Many women have code names for the friends in their lives. Often times those code names are dictated by the time in their lives when the women first crossed paths.
Some friends are childhood friends, some are high school or college friends. Then there is a special title given to the friends met once women settle down - as in bought a home and found a neighborhood; basically, put down roots and found a place to raise kids.
Friends who enter a woman’s life during the 'kid phase' are often referred to as "mom friends.” I don’t know who coined the phrase and never have given it much thought, but I do have them - my mom friends.
These are the friends I wouldn't have if we hadn't moved to our small hometown with all our kids in tow; friendships established because of my children.
We moved many times before settling on our 'forever place' so until that time, I had very few mom friends, yet I had many kids. That all changed when we built a home in small town USA and instantly populated a cul-de-sac with four children.
That first winter I was convinced, yet again, I was the only one on my street with kids, not realizing that winter had everyone hiding inside. Spring materialized and we headed outside where moms and kids appeared.
A year and a half into our forever place, new neighbors moved in, bringing us out of our backyards and into the shared cul-de-sac. It just took one mom bringing her kids out to play in that big circular dead-end street to set history in motion. Other kids whined to join in and a tradition was born. Friendships began standing in the middle of the street.
Our afternoon routine became about getting outside with friends. Kids would play and moms would chat - with people over the age 5. Even today, I still think of it as "cul-de-sac mom therapy." Our street was almost like living back in time, like the 1950’s, with kids and moms everywhere. What started out as play time evolved into lasting friendships.
Over the years, things have changed on that street. Some families moved; some kids changed schools; three-year old children are now in high school; some have graduated from college; some moms went back to school or work.
And my mom friendship circle even grew as the kids entered new phases of their lives. It seems our kids and their activities - and sometimes even their struggles - continually introduce us to other moms with shared interests.
Mom friends are good friends. They make dinners and hang Christmas lights when life sends you hard times. They pick up your kids from school when you’re stuck in traffic. They fight for small town causes with you. They stand in a street with you and just watch little kids play – helping you make it through the last hours of a long day.
See, once you finally settle down – pick a city, a neighborhood, an actual address – sometimes the rest falls into place. Neighbors become friends and sometimes family. And as the kids grow and change, the friendships of their mothers remain.
Sometimes all it takes is a common address and common circumstances to form the lasting bonds of friendship.
To all you mom friends out there, Happy Mother’s Day!