Motherhood, right? The great equalizer.
I’ve been a mom now for almost 8 years and one of my most favorite things to do is think back on how young and dumb I was when I started this gig.
Like handing the 2 year old a smoothie in a foam cup while in the car and acting surprised when he poked that straw right through the bottom of that cup. Foam cups and small children are a bad idea. I know this now. As my friend Whitney said, rookie mistake.
When you’re young and you’ve only got one kid you’re a little desperate to make friends with other moms who are in your same boat, in part because that’s what you think you’re supposed to do. You say things like “we should get the kids together to play!” but babies and toddlers are really only interested in themselves and regard one another with slight disdain or even outright violence, so if we’re being honest, getting together is more for the sake of the parents than it is for the kids.
If you’re like me you eventually (rapidly) had a few more kids and found yourself gravitating less towards the moms with kids the same age as yours, and more towards moms who laugh at your jokes and who share a mutual love for Tim Riggins and Luke Cafferty. This is a deal breaker for me. If you don’t love FNL, we can’t hang out. Sorry.
These are the moms who would watch your kids for you in a pinch if you really desperately need that sort of thing, discipline them if needed (or at least threaten discipline), and be an active member of a long running text thread for all things not necessarily related to, but often including, children and families and many swear words not meant for small ears or eyes. Seriously, if she can swear like a sailor she’s probably as good as kin.
As your kids get older they get their own friends and aren’t limited to the kids belonging to your friends (which is kind of how it works initially) and it’s a whole new world. These are the people who don’t judge you with horror when you say “I hate my kids today”, because as a mom, they’ve been there and it was probably yesterday.
These are the friends you hang with outside of the stuff you do with your kids because you realize that getting giant groups of kids together is pretty much the worst because someone always starts crying almost immediately and you pretty much just play bad cop the entire time, breaking up fights and passing out enough snacks to keep the angry horde satisfied. Nah, pass. Let’s leave the kids at home. These are the friends who meet you at Target at 9:30 pm with a fresh soda and a mutual penchant for browsing the home goods aisle. Rugs, amiright?
These are the friends who send you stuff on Instagram to make you LOLZ, and celebrate when your kid hits a home run just as much as they would have if their kid had hit it instead. The women you can talk to about that work/life/family balance and who would never seriously use the word “blessed” in any way, shape or form.
This is your tribe, and you need them about as much as you need Netflix, which is a lot.
Motherhood is an often thankless gig and it sure helps if you’ve got a few like-minded pals to share frustrations and wins and everything in-between. It’s good to be a mom, but it’s even better when you find your squad.
May we all use swear words as ties that bind, at least when it comes to our ya-ya sisterhood people or whatever it is you call them.
Squad goals indeed.