Parenting with help: why mom friends are so important

Parenting with help: why mom friends are so important

Parenting

Parenting with help: why mom friends are so important

On Tuesday, I forgot to pick my kids up from summer camp.

Well forget isn’t technically the right word. I mean, I knew they were there. And I knew I had to collect them. But I got delayed at work and didn’t think camp closed until 6:30 p.m.

I was wrong. It closed at 6 p.m.

Unfortunately, for me, I realized this at 5:38 p.m., while walking to a parking garage that was 40 minutes away in the still 110 degree Phoenix heat.

As I sprinted to the car, I started frantically scrolling through my mental rolodex of individuals who might be able to save me from my own stupidity. The hubby? Nope. He was out of town on business. Mom? Nope, on vacation.  Sister? Uh no. She has three kids, two of whom are under three. It would take her 15 minutes just to load them all in the car.

Mom Village to the rescue

So I pinged one of my mom villages on Facebook. A bunch of us have a closed group we call “PreKforLife” because we met a couple of years back when our little ones were all in Pre-Kindergarten together.

I had four responses in five minutes.

One immediately loaded up her daughter, headed over to a camp that her kids don’t even attend (at dinnertime no less) and picked up my little monkeys at 6 p.m. sharp.

And then another mom from the group, sensing I’d had a rough day, invited me over for wine while her kids and mine swam in the pool.

The author’s ‘mom village.’ Make sure you celebrate yours.

This is not an unusual occurrence in my #momvillage, and I suspect it isn’t in yours either.

The myth of the ‘Mommy Wars’

We hear a lot on social media and in articles about the “Mommy Wars,” and maybe we see evidence of it too, on FB posts and in viral stories, with strangers blasting the original poster about their poor parenting decisions, how they would have done it better, etc.

Bloggers/researchers/reporters and others tap into it with click-baity articles about working moms vs. stay-at-home moms, moms who breastfeed vs. moms who don’t, etc. etc. that only add fuel to the fire.

You know what I think? It’s all bullsh**.

And as moms we need to stop buying into it.

In my network of moms there are stay-at-home moms, full-time working moms, part-time working moms, moms who own their own businesses. Moms who sell LulaRoe and essential oils on Facebook. We range in age from early 30s to mid-40s. We are of different ethnicities and different religious backgrounds.

But we have this one thing in common: we love our kids, each other’s kids, and each other.

Support network after a death

When my father passed away suddenly in April, my friends organized meal trains for me and the kids, they bought age-appropriate books on grieving, they took our children on playdates and helped keep my youngest, who is only four, occupied at the memorial service.

And it’s not just the big stuff. It’s the little everyday stuff too. If I can’t get to a school function because of work, there is always a mom who makes it her mission to find my son and ask him to sit with her and her kids, so he doesn’t feel left out.

When I able to repay the favor, I do.

Celebrate your friendships

A 2013 article in Parents Magazine found that 63 percent of moms believe the “mommy wars” exist, but only 29 percent had seen evidence in it in their own mom networks.

That was four years ago. But a quick Google search on “Mommy Wars” yields 887,000 results in 2.04 seconds, with an entire page of articles from 2017 referencing the term.

It’s time to retire it.

And if you haven’t taken the time to celebrate or thank your own #momvillage, give those ladies a shout-out today.

This one is for you Rachel, Heidi, Kimberly, Monica, Erin, Sharon, Vivian, Jordan, Tammi, Cara, Jaime, Kerri, Alia, Yvonne, Kristen, and Julia.

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