After my daughter was born, this quote by Rajneesh really stuck with me: “When a child is born, a mother is also born.” We are taught so much about how to care for a child during pregnancy. Then, as our kids grow, we can read books and delve deep into caring for them at every age. But we never learn how to care for a child and care for this new version of ourselves at the same time.
When my daughter was born, I struggled with that new version of myself. I wanted a child so badly, but I often felt like I was losing the person I was during some dark moments. While time (and hormones getting back to normal) helped me come out of the cloud, the thing that helped the most was my mom friends.
My Friends Helped Me Learn How to Mother
When you’re going through something difficult, even something as beautiful as having a baby, it can be so helpful to have like-minded people going through that same thing. For example, calling a friend to complain about your exhaustion, and they fully understand what that exhaustion feels like. It is something so simple yet so special during those new days.
For me, my group of mom friends was unconventional. We didn’t meet at a baby gym or in a playgroup. We met online. While I couldn’t call them to meet up regularly, we talked all day long. My friends and I talked about how hard being a mother was and how amazing our babies were. We reassured each other that the rash was nothing to be concerned about and that it was normal to cry. And we helped each other understand which diapers were best, when to start solid foods, and how to manage nap times.
We Loved Each Other, And We Loved Each Other’s Kids
Through all that learning, we also learned about each other. And we learned to love each other’s kids and love them deeply. Being there from the beginning meant I was the first to know that Jack took his first step, when Asher said his first word, and when Piper ate her first solid food. And they were there for me when Ellie crawled for the first time and when she had her first visit to the emergency room. Today, our babies have turned one, and while I don’t get to see them physically grow up, I am there cheering them on every step of the way.
To “My” Babies From Other Mommies: I Love You
To Jack: I love the way you snuggle with your mom and hug your stuffed animals so tight. I know you’re going to be big and strong and tower over your mom, but I love her so, so deeply.
To Piper: I love the way you instantly smile at the camera. I can’t wait to see you work it for your mom’s Tik Tok and make her go viral.
To Asher: I love your smart mind and seeing you say so many words. You’re going to be at the top of your class when you start your preschool program.
To Oliver: I love your full head of hair and the way you love your puppy brother. You may be the youngest of the crowd, but you keep up with the others just fine.
To Naya: I love how your favorite activity is cleaning and how you dance when you eat. I’m excited to see you become the life of every party.
To Eloise: I love how fierce and determined you are. You are bound to be a leader just like your mom.
And to all of my friends: I truly love your kids. And I love all of you.