Nikki Lamberg discusses the challenges moms face in finding and keeping friends.
For a mom, sitting down with a long-time friend becomes as rare but priceless as a full night’s sleep in the early years of infant and toddler parenting. You long to catch up and you promise to do so, but the days turn into weeks, and the weeks to months, and before you know it, it’s been two years since you’ve last seen each other. Sure, you can keep up with each other on social media, send a text message, or make the occasional phone call, but it isn’t the same as that personal connection.
Recently I had the pleasure of sitting down with a long-time friend of mine. It wasn’t a picture-perfect setting where our kids were perfect little humans, we each had a glass of wine, and we could thoroughly hear and enjoy what each other had to say. In fact, it was almost the exact opposite. In our household, it was the rush of two full-time working parents rushing home to exchange kids for dinner and baseball practice, barely saying a hello and goodbye to each other like ships passing in the night. A quick left-over meal for the two younger ones, just in time for the long overdue visit that I had been looking forward to all day. The house was a mess because there wasn’t time to pick up, the dinner dishes sat out, the basket of laundry was folded but still sitting on the dining room table, and daycare and work bags were still sitting on the floor in the kitchen.
As my friend and her two children walked in, I found myself apologizing for the way my house looked. I wasn’t ashamed really, I knew we were doing the best we could in this season of life, but I also knew I didn’t actually need to apologize. You see this friend didn’t care about the way my house looked, or that I was finishing helping my daughter eat her last two bites of dinner when they walked in. She is one of those rarities that if you’re lucky enough to find, you pray you never lose. She unapologetically regales about the good times and the every day hardships as a mom with me. Those stories that in the moment we thought were terrible but knew that someday we might laugh about. And even though much time had passed between us, our conversation remains raw, truthful, and heartfelt. Friendships like these are hard to find in life, but when we do, they are priceless.
I think sometimes as moms we get caught up in the every-day tough moments and we lose sight of who we are and our purpose. We start to feel like we are losing the identity of who WE are. And I think it becomes easy to dwell on the past, including those friendships when we had more time to nurture and grow them. It’s hard not to get caught up in seeing a social media post about a group of friends, and feeling left out as you put your child to bed for the 45th time in the last 15 minutes. I see you Momma, I’ve been there too and I get it. But the change of seasons in motherhood brings about different people that God knows you need during that time. So, while losing a friendship can feel like mourning a loss of a loved one, we can rest and find peace in knowing that God put them there for a reason, whether it’s for a season or for life.
So, my advice to you, sweet momma, is to give yourself some grace and hold on to the friendships who make you feel like the best YOU. The ones you know you could go two years without seeing and pick up right where you left off. The ones you know you can tell your deepest secret to with the understanding that the words “please don’t share this with anyone” never have to be uttered because it’s a mutual understanding between the two of you and already implied.
Pray and seek the friends that you have prayed for, and that God has put in your path. Love on the ones that are here to stay and give those who’s season has come to a close back to Him. He will give us clues to the change of those seasons if we are paying attention, much like He gives us the sign that Fall is coming when the leaves start changing. God sees you, my friend, He hears your prayers whether you say them out loud of they are in your heart.
It has been my experience that being a mom is one of the greatest joys and blessings God could give to me. And while being a mom may the greatest and most important part of my ministry to Him, He knows there are other pieces of me there too.
So, when you find yourself wishing you could be a part of that circle of friends who seem to have it all, don’t forget that God has a hand in it, and in your life too. He puts people in your life for a reason; it is up to us to pray about it. And while you may find some seasons harder than others, remember that Jesus is your friend too, and He will ALWAYS be there for you, to listen, to guide, and to love you every step of the way.
Copyright 2021 Nikki Lamberg
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About the Author
Nikki Lamberg is a born and raised Catholic, full-time working, wife and mom of three young children. It brings her great joy to read, write and help others as she can, especially when it comes to infertility and raising young children.