Building Your Tribe
As moms, we often find ourselves having to rely on our village to make all the pieces come together without completely losing our shit. Here’s my top ten friends that every working mom needs:
1) Another Working Mom.
She’ll be down for a take-out pizza picnic playdate on a Wednesday evening, because that’s literally the only time you both could coordinate your schedules. She’ll commiserate with the “24 hours vomit free” rule and if you’re in the same class, she’ll sign you up for paper napkins right after she snags the paper plate spot. She knows which sitter drives and can pick up the kids on early dismissal day (aka Circle of Hell Thursday).
2) A Cheerleader Friend.
This is the friend you go to when you’re pretty sure you’re failing at life. She has no problem pointing out all the reasons that you’re amazing. She’s the one to call when you’re on your way to an interview or when you accidentally forgot about your kid’s talent show.
3) A Teacher Friend.
Nothing has been more groundbreaking for me than having someone I can text to say, “Hey! What do you REALLY want for Teacher Appreciation Week? Should I track down the flower, soft drink, imported alpaca jumper or would you rather just have cash?” (spoiler alert: Cash with three exclamation points) She will also tell you the best websites to go to with common core tutorials so your third-grader doesn’t know you have no idea what you’re talking about.
4) A Mom Who’s Better At It Than You Are.
Even though glitter runs through my veins, I often can’t muster the energy (or clear enough surface space) to break out the glue guns with my kids. But I can rest easy knowing that they’ll get their fill of it at her house. And when I see how much fun they had, I’m inspired to maybe give it a go (next weekend.) This is the mom with the great hacks for healthy lunches, fun and cheap weekend activities, and best sports programs.
5) The Edgy Mom.
I like to have a mom friend that reminds me that I’m not always G-rated. This mom will totally share the wine “coffee” out of her travel mug. She’s the best on Girls Night Out. Chances are, her kid has dropped a couple pretty phenomenal F-bombs and she’ll commiserate when yours tells her teacher that she “doesn’t know what the fuck happened” (hypothetically).
6) A New Parent.
If I didn’t know better, I’d keep having babies until my belly exploded. With my youngest turning five and wiping her own butt (mediocrely, but whatevs), I am finding though that life does get pretty awesome sans stroller and diaper bag. That’s where the new parent comes in. You get all the baby snuggles, and then you give them back. Plus you get to act like you have this parenting thing figured out. (Wink, wink)
7) A Parent Further Down The Journey.
I have a couple friends who have kids in high school or college. They’re awesome for tips, tricks, and commiseration on whatever shenanigans my kids are getting into, but they also can give perspective. Think it’s bad that Timmy threw a tantrum in the grocery store? Wait until he steals the neighbor’s car to go joyriding. This will be the first friend you call when you find “bikini dance” in your 6th grader’s search history and all those dirty socks start making more sense. The second will be Edgy Mom.
8) The PTO Mom.
She knows everyone at school and has all the good gossip. She knows who the fun people are at the fundraiser “gala” and can steer you away from Mary, who won’t stop fretting about Susie’s test scores. She’ll tip you off to the best volunteer options and knows which kids come up with the worst nicknames for their classmates so you can steer your kids in a different direction on the field trip.
9) The Friend With No Kids.
As a group, parents tend to spend a lot of time talking about our kids (because they’re awesome and adorable) so it’s nice to have a friend who just smiles and nods while you wax poetic about your spawn. Then she’ll give you the recap of the new season of Handmaid’s Tale or Saturday Night Live because she knows you’re about seven million seasons behind.
10) A Trendy, Stylish Friend.
She’s the one you’ll text frantically during your stolen time shopping trip “Are these cute or stupid? Does this look frumpy? When did Mom jeans get cool and can moms wear them?”
Think about your tribe. Do you have a cheerleader friend, or even better, maybe you ARE the cheerleader friend. Spread the love and let them know how much they mean to you. Laugh over pizza at the park, go shopping together (or shop online at the same time because, multitasking.) Take that new mom a casserole and hold her baby while she showers. Invite a friend from school out for a cup of “coffee.” #squadgoals (is that right? Is that still cool? I feel like I should probably run that last line by my #10…)