9 Ways to Support Your Mom Friends
How important are your friendships? If you could be a better mom friend, would you? A lot of time and energy is invested in the friendships we hold dear in our lives.
In many cases, our friendships are nurtured far more deeply than our intimate relationships.
Friends serve as a foundation of support and stability in our lives. In some cases, you will spend far more time with a friend than a romantic partner. They see you through the best and worst of times; are there to celebrate and offer a shoulder to cry on.
There comes a time in our lives where a shift happens with your girlfriends. What once was a group of single ladies, as time goes on, motherhood happens. Some friends get the chance to become moms together, but that’s not the case for everyone.
There could be years where your friend group is a mix of women with and without kids.
And, as your life evolves, expect that your friendships will too.
How Can You Be a Better Mom Friend?
The first thing you can do to be a better mom friend is just to be there. Don’t disappear. Even without the newness of motherhood, life has a way of taking over and sweeping people away.
You can show your support through acts of thoughtfulness and kindness. A quick phone call or text message. Offers to keep her company or babysit. Help with meals and laundry. The list is endless.
Further, be respectful. Respect the time your friend is investing in her new family. Time is needed for adjustment and understanding. Anticipate that girl time may be on hold for a little while. Let her know that’s ok and that you’re there when she’s ready.
I won’t say that this adjustment won’t hurt. It just might. But, things will even out soon enough.
As tempting as it might be, resist the urge to ‘out’ your friend to their children. It’s fun to reminisce about old times, but a parent’s youthful misadventures are for them to share with their kids.
You don’t want to be responsible for sidetracking any values or life lessons your friend is trying to impart on their children. Just because they may have behaved in a certain way in their youth, doesn’t mean that lessons have not been learned.
Finally, reserve judgement. There are some… interesting views on parenting out there. Open discussions are okay. You can even share your viewpoint, but refrain from being patronizing or condescending to her. Let her find her way.
9 Ways to Be a Better Mom Friend
- Have Patience
- Be Understanding
- Stay Connected
- Offer Support
- Give Praise for Her Efforts
- Withhold Judgement
- Don’t Force Parenting Styles/ Values
- Celebrate Wins/ Console Losses
This list is great guidance for all friendships. Some of these suggestions may be harder to provide than others.
Feelings may be hurt on both sides. If you aren’t prepared for your friendship dynamic to change, you may take it personally when your friend doesn’t return a call or text.
Set aside expectations and just be patient. Nothing is being done maliciously by you or her. Consider it the dawn of a new normal.
New moms have a lot on their plates, so keep that in mind. You don’t have to handle her with kid gloves, but her capacity is limited.
What Makes a Good Mom Friend?
Are you a good mom friend? Before I became a mom, I thought I was. However, looking back, I realize I was not.
There were two areas that I fell short; patience and selfishness. Without realizing it, the fact is, that I didn’t want anything to change. I reacted poorly and stubbornly to the fact that my friend now belonged to someone else.
I have the benefit of motherhood now to provide me with a better understanding of how to be a better mom friend.
Now, I believe that patience and understanding are at the top of the list. Patience, because you have shifted down the priority list. Understanding, because the mom in your life is going through a lot.
Think about what you cherish in your friend. Knowing her, what do you feel she really needs right now? You could be the one person in her life that can give her what she needs without her needing to say anything.
To know someone to that degree is amazing and deeply appreciated. It’s hard to ask for help. New parents want to seem like they are capable and strong. Some people view asking for help as a sign of weakness. It’s not.
If you’ve gone through the pregnancy with your friend, ask them before baby comes what you can do. That way, when the time comes, you already have an idea of how you can best support her.
How Moms Can Be Better Friends to Childless Friends
Healthy, successful relationships go both ways.
Moms, if you have friends that aren’t mothers/ parents yet, there’s a lesson to be learned for you too. Remember that even though they care for you and your kids, they do not want to listen to “mom talk” all the time.
I know it’s hard to believe that there’s anything else to talk about.
Consider where they are in their life and remember to ask about that. There’s time enough in the day for everyone to have the floor.
I’ve been on both sides and it is annoying to hear mom talk all the time. It’s hard to relate to when that isn’t in your life and even harder when it’s something you want and aren’t able to have. Be sensitive to that.
Also, after parenthood, you aren’t available in the same way. Not only are you not free to socialize with the same frequency, but you don’t have the energy or the interest.
Be honest about that. This change impacts the lives of your friends as well. If they are childless, the understanding of your new circumstances may quickly wear off.
The balance will never be equal. As a mom, your new family should and will be your priority. But, it’s also important to find ways to nurture the friendships that are important to you.
Related Article: How to Make Friends as a Stay-at-Home Mom
Friendships are an important part of our well-being. Unlike family, we choose the people we call friends.
Friendships, like all relationships, ebb and flow. As life changes, so may the dynamics of our friendships. As such, it’s important to nurture those relationships and meet people where they are.
So, if you are working on your friendship with a new mom, do what you can to be there for her. Find time to help her at home and an excuse to get her out of the house. This is a time of great transition in her life as well as yours.
No, changes won’t always be welcomed or convenient, but they are part of life. Even if you are on the receiving end of these changes today, tomorrow, your life could be impacting the friends you hold dear.
You are in the unique position to provide a tether to her life before motherhood. It’s a connection to her as a woman. If you shared the same passions and interests, find a way to help mom stay connected.
Laugh, cry, eat and drink together.
There are no hard and fast rules to be a better mom friend. You can find some great ideas on how to provide support in 24 Easy Ways to Help New Moms.
Common sense should be your guide here. You’re probably in safe territory by adhering to the Golden Rule, “In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you.” (Matthew 7:12)
I would love to hear what you need from your friendships. Please share your thoughts below.