I recently had lunch with an old girlfriend I hadn’t seen in a while. Ok, to clarify, our friendship is old but like me, she is very young. Molly and I used to run around whackadoodle like chickens without heads coordinate a Mom’s group together and spent a lot of time on the phone, email, and at each other’s houses. Molly rocks. I do not say that lightly, either. She. absolutely. rocks. We were pregnant at the same time and that is a special kind of mom-friend bond.
First and foremost Molly is a wonderful mother. She is patient, kind and loving without putting up with a bunch of crap. She makes the trains run on time without sacrificing warmth and snuggles with her kids. Molly is also a devoted friend who will ask about me, and talk about the ridiculous, painfully boring minutia of my life when she has much bigger fish in her own fryer. I can’t believe I let her, but she gets me every time!
Molly has had to be out-of-pocket because she went back to work recently and in the 90 seconds I wasn’t talking about myself, she told me a little about it. You can imagine that as an active, smart, generous, plugged-in mom of 15 (I may be exaggerating) children, she had to do some serious cutting of her activities in order to survive her big transition back to work. PTA? Gone. Book Club? She wishes. Gym? Yeah, right. Talking on the phone? Ancient history. And I certainly hope she isn’t cleaning her own house.
After she trimmed all that fat, she was left with only the most important stuff: her husband, her kids, and her work. And that’s pretty much it. Don’t get me wrong, those are the most important things. But for Molly, it wasn’t the balance she was used to. She had lots of things that needed her nurturing, but not so much to nurture her.
When we were talking about what has been most difficult part for her, Molly was really mourning her friends. Of course she hasn’t lost any of her real mom-friends (real mom friends don’t forget about you when you go back to work, duh.), but she isn’t able to put in the time or get the rewards. Like lots of us, she has been cultivating her mom-friendships since her oldest (now in middle school) was born and when those friendships are fed by regular contact, they flourish and bear the fruit of easy conversation and effortless support. With a well-fed Mom-friend, you don’t need a lot of words. A look, a text or her reaction to the sight of you in your fat-girl pants can be all the adult conversation you need to get through your day. Molly’s mom-friendships have always pulled her up and she has been missing that. Mom-friends are how we keep from being sucked under by the daily tidal wave of child needs, check engine lights, edit this one more time boss requests and individual food preferences dinner prep.
My lunch with Molly left me thinking about two things. First it reminded me how much we mom-friends do for each other. I have been feeling a little pulled under myself, and I need to get back in the swing of some understanding mom-friends. Second, it reminded me how much I miss her. Maybe we should both adopt infants so we can go back to our mom’s group… Or maybe we could just have coffee more often.