Mom group friends

Thursdays are my absolute favorite day of the week. Not because it’s so close to the weekend — although that’s a bonus — and not because it has any special significance.

It's because it’s the day my mom group gets together.

For two, blissfully child-free hours once a week, we laugh, we chat (some are deep, raw conversations), we cry and we laugh some more. We’ve become quite the unstoppable force of women over the last four years.

We entered the group as mostly strangers. There were a few light friendships involved, but nothing compared to what we are today — real, honest, do-anything-for-you kind of friends who can’t wait to get together each week and share our parenting, marriage and life struggles.

We all have different personalities, come from different walks of life and have different outlooks on the world, but we’ve managed to create an environment that is full of support and camaraderie. The biggest thing about getting together on Thursday mornings is that we’re not just taking a break from our kids and laundry and life — we’re showing up for each other.

It’s been one of the biggest blessings in my life. And I think it should exist for every mom.

Parenting can feel so isolating. It’s healthy to get out of the house and connect with women going through the same struggles you are. It’s good for the soul to lay out some of the hard things going on in your life and be open for positive encouragement and feedback.

I’ve learned things like certain Target brands guarantee the knees in their pants for up to a year when I complained about my boys always ripping their pants to shreds. I’ve watched need after need get met when we had a morning of sharing.

One mom offered a dryer she had in her garage to a mom whose dryer broke. I've seen outgrown clothes being swapped around the room. And, most recently, as one of our own has dealt with her husband’s shocking stage four cancer diagnosis, we’ve surrounded her, reached out to help in any way we can and are brainstorming weekly how to support this family we love so much.

When women come together and support each other, the world changes. At the very least, our lives are drastically improved.

It can be scary, opening up to strangers and sharing your heart. But getting invested in a community that’s walking through the same stage of life as you can also be the most rewarding, healing experience ever.

As moms, we need to hear that other moms are having a hard time potty training, too, or that we regularly blow up at bedtime and then spend the rest of the night feeling guilty for how we acted. We need to share these hard-earned truths we’ve learned as we’ve battled our way through problems of our own. We need to pool information and speak words of encouragement when there are sleepless nights or disciplinary issues at school.

We need a tribe of women at our backs, promising we are going to survive this parenting thing and hoping for the best for us and our families. So plug in to a group and feed your soul. And maybe solve some minor problems along the way.

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Rachel Higginson is a married mom to five kids. She is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who has received a Utopia Award for Best Contemporary Romance and Penned Con Award for Best Novella Series. She lives in Omaha.

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