Mom friends: Where would we be without them? In a world where it can sometimes feel like no one understands the sacrifices you make as a mom, your mom friends are right there alongside you basking in the chaos of this crazy ride. Whether you’re a brand-new mama or a more experienced mom, your mom friends will be there to ease your fears, wipe your tears, and talk you down from the most perilous of parenting ledges.
But, not all mom friends are created equal. Though we might love our greatest mom friends equally, we frequently do so for different reasons. Like ice cream, it’s good to have friends in a variety of flavors—and in mom friends, these five flavors make life most delicious.
1. The Hot Mess Mom
You know her when you see her. Perhaps you are her. The Hot Mess Mom is the mom who can regularly be found running late for an obligation she forgot to cancel while guzzling her fourth cup of (cold) coffee.
You’ll see her in her minivan arguing loudly with the GPS and cursing when she spills nacho cheese on the center console. She takes a no-holds-barred attitude toward child-rearing and can be overheard making veiled threats about Christmas during the middle of August.
Everyone needs a Hot Mess Mom friend because unlike your other friends whose “no judgment” is accompanied by an open-mouthed wink, when your Hot Mess Mom friend says “no judgment,” she really means it.
Her heart is always in the right place, which is why the rest of her rarely is—at least not on time anyway. She’s the friend with whom you can share all your deepest truths, the one who won’t follow up your mid-day venting session with a side of unhelpful advice. Instead, the Hot Mess Mom friend listens, shares her war stories, and lets you know you’re not alone.
2. The Organized Mom
I saw that eye roll. The Organized Mom might make you want to run screaming in the other direction, but you need her in your life.
You see, your Organized Mom friend is the one who will share all her best parenting hacks with you. When you have a baby, she’ll organize the meal train and will be the first to show up with a hot casserole and ear plugs for the nap she’ll urge you to take.
When you ask her if she has any ideas about how to get your baby to sleep through the night (good luck with that, by the way), she actually has some helpful tips to share from a seminar she attended. When your kid’s a toddler, she’ll clue you into all the best mommy-and-me classes and storytimes.
Once your kids are school age, she’s the only reason you’ll know when summer vacation begins. She’s like the friend who made sure you were marked present in college. She’s there for you in a way most of your other friends aren’t—not because your other friends don’t care, but because they just aren’t as good at showing up.
3. The Mom in the Trenches
Whether you’re in them with her or not, everyone needs a Mom in the Trenches. This is the mom just starting her parenting journey, the one swimming in babies, toddlers, and preschoolers.
If you too are at this stage of life, the two of you will share knowing looks as you wrangle your brood over cold lunches eaten in tiny plastic chairs. You’ll spend more hours in “play spaces” and “play cafes” than you imagined possible. You’ll text each other at all hours of the day and night with the express understanding that the other will also be awake—probably dealing with a screaming child.
But, you don’t have to be in the trenches to be friends with her. If your kids are older, Trenches Mom will remind you of the sweet innocence of your kids’ youth. You’ll look at her and realize just how far you’ve come.
In turn, you’ll inspire her by giving her a glimpse at what’s ahead and by showing her that there is life beyond bloodshot eyes and spit-up-soaked clothes, and that being a mom is actually pretty great.
4. The Mom With Kids Much Older Than Yours
Opposite on the spectrum from The Mom in the Trenches is the Mom With Kids Much Older Than Yours. Whether her children are in middle school or are now parents themselves, the Mom With Kids Much Older Than Yours will frame your parenthood perspective in a way your friends with kids closer in age can’t.
This friend will be the one to share heart-rending stories of teens who stop saying “I love you” and grown kids heading off to college. She will unintentionally shake you to your core as her experienced tales make you realize just how fleeting the early years with your children are.
She’ll make you understand that there really is an expiration date on a toddler’s delicate affection and that the nonstop chatter of childhood eventually dulls into the silence of sullen teens and an empty nest. You’ll hear her tales and feel your heart shatter into a million pieces, which sounds terrible, but you’ll be thankful to know the secrets of what lies ahead while you still have time to appreciate the present.
But, the Mom With Kids Much Older Than Yours won’t leave you feeling hopeless for the future. Like a true friend, she’ll share the beautiful and unexpected ways that relationships with children evolve—how they come full circle and eventually wrap you in love and appreciation once more. She’ll help you learn not to sweat the small stuff, and she’ll take time to make sure you know you’re an amazing mother, her encouragement somehow always coming at just the right time no matter how far apart you are.
5. The Yoga Pants Mom
Finally, every mom needs to be friends with the Yoga Pants Mom. I’m not talking about your gal pal who literally lives in her Lululemons. Rather, I’m talking about that best friend—the one with whom you’re always comfortable. The friend whose company slips on and off like, well, your best-worn pair of yoga pants.
She accepts you for who you are. She doesn’t care if you’ve gained five pounds or 20, but she will definitely go with you to Pilates if you ask. She’s the perfect friend for all occasions—dressed-up or dressed-down. You can hang out together with your spouses or with your kids, and you always have a good time.
She fits your life perfectly and never makes you feel bad like that one cruel pair of jeans from college. She is your Yoga Pants Mom friend, and she is awesome.
Your mom friends will love and inspire you the way only a fellow mom can so be sure that you too are being the best friend you can be—even if that means being the Hot Mess Mom Friend that complements your Organized Mom BFF.