Between the amazing MOPS group I’ve been involved with for the past 5 years and the sweet women at my church, I’ve learned so much from other moms. Here’s my list of the top 5 things I’ve learned from my mom friendships.
2. Give Myself Just as Much Grace as I Give to Others
My pastor’s wife often quotes her father-in-law, who would say sometimes, the most spiritual thing you can do is take a nap. So nap on, mamas, while the laundry waits. Your kids and husband will appreciate the happy mom more than the spotless house.
3. How to Be Friends Without Comparison
I think my friends on the MOPS Steering Team are some of the best at this, but we pretty much refuse to get involved in mommy wars and comparison. It’s just not even worth it.
Two of my very close friends were serving with me in MOPS last year, and it was amazing how we all managed to avoid the ugliness that often consumes beautiful friendships. Instead, we chose to celebrate with each other’s joys and pray for each other’s struggles. That’s what mom friendship should be about, not worrying about who breastfeeds and who doesn’t.
4. The Rule Books Don’t Matter
I used to be a by-the-book rule follower when it came to parenting. But there were so many books and conflicting rules! And as I looked around at my friends who were doing things differently than me, I noticed that all of our kids were just fine, regardless of when we introduced solids.
So I’m learning to be confident in my parenting decisions, even if they’re different from everyone else’s or if they’re different than the latest parenting books. I’ve learned to research my options, talk to other moms and get their thoughts if I want, pray about it, and ultimately, trust in God’s wisdom. And then I’m done. I’m convinced that my decisions are best for us because I know the unique dynamics of my family. There’s no need for condemnation towards other moms because I’m not the mother of their children. And then those mommy wars just don’t even happen because I’m not willing to engage.
5. How to Love Practically
Most of my friends know that I don’t do pregnancy well, so it was a blessing when one sweet mom-friend informed me that she was bringing dinner over “Because maybe pregnant women need a hot meal just as much as a new mom.” I couldn’t agree more.
I have a friend who is a note-sender, and somehow she always knows when I need an encouraging word. Another friend frequently took my 3 year old out on playdates when my third baby was born, so that I could recover without a house full of kids at home.
My other friend is the one I call on those days when I want to pull the covers over my head and stay there, saying Can someone else be the mommy today, please? And she calls me to tell me she’s been googling job opportunities because this full-time motherhood thing is for the birds. We laugh so hard at things like this because we get it. We understand that one minute, you can be completely in love with motherhood, and the next, you’re hiding from the kids in the bathroom, hoping for one minute of peace. So far, in 4 years of friendship, we’ve been fortunate that we usually don’t have melt down days at the same time.
An Invitation and a Giveaway
One of my favorite ways to meet other moms has been through MOPS, International. I’ve been involved with this ministry for the past six years, and this year I’m excited about coordinating this group with a neat bunch of ladies. I hope you’ll take the time to locate a MOPS in your area to join. You won’t regret it.
I’m thrilled to announce that today, MOPS, International will be giving away one MOPS membership to my blog readers! All you have to do is fill out the form below and follow MamaGab on Facebook to be registered to win. The giveaway will last a week, and I’ll announce the winner next Sunday, just in time for our MOPS group’s first meeting of the year that following Monday.