The old Girl Scouts saying “Make new friends but keep the old; one is silver and the other’s gold” couldn’t ring truer than it does in mom friendships. We all know this time of having young children and motherhood gives us very little opportunity to catch up with old friends or even make new friends, but I say keep your table open to both.
You know the old lunch table from our childhood days where you got nervous going back to school not knowing who you were going to sit with? Now as an adult, I always keep my table open for my old friends and welcome any new ones God places in my life in different seasons for different reasons.
When I had my first child, I made a bunch of new mom friends through different mommy and me classes. I still kept my old friends who mostly didn’t have children yet, so didn’t understand where I was in the trenches of motherhood. Then I had my second child. I didn’t feel the pressure to make more friends, but I wanted to welcome them to my table.
Then it comes full circle when your oldest friends start having babies and calling you for advice—you become a mentor of sorts. You see, if I closed off my table, I never would have made so many meaningful connections with so many different and amazingly talented women. Just being a mother connects us all in a way we don’t have to explain.
There’s no competition—only praise, grace, and cheering one another on.
Motherhood friendships are one of the most underrated, meaningful relationships you can have—especially with young children when you’re never truly alone but sometimes feel alone in your thoughts, your self-image, and worth. But you’re not.
Some days, calling an old friend can feel precious and comfortable because the trust is there. You can go months without speaking and pick up as if nothing happened. Other days, it’s calling a new friend to have lunch with and learn something fresh from. It’s meeting another friend who knows where all the stores are located in the mall so you’re in and out faster before school pickup. It’s getting drinks with the first mom friend you ever made who makes you laugh so hard because you both get each other’s sense of humor.
So just like how I love wearing gold and silver jewelry together, I also love keeping my old friends and making new ones.
My table is never too full for someone else to pull up a seat.
That could be chatting up a mom on the sidelines of my daughter’s soccer game or approaching a mom sitting alone at a park. They could be in need of parenting advice, or someone to complain to without feeling judged. Someone to laugh with. Someone to lean on. People often see moms for how strong we are, but we’re not all the time. We’re holding it in, composed. We need those mom friends who just get it in a way our husbands never will.
It’s someone to remind you there’s no school on Friday and tomorrow is pizza day so don’t pack your kids a lunch. Someone to remind you that you are still someone besides a mother. It’s someone to schedule a moms’ night out with to prioritize yourself every once in a while.
To any mother still searching for mom friends: keep looking, because they’re out there. God places us all exactly where we are supposed to be.
For those who have a ton of friends: keep your table open for whoever else needs a place. You will never regret meeting someone new and interesting, but also prioritize long-standing friendships.
Be the person you want your children to be if they see someone alone in the lunchroom. Keep your table open.