Being a parent is really hard work. Sleepless nights are just the beginning. Parents, especially mothers, often question their parenting skills, feel inadequate and sometimes have no idea what to do in a particular situation.
No matter how much advice you receive prior to having children, nothing can prepare you for parenthood. Not only that, but each child is different. What works for one parent/child may not work for another.
Moms need a supportive husband
One major thing that really helps moms is having a supportive husband to rely on.
It takes two parents to make the baby, and it takes two to raise that baby into adulthood. Regardless of working mothers or stay-at-home mothers, moms seem to carry the majority of the parenting weight (though there are exceptions). But, moms need dads to help, support and to be a listening ear.
Also important: husbands need to give their wives a break from being "mom" sometimes. This is where mom-friends come in.
Moms need other moms
Though husbands are definitely important to the well-being of their wife and children, they don't always fully understand the ins and outs of being a mom. Moms need each other.
Here are just three examples of how moms can help each other:
No one understands the struggles of being a mom than another mom who has "been there and done that."
The camaraderie of motherhood is a strong force. Moms understand each other so well because they've lived it or are currently in the trenches. Moms can listen to each other, share advice and offer emotional support.
As the author of a Family Studies article put it, "I always feel better about how I am doing in my job as a mom when I share problems with other mothers in my circle of friends—women who offer a level of emotional support that frankly my husband does not."
Having fellow moms for friends help moms feel validated and like a person
Motherhood is such a selfless act that it can literally make you feel less like yourself. When your life revolves around feedings, diaper changes, cleaning, story time and caring for all the basic needs of adorable tiny humans, it can cause moms to lose their identity—to almost forget who they are, or who they were prior to having kids.
Spending time with other moms for fun can bring back a sense of self as well as having someone who totally understands what you're going through.
Mom friends are different than friends with no kids
Mom friends understand why you're so tired after "staying home all day." They totally get the crazed look in your eye that means you need a few hours of "kid-free" time. They'll talk about poop, throw-up, weird rashes and giant kid-created disasters.
Kid-less friends are great, but they don't understand and may even think you're crazy when the most recent shows you've seen are all geared toward the toddler crowd. It's not their fault they don't understand; it's simply something you can't know until you've walked more than a mile in similar shoes.
They say it takes a village to raise a child, which may be true. But, it may be that the village is needed to support the child's mother.
Having a supportive and helpful husband is key, but having friends who understand where you're at in life is imperative. Moms need other moms. No one understands a mom like another mom, whether her kids are still at home or not.
So, husbands, let your wife off the hook once in a while so she can go out with her mom friends and get the validation and freedom she needs. She'll come back more like the woman you married and fell in love with in the first place, recharged and ready to dive right back into being a great mom.
Wendy is a regular contributor for familyshare.com and does media reviews. Website: https://survivorshopeandhealing.wordpress.com/ for victims of sexual abuse. Blog: https://wendyejessen.wordpress.com Twitter: @WendyJessen