The song “What About Your Friends” by TLC is like the social soundtrack of my life since I gave birth almost two years ago. Like a lot of women before they have children, I had a pretty healthy social life. After graduating from college with a Journalism degree, I moved from Texas to New York with dreams of becoming a magazine editor -- and then later an author. (The author dream is still alive and kicking.)
After snagging a top newspaper internship and then a full-time magazine editor position, I guess you could say I was sitting on top of my own little world. I made tons of friends, received invites to amazing events and got lots of awesome free stuff. Yeah, there was no real boyfriend in the picture to round it all out, but I was pretty content with my life as it was and in no real rush to jump into a serious relationship.
Right when I didn’t think life could get any more awesome, I got pregnant and later found out the father of my child was engaged to another woman he didn’t even tell me about at the time of conception. Great.
The rest of the story surrounding my baby’s father could be a whole other post (or maybe even a script for a really great Lifetime movie), but instead I will just say that I am very much a single mother and grateful that my son is healthy, funny and super cute. Although it’s been rough at times, I’ve never been more in love with anything than I am with my son.
While I’m pretty satisfied with my new role in life as a mom, I must admit that it was very lonely in the beginning. I missed my social life. I wasn't trying to do anything too crazy and wild, but it would have been really nice to have a friend call me and ask me out for a drink or invite me to an event every now and again. In fact, it seemed as if most of the close friends that I hung out with before I became pregnant fell off the face of the planet. (OK, so maybe I’m being a little bit dramatic here, but they definitely weren't hanging out with me, so my feelings were really hurt.)
Why is it that people assume new moms don’t need to get out of the house and have a little fun every now and again?
That’s the question I just couldn't answer, but, as time went on, I was blessed instead to gain something better than just another new mom friend. I met the amazing women that I now call my sister-wives. While the definition of a sister-wife is technically used in polygamous societies to describe women married to the same man, I use the term to describe these women in my life because of our strong kinship when it comes to raising our children and helping each other out.
We aren't in any type of shared relationship with a man; however, I consider them to be my mom besties. Here’s why I think all moms should have at least one sister-wife in their lives:
1. They just get it and never judge you.
Whatever “it” is in regards to family and children, they have experience in these matters and will understand everything you’re going through. And, even if they don’t, they will listen to you, never judge and consistently check on you in the form of house visits, dinners and text messages to make sure that you are ok.
Let’s face it: after you give birth, you become a whole new person. While I was expecting this, I didn't think it would change everything in my world. While, yes, I still have my girlfriends that I can call up and talk about clothes/shoes/hair with, I don’t think they would be able to have in-depth conversations with me about bottle nipple sizes, diaper creams and potty training sessions (which, by the way, I’m currently freaking out about!).
2. They are always there to lend a helping hand and lift your spirits.
When my son’s first birthday came around, I was extremely happy and excited. But, on the inside, my heart was secretly broken for him because he did not have a father around to shower him with the love and affection that he so deserves. My sister-wife Bryce contacted me out of the blue to meet up and, with baby Rivka in tow, treated my son Aiden and me to a nice Thai dinner.
She was also a single mom with her first child for a couple of years, so she knew exactly how I felt and wanted to make sure that I knew I wasn't alone. There’s also the case of my other sister-wife Devin (whom I met through sister-wife Chris), who is currently going through a rough patch with her husband. She’s at home with two kids under two, and her husband works nights, making it difficult to get all of the housework done.
So we trooped over on Mother’s Day and helped her clean house and held/watched babies. She couldn't have been more appreciative and I couldn't have been happier to help her out.
3. There’s a shared bond/spirit of kinship we share that I feel can never be broken.
It’s like an invisible force field or something. Ok, maybe I over exaggerate, but that’s what it feels like and it’s not anything I’ve ever felt after hanging out with any of my other friends before giving birth. It could be the toddler talk and baby cuddles that happen whenever I meet up with any of my sister-wives, but I literally feel invincible after I leave.
Being a mom is one of the hardest jobs in the world and being a single mom is a thousand times more challenging. However, I know that no matter what happens, we will always have each other for love and support.