They're the same as any other friends except you both have kids.
When I first moved to Long Island people would ask me if I'd met any of my neighbors or knew a lot of people in town. At that time we didn't have any children and my life solely consisted of going into the city for work and coming back. Both at ungodly hours. Rinse. Repeat. So unfortunately the answer was no. I maybe had gym-friends and train-friends, (although very few because I'm not exactly the world's foremost authority on small talk so more accurately, people I meekly smiled at because I saw them everyday at the gym or on the train), but that was it. I figured I'd meet a ton of new people, especially other women, ie moms, once we had a kid.
Even after Nathan was born, I was always jealous of my friends who had a ton of local ladies they hung out with. How do you know them, I'd ask. Oh that one's son is on our soccer team and this one is in our music class, or that one I met at the supermarket. I unfortunately still had a job, so the only people with potential to be my friends were the other bleary-eyed parents dropping off at daycare at 6:30am, and trust me I forgave them for not feeling friendly. But luckily on my maternity leave I decided to join a couple classes for new moms and that is one of the places I found some of mine and Nathan's amazing new friends. Also there are 2 little friends Nathan has been at school with since the beginning, whose moms have become my friends. And I glommed on to another group of awesome moms, who kindly let me infiltrate their group. So all of a sudden my mom-friend cup runneth over. (and by the way I asked none of these people for their permission to use their likenesses on my blog today, so ask me tomorrow if we're still friends.)
Now I can say, oh Stacie? We met at a breast-feeding support group.
We were out with some of our (real?)-friends the other night reminiscing about city life, our old escapades and people we used to know, and I mentioned that a mutual friend was married to one of my mom-friend's brothers. My husband's friend looked immediately confused. Wait, how old is this guy, he asked. 70? Now I was confused. Then he said, "she's married to one of your mom's friends?" No, I corrected, not my mom's friend, my mom-friend. This didn't help the situation. Mom-friend? What the heck is a mom-friend? So they're not your real friends, or just regular friends? Would you be friends with them if you didn't have kids?, he prodded. Jesus I don't know. I've never thought about it before? Well yes I think. I like them a lot! I might not know them if we both didn't have kids, but if I did, we'd still be friends... right?
Now I was tormented by the idea that I somehow segmented my friends into little groups that mistakenly conveyed their importance. I have no idea why I decided to put the clarifier on there, but I suppose it's not that weird. Kinda the same thing as saying "my college-friend, my high-school-friend, my camp-friend, my work-friend." Just sorta helps give context to how we know each other. I went to college with her, I worked with her, and I mom'd with the other one. Make no mistake, they are just as important as my other friends. We might not have spent our awkward years together, crying about boys, and going to proms. We might not have been in the same sorority, cried about boys, and gone on spring break together. We might not have made Powerpoints, cried about our bosses, and given presentations together. But these friends have helped me acclimate to mom life. Which, let me tell you, is not the same as real life or regular life. So we are forever linked as fellow moms going through the same challenges together, crying about our kids, and watching them grow up into small humans. I may not talk to them everyday. I may not talk to them every week. But it's nice to know that if I have no idea what I'm supposed to do with my kid's teeth now that he has some, I have someone to ask who doesn't make me feel like a complete failure. And if I need a night out, there's someone who is equally excited to run screaming from their house and kids and straight toward the bar.
Yes they are my mom-friends. I feel so lucky to have them. They are a special group that deserves to be called out and specified. And specify we did for the rest of the night. We specified everything. Do you want another mom-drink? Do you need to go to the mom-bathroom? Don't forget your mom-bag. He was totally making fun of me right?...