A woman needs the support of mom friends who can walk hand in hand with her, on a quest to raise humans who can make the world a better place. Those that can be with her as she goes from the comfort of her cocoon to spreading her wings as a radiant butterfly.
Each phase of motherhood brings about its own set of challenges:
- The infancy phase kickstarts the insomnia phase of parenthood; where coffee and sweltering showers become a woman’s best friend.
- The baby phase is the jaunt of anxiety; where babies are learning to crawl or walk and give mom a taste of their vivacious personalities.
- The toddler phase is when children begin searching for their own voice and often yearn to be more independent alongside wanting to be your best friend.
- The adolescent and teenage years can turn a mom’s hair grey overnight as children begin the quest of finding themselves, exploring their interests, and set the foundation for their futures.
- The new journey that unfolds when your children begin to spread their wings and leave the nest.
With each passing day of raising children, a mother also evolves and changes. Her schedule goes from girls nights (before kids), work functions/parties without having to consider childcare, and post-work gym sessions; to chauffeuring children to and from soccer practices, trying 30 leotards and ballet slippers on her independent ballerina, and trying to find the balance of dreaming for herself and dreaming for and with her children.
With each passing phase of motherhood, it is imperative to find a supportive group of women or “mom friends,” also referred to as “finding your tribe.” A tribe is a close-knit group that will support and be there for one another through the struggles of parenthood and through the exuberant and bleak seasons of life.
10 Qualities of Good Mom Friends
Here are 10 qualities for finding and being a good friend:
1. Your friendship is built on authenticity.
Relationships that last leave façades at the door. Relationships that can withstand the challenges of life are built from a place of authenticity and transparency. To build a strong and lasting friendship, one needs to be free about expressing who they are and what they believe.
The strong foundation for a friendship is not always sharing the same opinion but respecting and appreciating the other person’s beliefs. Proverbs 27:5-6 says, “Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.”
2. Your friendship is two-sided.
Just as a marriage must be two-sided, a friendship must also be equally invested in by both parties. It is important to check in on one another, support one another’s endeavors, and cheer one another on rather than compete. In today’s age of social media, it can be so easy to live in a state of comparison.
3. You support one another’s marriage.
Too often, when women are going through seasons of staleness or difficulty in their marriage, it can be easy to spout off frustrations about your marriage to other people.
It is important to find mom friends who can support your marriage and help you see a different perspective and encourage you to work through the seasons of stale conversation, busy schedules, and to work through disagreements without adding fuel to the fire.
4. You can support one another’s endeavors.Regardless of whether you are a full-time mom, lawyer, teacher, writer, firefighter, or cosmetologist; it is helpful to find a friend who can encourage you in your endeavors, and you must be a friend who can encourage others.
If your friend is a writer, you can be the first one in line at her book signing. If your friend is a basketball coach, you can cheer her team on at their first tip-off. Mom friends support friends when they can!
5. You look out for one another’s children.
Mothers need mom friends who have other people looking out for them. Whether the mom is present or not, it helps to have people who support and look out for one another’s safety. It is advantageous to have other moms in your child’s corner, rooting them on to success, and available to support the mom as she deals with behavioral challenges, learning curves, and as she greets the dreaded seasons of defeat.
6. You can talk about your emotional/mental health.
One of the most important aspects of finding and being a good friend is to have someone who is in your corner through periods of depression, marital stress, and emotional ailments.
A true friend is someone who encourages you to seek the help of a counselor when you are dealing with emotional scars, postpartum depression, newfound anxiety, or you are feeling distant in your marriage. Friends check in on one another, offer to drive you to therapy if you are hesitant to go, and hold your hand through the storms of life.
7. You can talk about your spiritual journey.
Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” God wants the best for us and wants us to be surrounded by people who are invested in their spiritual journey and in a relationship with Him.
He wants us to grow in our relationships together, to talk about the challenges, to help one another up when we fall, and to dig deeper into the Word together. He desires a relationship for us that does not run away the first time we disagree on something, but use that conflict as an opportunity to grow and dig deeper into our relationship with Him and with one another.
8. You show up, even when it is not convenient.
You show up to bring a meal or a coffee when your friend is having an off day. You show up for one another’s kids dance recitals. You show up when she has a new baby or when she sounds like something is not quite right. Proverbs 18:24, “One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”
9. The foundation of your friendship is not based on negativity.A strong friendship does not thrive on gossip. 1 Corinthians 15:33 says it best, “Bad company corrupts good character.” It is valuable to surround yourself with a strong support system; one that challenges you, allows you to be vulnerable, and one that encourages you in your relationship with Christ, others, and to continue on the journey of living out your full God-given potential.
10. You can be vulnerable.
A consistent and reliable friend is one that encourages you to see a counselor if you are struggling with an addiction, are struggling with postpartum depression, or are beginning to spiral down a path of bitterness.
Proverbs 17:17 says, “A true friend loves at all times.” A true friend opens the door to real conversations and does not run away at the first sign of vulnerability and weakness. Vulnerability also means saying “I’m sorry” or “I messed up” when the time is right. It means being approachable and approaching the other person when conflict arises.
If you have been hurt in past relationships and you are having a difficult time trusting friends or building relationships, counseling would be beneficial in helping you work past these roadblocks that may be standing in the way of paving authentic, supportive, two-sided friendships.
If you or your friend are dealing with emotional scars, postpartum depression, newfound anxiety, or feeling distant in your marriage; a counselor is available and ready to meet you where you are, much like friends should do for one another.
“Sisters”, Courtesy of Vitae London, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Smile”, Courtesy of Joel Mott, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Naptime”, Courtesy of Hello Revival, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Wildflowers”, Courtesy of Clay Banks, Unsplash.com, CC0 License
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