We all know the old adage: good friends are hard to come by. It's also true that the best friends we make often come in unexpected packages. We think we'll click with the people who live similar lives to our own—the ones who have similar schedules, political views, and family dynamics. Childless singles (*ahem* me) usually seek out other childless singles. That's who we'd get along with best, right?
Not so. In fact, after befriending a new mom, I can say I've gleaned some valuable, some slightly horrifying and some hilarious insight.
Moms bring a wealth of experience to the table.
Let's face it: moms fulfill a unique role. They parent. Through birth, adoption or other circumstances, they have brought another life into their families. They know what it means to be solely responsible for someone's wellbeing. They have experience with juggling doctor's appointments and fielding crazed relatives, with working while managing a family. In many cases, moms just have different (or at least more extensive) experience than their childless peers. Which brings us to the next point:
Moms can teach you so much.
In the general sense, your Mom Friend can teach you a lot about how to live and love. But she can also teach you about things you never realized existed. Medical things perhaps you didn't think you wanted to know about. Facts about breastfeeding, for example (thanks to my one Mom Friend for trying to describe a certain sensation in class). Or how babies' underarms get sweaty, too. I don't even bother googling medical questions anymore—I just ask a mom.
Moms get real.
I'm not sure what makes so many of my Mom Friends so blunt. Maybe it's the experience of childbirth that cured them of shame. Maybe it's the difference in priorities. But I know I never have to ask them to be honest with me: they already are. They never try to baby me with sugar-coated criticism because they have a baby to coddle at home.
Moms are individuals, just like you.
This is the most important point I'm going to make. Moms have their own lives, personalities and dreams apart from their families. They are more than the role of mother. If you get along with someone and admire the whole of her personhood, it shouldn't matter if she's a mom or not. You shouldn't worry that your experiences are too incompatible for friendship. Put your prejudice aside, and treat your Mom Friends the way you would treat any friend, okay?