I told you in my last post about my Helsinki trip. Besides my blog meeting I visited Mirva who is one of my dearest friends. We have known each other already for 13 years. She was also my bridesmaid in our wedding. Distance between us is more than 300 km so we don`t see each other as often as we would like to. However it was obvious that I would visit her in Helsinki because just before my trip she had her first child. I was excited to meet her because this was the first time when we met each other, not only as friends, but also as mother friends.
Mother friends give both mental and concrete help
Friends are precious in life. A while ago I told you about the importance of social support net. Mother friends are a part of that support net. In my life the importance of them is at the moment big because I`m a mother of one two-year-old and soon a mother of a newborn.
I`m a lucky mom because I have many mother friends both in my home town and elsewhere. Some of them have been mothers for a short time like I have. Some of them have been mothers for many decades and their children have already moved out.
Help and support from friends in general is important but there are some things where mother friends are almost irreplaceable.
This kind of concrete help I´ve got from my mother friends:
- Childcare and pregnancy tips; “How do you do this…?”, “Do you have an idea what would help…?” or “Have you tried…?” These are some common questions that we ask from each other with my mother friends. Good childcare tips I`ve got both from moms and dads but with pregnancy it is just a fact that only mothers can really help and understand.
- Recycling the things that children need; Children grow so fast that their clothes are seldom worn out or all the toys broken. There is no point to buy everything new to your child because they use so many things such a short time. Cloth dipers, clothes, toys and sport equipments are some examples that our child has got from my mother friends` children.
- Company when most of the people are at work; It`s nice to spend “home days” with your children while your spouse is at work. Have days without any special plans. But not always. Sometimes you just need an adult company. But especially during working days and daytime it`s not that easy to find another adult who has the time or possibility to meet you and your children. Older and already retired people or mother friends (or father friends) are often the only ones who have that possibility.
- Playmates for your children; Playing with my child is one of my favorite things. However I`ve noticed that an adult friends is just not the same thing for my growing child than another child. Also a good reason to meet your mother friends and their children!
And this kind of mental help I`ve got:
- Understanding towards the challenges of a mother`s and a pregnant woman`s everyday life; Best person to truly understand another pregnant woman or a mother, is another mother. And note! There are differences between motherhood, fatherhood and parenthood; In parenthood mothers and fathers can help each other. However in motherhood and fatherhood there are features that are typical to motherhood or fatherhood. In those cases mother`s best friend is often another mother and father`s best friend is another father.
- Help to see motherhood in different perspectives; Different kinds of mother friends has helped me to see the motherhood in different perspectives. I`ve seen and heard different kind of ways to be a mother. That has helped me to see clearer what kind of a mother I am and how I`d like to or could develop my motherhood.
- Help to see motherhood in a broader perspective; Life with small children is rewarding but sometimes hard. The same thing is when you have at the same time a small child and you are pregnant to have another one. Routines and the similarity of days may also make you tired occasionally. As I said I have mother friends whose children have already moved out from home. Those friends has helped me to understand how the motherhood changes constantly and how there are different phases in motherhood. That understanding has significantly helped me to overcome the difficult days in this phase and enjoy the time when my child is still small and I have a possibility to experience the miracle of pregnancy.
Whether the help is concrete or mental, both is important because motherhood is one of the most challenging jobs in the world – althought it is also one of the most rewarding ones too!