Do Yourself A Favor And Make Some Mom Friends With Kids Of All Ages
Whether you seek out mom friends on purpose or just let it happen organically, one of the best things you can do for yourself (and your kid) is get a posse of moms with kids of all ages.
When my daughter was born, I couldn’t make a mom friend to save my life; getting knocked up in college is an extremely potent friend repellent, and even if it wasn’t no one my age was getting ready to start a family. The moms that did have kids were, as a rule, about 10 years older than me, which meant that after I stalked one at the playground, I was usually shot down upon approach by mothers who mistook me for a nanny and wondered if I was looking for additional work.
Now that everyone my age is having kids, I’ve been introduced to the birth year mom group. That is, groups in which the entry requirement is having a child born in a particular birth year. It’s too late for me, of course, but I know lots of ladies who seek out these groups prenatally.
When someone first told me about these, I was fascinated. Insta-friends! All with kids your kid’s age! Amazeballs! Then I thought about it some more and came to the conclusion that someone needed to pee on those Wheaties. I’ll do it, I thought bravely, I’ll ruin it for everyone.
To be clear, it’s good to have friends that have kids born around the same time as yours. What isn’t good is to ONLY have friends with kids born around the same time as yours. It creates a weird microcosm of parenting, in which all perspective is lost in favor of obsessing over whether the Bumbo seat is indeed evil or whether or not postmen that wake babies from naps are just bad people or if they’re the worst people of all time.
Instead, you should make friends with kids of all ages. Here’s why.
You need friends with kids younger than yours:
I sincerely believe that baby amnesia is a thing. And while this makes for some humorous opportunities for self-deprecation, it can also manifest a little more douchily. Once your child is older, it can be easy to lose patience with tantrum-throwing toddlers and slow-as-molasses stroller parades. You forget that that used to be your kid and you run the risk of writing a boring open letter and embarrassing yourself. Don’t be that mom. Also, making friends with moms of the newly-hatched can be the most effective birth control in the world, or sate your raging baby fever, because most new moms don’t mind if you want to watch their kid for awhile.
You need friends with kids a few years older than yours:
Here’s a hard truth that all moms need to learn: we aren’t the first women in the world to ever give birth. Having a baby can feel so monumental that you become completely oblivious to how annoying you are on your fourth retelling of that hilarious diaper blowout story you whip out when it gets too quiet. Plus, moms with older kids have some useful knowledge to drop: they know which theaters have baby and toddler nights. They know which restaurants have the good crayons and which ones skimped on bullshit Croyalas. They know which administrative assistants to suck up to at the elementary school. They are like wise mages.
You need friends with teenagers:
Teenagers are scary until your kid levels up and into one. The only reason I know this is because I have mom friends with adolescents. These moms are amazing. They can tell you which liquor cabinet locks are uncrackable. They can help you hammer out your sex speech. They can prepare you for the teenaged years. They can order their teens to watch your kids for 4 bucks an hour or else.
You need friends with adult children:
The best thing I ever did was make nice with the older women at my work with grown-up children. They offer the perspective you can’t get anywhere else. They can tell you the hard truths about how parenting styles are bullshit, and can be excellent gauges in determining how badly something will screw with your kid.These are the women that remind you that one day you’ll be sitting in an empty nest, and can offer physical proof that we’re all raising humans, not projects. Also, these women can always get margaritas with you because they are unlikely to be breastfeeding. They’re awesome.