There are some people who believe that a person is the average of the five people they spend the most time with. While I don’t think that’s necessarily true, I do think the company you keep not only says a lot about who you but also has a huge impact on your life. The people you surround yourself with can influence your attitude, your thoughts, your goals, and your ability to meet them.
They can even influence how you feel about yourself!
Just think about how much your friends influenced your perception of the world back when you were a teenager. Think you’ve outgrown all that? You’ve changed a lot since then but it’s still easy to fall under the spell of the mean girl or the cool girl or the worldly girl. That’s why it’s so important to surround yourself with moms friends who share your values and support your goals. You don’t have to agree on everything. A crunchy granola homeschooler can be besties with a high-powered business mama – in fact it happens all the time. But you do have to be on the same page when it comes to what’s truly important to you.
Do your mom friends crave all the material luxuries and have no qualms about putting down moms who don’t? Chances are you’re going to start lusting after Louis Vuitton. Do they gossip about other local moms? Complain mercilessly about their husbands? It’ll be hard not to do the same. Do they compete with one another? You’re probably going to find yourself in the middle of the competition. Maybe they’re judgmental or pushy or they overdo it on the cocktails at every get-together.
You won’t mean to follow their lead (and you probably won’t in every respect) but even when you try your best it’s too easy to get swept up by the crowd whether you’re a teenager or pushing forty.
Whereas the right mom friends won’t require you to go against your principles to be a part of the group.
A disagreement over something like working vs. staying at home or breastfeeding vs. formula won’t be a friendship ender. Mom friends who are grounded and open and generous won’t care whether you’re driven or devil-may-care because they love your unique perspective. Even if the right mom friends don’t value all the same things you do, they’ll still help you pursue what matters to you.
When you find the right mom friends, you’ll know. Because you won’t feel like you need to work your butt off to fit in. You’ll just fit. And when you do, try to be as good to them as they are to you. We’re all busy. We have all discovered by now that being a mom is actually a lot tougher than they told us it was going to be. But having an amazing network of supportive mom friends who will laugh with you and (maybe more importantly) cry with you is worth the effort it takes to maintain those friendships through pregnancy, the endless newborn days, destructive toddlers, crazy kids, and repeat tantrums from teenagers.
Think of making mom friends as an investment. As much as your husband or partner loves you, they’re never going to understand quite what it means to be a mom. A great mom friend not only understands, but is taking the journey along side you. She’ll inspire you simply by being her awesome self. Through it all, she won’t ever ask you to be someone you’re not. She’ll see you at your worst, but she’ll also see you at your best.
And better yet, she’ll encourage you to be your best even when you’re feeling at your worst.
If you surround yourself with love and the right people, anything is possible. – Adam Green