My college roommate, Christy, recently flew in from New York to spend a few days with us here in New Orleans. We have always bonded over our love of good food, traveling, and our enthusiasm for the Georgia Bulldogs. But, since I have become a mom, our lives have diverged greatly.
Christy is a rockstar in the corporate world. She spent months traveling around Asia this year and so many other fabulous international and domestic destinations. She spends her weekends visiting New York dining hotspots. I pretty much live for her Instagram feed of beautiful places and delicious bites!
And, I’m a stay at home mom to twin boys who has traded in international adventures for Disney World (we own an annual pass y’all!) and I’ve traded in Michelin starred restaurants for eating my toddlers leftovers. Our lives are different, but each beautiful and fulfilling and right where we each want to be.
Our few days together reminded me how wonderful friendships are with my non-mom friends. My wife stepped up major those days, and we even hired a few babysitters so we could all go out. We went to wonderful meals, and we talked about so many interesting things, and in the way that my mom friends feed my soul and encourage me as a mother, Christy fed my soul and encouraged me in a totally different and needed way. She connected with the part of me that has needed some tending to as of late. Yes, we talked about my kids, but we also talked about our travels. We talked about books. We talked about her amazing adventures. We ate our way through New Orleans and talked about so much good food along the way. We drank wine and told old stories and new dreams. We fawned over our amazing spouses and how lucky we were to be married to our best friends.
She went to the park with my kids and even ventured to the parenting center for a true New Orleans toddler experience. She saw our bedtime routine and witnessed meltdowns and school pickups. And, in turn, we found ways to have some adult time without the distractions that two kids under two provide.
It was such a special visit that reminded me that these relationships work best when there is give and take. Moms, you can’t expect your non-mom friends to only see you with kids in tow. And, non-mom friends, you can’t expect your mom friends to always be hiring a babysitter to make time for you to be together. It has to be a give and take. You have to exist in and navigate both of your worlds. Because, if you do that,you will get the very best of each other and your friendship will be the better for it.
When I dropped Christy off at the airport, she thanked me for the time and effort that went into being able to spend so much time together. She acknowledged that it wasn’t easy with two toddlers to make it work and she let me know how appreciative she was. That acknowledgment meant a lot to me. But, I’m embarrassed to say, I forgot to thank her. I want to thank her for coming into our chaos. For giving her time and attention so lovingly to my children. For telling me how important it was to her that she was able to meet them. For cheering me on as a mom and as a person.
Those three days were incredible and they were such a gift. I’m so thankful that both Christy and I found a way to make it work and to honor where we both are in our lives.
Mom and non-mom friends, we all need each other! Both of our lives are precious and important and sacred. Let’s remind each other of that and meet each other where we are so we can both be the better for it.
Thank you Christy for being a wonderful friend to me when I was a 21 year old single lady hitting up downtown Athens without a care in the world! And thank you for being a wonderful friend to me now that I’m a married mom of twins who spends her days changing diapers and chasing two little boys. I can’t wait to see where the next decade takes us both!