Ornaments, Candles, Tees and More! Order Soon for Christmas Delivery!🎄 ➔

I often hear having young kids described as “being in the trenches,” and soldiers often express a camaraderie they feel with other soldiers they are going to battle with. I am blessed to have an incredible group of mom friends I call my “war buddies” because we are raising our kids together. They offer encouragement and serve as the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel as assurance that I won’t always be the haggard mom of littles with bags under her eyes and dried slime in her greasy mom bun.

When we first moved here, I didn’t know a soul. I was a new mom and had no one to talk to because my baby wasn’t much of a conversationalist. I felt incredibly isolated and lonely (which is ironic because you are never actually alone when you have small children).

RELATED: When Mama is Lonely

I joined a playgroup and met some ladies who would change my life forever. Together, we’ve navigated some of the onerous hurdles of parenthood like the terrible twos and bullying. We’ve celebrated countless milestones and mourned some hard losses together.

We show up for each otherday after day, year after year, crisis after crisis.

It’s fantastic to have someone to confide in where I feel like I can be completely raw and honest about how difficult motherhood is. When my toddler has yet another meltdown and I feel like I may lose my ever-loving mind, I call one of them to vent, and suddenly what seemed insurmountable now seems doable. They don’t judge me for being overwhelmed; instead, they just listen and nod along in recognition. After a trying day with your kids, there’s nothing better than hearing your friend say she relates and understands your pain.

Having people in the same stage of life who can commiserate with my parenting woes is everything. Just yesterday, my middle son did something so seemingly atrocious, I was genuinely worried he’s going to grow up to have a bright future in the penal system, and I was crying out of frustration. My friends talked me down from the ledge and assured me he is not, in fact, a sociopath; he’s just a normal mischievous kid. More often than not, I just need a captive audience of those who know and appreciate my struggle.

Husbands are great and all, but there is a lot they can’t provide.

My female friendships seem to perfectly fill that gap in this challenging season. Motherhood friendships feel like a lifeline that keeps your head above water and your body out of a straitjacket. I’ve come to them countless times to rant or for a shoulder to cry on, and it’s made all the difference in the world. I’ve also used these girls as a sounding board because they offer the best advice.

RELATED: Maintaining Friendships After Kids Can Be So Hard

If you don’t already have your own war buddies, you need to find some STAT! Believe me when I say, this is crucial to your sanity. Multiple studies have shown how important friendships are to our mental health and well-being during a stressful time like motherhood.

Sometimes you have to create your own sisterhood.

This is not always easy and does take a little courage, but it’s so worth it. That other mama at the park might be just as lonely and will likely welcome a friendly chat. There are tons of online parenting groups that host meetups. Meeting up with new people like this can feel a bit like online dating. Sometimes you have to wade through a few applicants before you find your people. Just because someone is also raising tiny humans does not mean you will instantly click with them but keep putting yourself out there.

Not many people can understand what I am going through, but these ladies get it. These are the days that bond us together, forever. I know when I reflectively look back on my kids’ childhoods, these women and their kids will be a huge part of my memories, and they are a huge part of my heart. I love them dearly and I cannot possibly imagine going through motherhood without them.

RELATED: Baring Your Soul Beats Suffering in Silence: Find Your Tribe

I call them my “mom friends” because we all met because of the fact we are moms, but the truth is, I would choose them as friends whether we were moms together or not. No doubt about it, motherhood is challenging. But I dare say it can be tolerable and even enjoyable if you have someone to navigate the journey with.

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

Christina Crawford

Christina Crawford has three boys under six whose behavior more closely resembles feral animals than actual human children. The truth is, she spends the majority of her time just keeping these people alive and putting out fires (actual and metaphorical). But mostly, she’s just trying to mitigate the damage to her sanity. Her writing has been featured on Scary Mommy, Sammiches & Psych Meds, and the Ft. Worth Mom's Blog. If you find her misery and misadventures in parenting amusing, you can follow along on Instagram and her blog.

Moving Away from Family and Friends Made Us Stronger

In: Friendship, Living, Motherhood
Family photo of parents and three children, black-and-white

In the fall of 2021, my husband and I started exploring the idea of moving out of the Midwest. We had talked about moving for years, especially during the winter months, but we didn’t know where we wanted to move. I distinctly remember asking my husband one week what he wanted to do with the kids over the weekend, and that’s where it all started. We looked at job opportunities and decided to fly to Kentucky the next day and explore the area. After we visited Kentucky, we felt defeated. It didn’t feel right. We wanted it to work, but...

