting me wholeheartedly, and loving me fiercely. This has never been more important than it is now, as I step into motherhood and fight against the very natural instinct to fear every frightening, unknown step. I think everyone should be this fortunate, so I've devised a cheat sheet of essential players for every new mom. Feel free to use this guide to make up your dream team tribe, just don't take my people cause they're busy with me and I'm a full time job... 

The Been There Done That Friend
This is the friend who is a few steps ahead of me in the motherhood journey. Maybe her kid is older than mine or maybe she has a bunch of kids, or maybe, if I'm really lucky, she's got kids the same age as me! She assures me when I'm freaking out about nursing or baby not sleeping or any other of the one million things that I am likely to freak out about that this too shall pass and not to sweat the small stuff. 

The Wine Drinking Friend
Any friend who hears the panic or frustration in my voice and pours me a glass of wine is the kind of friend I know I can count on. If the trials and tribulations of mothering can't be solved over a glass of Malbec, than frankly I've got bigger fish to fry, and the Wine Drinking Friend knows this well. 

The Chill Friend
This friend is calm, cool, and collected. This friend is the calm river to my choppy seas, the gentle breeze to my stormy gale, the smooth sailing to - you get the idea. This friend is the place I turn when I need to exit the roller coaster of emotions and (spoiler alert) this friend is often my husband. 

The Pray For You Friend
This friend steps in with the reminder that God is in control and that I don't need to worry. That truth is no small thing to accept and I have been lucky enough to have friends who affirm this in my life. The friend who not only helps carry my burdens but who helps me lay them down at the Cross is a friend who is loving me well. 

The Keep It Real Friend
This friend isn't going to sugar coat things. She brings the truth and tells me in no uncertain terms to pump the breaks when I go flying down Anxiety Highway too fast. She gives it to me straight and doesn't give me a bunch of useless Hallmark advice. She's also equally honest about not having it all put together in her own life, and the honesty and vulnerability are what make this friend a real gem. 

The Lend A Hand Friend
I don't often like to ask for help for the practical things, but this friend doesn't wait for me to ask. She loads my dishwasher after dinner, she holds my baby, she brings over a meal; this friend puts her money where her mouth is when she says she's happy to help out and I couldn't be more grateful. 

The No Kids Friend
Sometimes, in the all encompassing world of motherhood, it's nice to have the breath of fresh air that is the friend who has no idea what you're talking about when you talk about tummy time and dream feeds and wonder weeks. She reminds me that the world is bigger than my living room and helps me step out of my mama bubble for a while and it's a needed change of pace.

The Same Boat Friend
The opposite of the No Kids Friend is the friend whose baby is the exact same age as mine. This friend is a life saver because ALL she wants to talk about is tummy time and dream feeds and wonder weeks! It's the blind leading the blind if we're both first time moms, but at least there is strength in numbers!

The Pregnant Friend
It's comforting to know that my hours of research about co-sleeping or cloth diapering might not be entirely in vain if I can answer even a few questions for a friend who is ready to become a mama herself. Plus, I become the Been There Done That Friend and then, voila, you have the New Mom Friendship Circle of Life. 

If you're reading this and you know me in real life and you recognize yourself in even the hint of one of these descriptions, it's no coincidence. Thank you to my tribe for keeping me afloat. 

Now, who are the essential members of your dream team?

Honorable Mention: The Furry Friend

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