An Ode to the Moms Who Went First

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momsIf you’re lucky enough to have befriended a mom with kids older than yours, you know the value and perspective they bring to your life. This is my ode to the moms who went first.

I distinctly remember when my longtime friend moved back to Indiana. She and I always had a lot in common, and by this point in our twenties, we’d both been married for a couple of years and were working full-time jobs out of college. There was a stark difference between us now, though. She was a mom of two. She was my first friend to become a mom. Our outings transitioned from hikes to stroller-friendly paths. We arranged our GNOs around naps and feeding schedules. During one of our outings, I remember thinking she was supermom as she nursed her baby in a carrier while walking. It was a normal occurrence for her – a seamless transition, and she never skipped a beat in conversation – and I was amazed at this magical confidence she’d gained in motherhood.

At this point, having a baby wasn’t quite on my radar yet, but I’d started gaining other friends who were young moms. I watched from the sidelines, quietly wondering if I could do what they were doing. It seemed equal parts enchanting and scary – creating this tiny human that you love with your whole heart and juggling the constant demands. I soaked up every birth story, every conversation about what it’s like, and every encouraging moment.

Finally, it was my turn. I was pregnant and realized, on a different level, what a blessing it was to have this village of mom friends.

They instilled reassurance and hope. They let me pepper them with questions and texts – their responses were always laced with encouragement and confidence, backed by experience. They knew I’d find my way.

They probably never knew at the time what it meant to me to have that support because I didn’t know how to tell them. Sometimes, I wonder if they had that support when they were new moms.

So this is for you, friend. I know you’re pouring out of an empty cup. The demands of babyhood – breastfeeding, sleep deprivation and working around nap schedules – have been replaced by the demands of raising young children – starting kindergarten, running from school pickup to practice, and navigating bullying. You’re still in the thick of it, and even busier than you were when we first met. But you’re never been too busy to pour into me.

You make me feel seen in a way that not many others do.

Thank you. I promise to pass it on.

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