Featured Journal Motherhood

The therapy of girlfriends

Written by Ashli Brehm

My three year old peed. At the lunch table. And thus, all over the kitchen floor. After I yelled talked with him about the situation and sent him to rid himself of his soiled clothing, I snapped a picture of the floor, and shot texts. The first, to my husband. The second, via group text, to three of my girlfriends. The message accompanying the picture read, I quit.

My husband immediately texted back to let me know he was sorry. He’s acutely aware of the threenager’s current follies and knows the little lad has been seriously taxing my day gig. My husband’s good like that. Being there when I just want a response so that I know I’m not all by my lonesome.

My girlfriends responded, too. Because they’re good like that, too. And with their responses, we launched into a lengthy back and forth discussion regarding the truths that I was living in that moment. That moment where I wanted to run out my front door, and be anywhere that didn’t include me cleaning up urine off of my kitchen floor. The biggest truth being, “Most days, I can laugh… Right now, I want to cry.”

It was that kind of moment. The kind where motherhood had infiltrated every bit of my bones, grabbed hold, and taken all of my composure and patience into its grasp. Where I felt as though I may have passed wit’s end about an hour before. And I just needed someone. Someone to say I get you. I live it. It’s marvelous. Yet crazy. And just as I’ve come to expect, they did just that. They didn’t tell me I was being unreasonable. They didn’t tell me I was a shotty mother. They didn’t say that they would never have yelled. Instead, they told me they’d bring wine. And a steam mop. They asked questions about how my child might be feeling, and if things in his world have been topsy turvy. They gave me advice. They didn’t say my child was horrendous. They gave me perspective. They made me think outside of that moment. And told me, one day we’ll laugh about this. Not today. But one day. They carried me through that twinkling in time like it was their job. All via text messages. And in a way that only one woman can do for another, those girls rejuvenated me.

The girlfriends I have — the ones who I text at all hours with highs and lows, the ones who I call to shoot the breeze with, the ones I send ScaryMommy articles to or tag in funny parenthood quotes on Instagram or Pinterest, the ones who I spend evening meals with at Olive Garden drinking beers and smiling so hard my face hurts the next day — provide a type of therapy I never would have known I would need as a mom. Some of them have their own children. Some do not. Some have older children. Some have one child. But the common vein running through each of them, each of my life lines, is that they are in it to win it. They provide support. And empathy. And healing that I sometimes so desperately need. They laugh out loud when I am struggling to find the humor. And they let me wipe my nose on their shirt when I just need a good cry. They are attentive. And provide thoughtful guidance. Reserving judgment. But being honest. And telling me when they don’t agree. They share the big and little pieces of their lives… their favorite eyeliner find, a potty training victory, work successes, marital ups and downs, pregnancy, dinner time battles, and on and on… just as I share mine. They very well know my brand of crazy, and buy it up, day after day. They are the women that I can share every little corner of my mind with and somehow, they are still along for the ride. We can talk openly about our children, our fears, our husbands, our sex lives, our strengths, our careers, and everything else under the big beaming sun. Following our times together, and our interactions, I feel, somehow, more whole… more equipped. Because among the women I call my friends, are mothers who I look to in an effort to be the best mom I am able to be for my kids because they are the best moms they can be to theirs.

They are my village. They are my people. Some real family, some life-earned family, and others, immediate soul sisters. My girls. My technical support. My call center. My breakout group. My therapy. And pretty much any time I get to spend with them, whether through texting, emailing, talking on the phone, or in person, is always good for my soul.  

Spouses are awesome. They are. But sometimes, in those pee on the floor moments, the times where I feel like I am really failing, the times where I want to hand in my notice, and then, all the way to the times where I feel like I am completely nailing it, I still need more. As women, and as mothers, just like we need water, food, and a shower every now and then… I believe, very much, that we need girlfriends. 

Text, call, email, or send carrier pigeons to your girlfriends today. Your people. Tell them you love them. Tell them you’re immeasurably grateful for their existence. Tell them that you can’t believe that no one seems to know the name of Blake Lively’s baby. Tell them that you think they are brilliant at motherhood. Whatever you do, let them know, just in case they don’t, that you get it. You live it. And it’s crazy. Yet marvelous. 

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About the author

Ashli Brehm

Ashli Brehm = Thirtysomething. Nebraska gal. Life blogger. Husker fan. Creative writer. Phi Mu sister. Breast cancer survivor. Boymom. Premie carrier. Happy wife. Gilmore Girls fanatic. Amos Lee listener. Coffee & La Croix drinker. Sarcasm user. Jesus follower. Slipper wearer. Funlover. Candle smeller. Yoga doer. Pinterest failer. Anne Lamott reader. Tribe member. Goodness believer. Life enthusiast.

Follow me at http://babyonthebrehm.com/

1 Comment

  • Holy cow Ashli, once again you have written down words that could have come from my heart! I had to share this one on FB to all my girls. Love it!!!