I walked into Target, and I could see her, my sweet friend Christi, looking noncommittally through the dollar bins. It had been almost a year since I had laid eyes on her in real life. She turned around and spotted me, and we made a scene, hugging and laughing and loudly declaring that we couldn’t believe that this day was happening: a whole, kid-free day with our best friend in the world.
We met years ago, in church. And, through a combined six moves and thousands of life changes, we have managed to maintain our close friendship. Against all odds, actually. Because when women are in this phase of life–this crazy child-rearing stage, it is so hard to stay close to our friends. It is really tough to carve out time for anyone but our kids and our husbands. And, if we aren’t intentional about it, we won’t.
Unless we’re careful, young moms, we will wake up one day and find that all of those incredibly fulfilling friendships that once overflowed in our pre-baby lives have melted away, gradually and without much fanfare. We will feel the weird invisible weight of loneliness, and we may even try to force our kids or our parents or our husbands to fill those roles that should be uniquely set aside for dear friends.
You need someone to call when you are feeling misunderstood. You need someone to confide in. Someone who you know will always be on your side, who will see things from your point of view, or will at least sympathize with your point of view, even if she has to tell you some tough truths as she sees them. You need a sounding board, someone to reassure you and build you up and cry with you and laugh hysterically with you. Yes, our husbands are often great friends to us, but we also need friends who are women, and our husbands need friends who are men.
So, be careful, dear mamas, and don’t let your sweet family consume everything about you, especially not your close friendships. You will be a better wife and mother if you have at least one close, godly friend in your life. Christi holds me accountable, and she always listens, always takes me seriously, and she rejoices with me and cries with me. I can’t imagine life without her, even if I don’t get to see her in real life that often. We’re always communicating, and her words have gotten me through many a rough day of mothering, some long upsetting days of marriage, and plenty of disappointing days of failing miserably in the Christian life.
If you have lost touch with some of your dear friends, mamas, take time to reconnect. You will be so glad you did. And, God will bless you again and again through those friendships, especially here, in the midst of the wild and crazy world of raising babies and loving husbands.