Keep Reading

If Someone Needs a Friend, Be a Friend

In: Friendship, Kids, Motherhood
Three kids with backpacks, color photo

“If someone needs a friend, be a friend” it’s the running joke in our family. My husband will say the phrase to our four kids when discussing certain life situations in a lovingly mocking type way. They’ll all look at me and chuckle. I giggle a little myself at the corniness of it. But I always add, “It’s true.” It’s a phrase I’ve used more times than I can count. To teach them all to be includers—the kind of kids who look for the kid having a bad day and seek to brighten it, the kind of kids who stand...

Keep Reading

Let Them In: The Secret to Making Friendships That Last

In: Friendship, Living, Motherhood
Friends sitting by water making hearts with hands

I was never one of those women with a throng of long-standing girlfriends. You know the ones I mean. The type who vacation together. Who have annual holiday traditions or progressive dinners. Who have been through most of life together because maybe they all grew up in the same town or went to high school in the same place. And no, this isn’t some cool girl narrative I’m winding my way toward because I always thought my lack of a decades-old, female friend group was some type of personal failing. I was envious of those groups. I watched them closely,...

Keep Reading

Dear Neighbors, I Don’t Want To Be In Charge of Your Kids Too

In: Friendship, Motherhood
toddler boy and girl draw with sidewalk chalk

I have three young kids, and, reader, I am tired. My youngest child is a toddler, and my life right now is basically following him around, making sure he doesn’t hurt himself. There’s no downtime. When I go outside with them, there are no moments when I’m sitting in a lawn chair, passively watching their play. I’m chasing the toddler down the street. Or I’m hunched over, climbing to the third level of the backyard playset because the toddler hasn’t learned how to go down the ladder yet. We live in a neighborhood with lots of kids, which is so...

Keep Reading

Being a New Mom Is Hard and It’s Okay To Say It Out Loud

In: Friendship, Motherhood
Mother by window with newborn baby

Years ago I had someone tell me how bad they felt for my generation of moms. “You’ve got too much information,” they said, “and it makes you worry too much.” I sat there mulling over that statement and feeling small. I did feel worried, but I couldn’t say what I really felt. I didn’t have the guts to talk about the root of it all. Sure, the information age is a difficult time to parent in, but that wasn’t my issue—the truth is I felt like I was drowning under the weight of expectations from the generations before me. I...

Keep Reading

Find Your People—It’s Worth It

In: Friendship, Living
Group of friends under tent, color photo

There are two things I know for certain about life: Part of it will be hard. So incredibly hard you won’t be sure about how you’ll make it through some days. You can’t survive it alone. I don’t think you’d want to try either. You need other people. RELATED: It’s Lonely Being the B-List Friend We’ve all heard about a “village.” I’m sincerely happy for you if you’ve found yours. But for others, it almost seems like a mythical idea. You might be a person who never really felt like you fit in or connected with a group. You might...

Keep Reading

Glimpses of What’s Ahead Help Guide Us in Motherhood

In: Friendship, Motherhood
Mom and kids hold hands silhouetted in field

As moms, it’s hard to imagine when our child reaches the next stage of life when you’re in the thick of one stage. When you’re changing diapers, it’s difficult to picture them getting on a school bus. Or when you’re chauffeuring them from one activity to another, it’s hard to imagine them driving themselves. Recently, two of my friends— both of whom have 16-year-olds—shared their experiences with me during their child’s milestone year. Their stories are remarkably different and made me pause, reflect, and envision what my family’s life may look like six short years from now. Sixteen is a...

Keep Reading

I Want Friends Who Grow Old with Me

In: Friendship, Living
Friends laughing

When I grow older, I want my friends to come with me. I want us to sit on porches sipping tea and watching the young walk by. I want us to scoot around on our scooters or on golf carts because none of us want to walk back home from the beach. I want us to sit in restaurants and order whatever we want because life has become too short and we know it, so cheesecake it is. RELATE: Life is Too Short for Fake Cheese and Fake Friends I want morning strolls together to get the willies out, and...

Keep Reading

Not Everyone Is Meant to Stay In Your Life Forever. . . And That’s Okay

In: Friendship, Living
black and white shot from behind of a woman

It’s so weird how someone can be in your life, every single day, and then one day not be there anymore. Whether it’s a friend, significant other, or family member. Maybe the relationship ended on good terms. Maybe it was an “I think our time together is done, I wish you the best” type of thing. Or maybe it was completely devastating. Regardless, it’s so strange that relationships can change so immensely and quickly. You may not be at a place of peace with it yet, and that’s okay. Sometimes the end of a relationship can literally be one of...

Keep Reading

Dear Moms, Keep Your Table Open

In: Friendship, Motherhood
Women smiling

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...

Keep Reading