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Every new mom needs a friend with a baby the same age as hers.

It’s hard to make friends as adults. With pregnancy as the common thread, it can sometimes be easier. Mom friends at every stage of the motherhood journey are super helpful, but friends who have kids the same age as yours are super essential. There are many reasons why investing in these relationships before babies arrive is important: short maternity leaves adjusting to new routines 1 in 7 women struggle postpartum with some form of anxiety or depression and having a friend to call on immediately is crucial shifting from pregnancy to motherhood means a shift in emotion from excitement & nervousness (which we can share in with others) to fear of judgment These can impede our ability to develop real connections after our baby arrives. Combine that with severe sleep deprivation & a hormone-fueled emotional rollercoaster & putting your best social foot forward is challenging. Mom friends at every stage of parenting are wonderful but navigating the unknown of the first few months with a friend in the same boat is invaluable. Here is why.

Maternal Gold Dust

Mom friends who are also struggling with the almost daily challenges of new parenthood, from sleep regression, to teething, to growth spurts will have strategies, supports and visceral empathy for you because you are in the weeds together just trying to survive the latest hurdles. She also can provide much needed perspective – maybe she understands that whatever it is, its short-lived or not a big deal or all too common (when you might otherwise assume it was just you who was struggling). That sort of validation is maternal gold dust.

Real-time help

Having a baby throws us all into a time warp. Once you have moved past the phase of cleaning the belly button, you completely forget how to clean the belly button, and other seemingly obvious tasks. As a next-level mom, your brain starts to function on auto-pilot; it only has capacity for the here-and-now and, that combined with sleep deprivation, means total loss of short term memory. A week can feel like a year, and a year can feel like a month. Being able to call your new mom friend about each and every symptom to group-think on how to deal with it in real-time is invaluable.

They're Also Going Through It

You may be thinking, I have friends who have older kids and they will get it. Yes, but your friend with a two-year-old doesn't remember being in the throes of reflux or perhaps the traumas of sleep regression. She's onto her own coping mechanisms for toddler derangement, like potty-training strategies, meal-time power struggles, melt-downs and other less-than-darling behavior. Once you survive one baby phase, you must dump all unnecessary information to make room for the new.

They Appreciate Your Stories

No one can fully appreciate the daily trials of a newborn like your new friend who is also navigating life with a newborn. From spilling preciously pumped milk (which will inevitably throw you over the edge emotionally) to thwarting a poo-nami in-transit (which of course only manifests once you have run out of wipes); when you are in it, these feel like total disasters (“if only I planned for X better…). However, these stories will not elicit a visceral “gasp!” from a new parent, but rather a breath of relief as you realize that you aren’t the only one having these disasters. And once they are over and the emotions die down, you have someone to laugh about them with.

Someone Else Who Gets It

And most importantly, you need mom friends at the same stage of new parenthood so you can enjoy/survive the early days (and hopefully beyond) together. Keeping each other company as you stroll, pump and strategize, textually passing the sometimes-monotonous days together, offering support through sleep deprivation and petty arguments with your partner, to name a few. Until those new humans start wriggling, that is. Then you can pretty much forget about finishing a conversation…but at least you can start one with someone else who gets it.

Meet Jessica Hill

Jessica is an entrepreneur and mother of two who has dedicated her career to supporting mothers, particularly during pregnancy and postpartum. Inspired by her own journey into motherhood, Jessica started The Parent Collective, which provides prenatal education designed to help expectant parents find their friends in parenthood. To learn more visit: their website or follow them on Instagram at @theparentcollectivetpc

Interested in writing your own Friday Five?

We are always looking for guest bloggers to write about topics related to our mission, such as infertility, pregnancy, prematurity, infancy, parenting, perinatal health, women's health, infant health, and kids' health.


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