Recently, my Facebook newsfeed has been inundated by articles championing the benefit of loyal mom friends, and the “mom posse”. The articles have espoused getting together over cups of coffee, or glasses of wine, commiserating with each other about demands of womanhood. The articles encourage regularly scheduled nights out, with dinner, a movie, or even a bookstore as the destination. The point these articles try to make is that a happy mom does not stop living her life simply because she has children.
The underlying messages are meant to uplift moms who may be struggling to maintain a sense of self at the end of a long day at work or at home with their children.
And, I understand the messages! In fact, I have always encouraged mothers I have known, whether personally or professionally, to remember to engage in self-care activities once in a while.
However, what every single one of these articles I’ve read seems to overlook is the introverted mother. They overlook the mom who expends an extraordinary amount of effort to socialize for the sake of her children, and at the end of each day wants nothing more than to curl up with a good book, a cup of tea, and her cozy bed.
The articles also tend to overlook the mom who, while outgoing, has moved every year or two due to the demands of her spouse’s job. They overlook the mom who has spent years developing friendships and relationships, but by move number three or four, is mentally or emotionally exhausted by the mere thought of putting forth the effort of getting to know another soul, before having to move yet again.
The articles overlook the mom who, while wanting close friendships, is working to single-handedly support her family. They overlook the moms who rise before the sun, ensuring their children get off to daycare, just to rush to work two jobs in order to make ends meet before collecting their children at the end of the day, spending the little quality time they have with their children before putting them to bed, only to do it all over again the next day.
The articles overlook the mom who was wounded by a previous friendship—the mother who was ostracized by the all-too-common clique of other moms who used cruel words with no more compunction than a pack of wolves use their teeth. They overlook the mother who is afraid to once again confide in a friend, for fear that the friend will take her dreams, wishes, desires, and secrets, and either squash them, or worse yet, tell them to others.
To these mothers, I am here to say– you are okay, too.
If you don’t have a “mom posse” and if you don’t want a mom posse? It. Is. OK.
You fit the mold of motherhood, just the same as those who need the friendships.
Because each of us, each woman, each mother, is unique and beautiful.
Humans are built for friendship. We desire friendship and we desire relationships. But, what these articles gloss over is the fact that friendships are OK to be on our own individual terms.
My friendships may work differently than yours; just as yours may little-resemble my own or those of the next mother in line at the store, the daycare center, the coffee shop, or wherever you might be when your thoughts turn to friendships made and lost.
So, for all those mamas out there who are feeling the pressure to go out, to have a good time, and to cut loose with other moms, but are struggling to put yourself out there—know that you are allowed to take your time. If Sinatra can do it his way, so can we!
You are doing the best you can with your personality, your situation in life, your circumstances.
Nobody has the right to make you feel like a lesser mother simply because you aren’t hitting the town with your “mom posse”. Nobody has the right to make you feel as though your nights in with a good book and a sleeping family around you are any less important than a night out with the girls. To borrow a little wisdom from a famous First Lady, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
We all recharge our emotional batteries in our own unique ways.
So, you do you.
I’ll do me.
And, we’ll compare notes the next time we’re together!