Rule #1. Get yourself some mama friends.
Real mama friends. Not mom friends, mama friends.
What's the difference?
Mom friends are friends you have with school aged children. These moms 'remember' that having a young child was hard at times and challenging, but they don't remember exactly why. They don't still feel that frustration, feeling that tired, feel tied down, feel weighed down by the weight of little hands....mom friends don't even always have their kids with them because their kids are old enough to stay home or go to a friend's house. Because of these, mom friends don't always want to do something with other peoples young kids, forgetting that you really don't have a choice but to bring them with because hello, they're 100% dependent on you. But don't neglect these friends. You need them too. They are the ones that are experiencing everything before you, so when that first day of kindergarten comes around they can fully prep you, they give you potty training trips, they comfort you on those nights when your teen comes home way past curfew. Yes, these friends are important too.
But right now, you need mama friends.
Mama friends are friends with children under the age of 2. They are in the here and now and they are in it with you. They were up just as late as you were last night, maybe they didn't sleep at all, they have puke in their hair and boogers on their shirt. Their back hurts from carrying around a 30 pound child all day and they too can eat a steaming hot meal within 35 seconds without it even phasing them. Mama friends are passionate about their kids still, not to say that mom friends aren't, but mama friends are still excited. It's still new. They take their kids to the park, the zoo, playdates....they understand meeting up for drinks on a weeknight after the kids have gone to bed, even if they do have to work the next morning. Mama friends encourage you to ask for help and advice. Mama friends make you wanna be a better parent because you're all comparing your own parenting style; you pick up on things, take in new ideas, and maybe even learn some do's and dont's. You can ask and share anything with no fear of judgement because they probably felt that same way yesterday and if they didn't then they know they will tomorrow.
So do yourself a favor. Stop being afraid. Stop being afraid of meeting new people. Put yourself out there. Get some mama friends. No one else will understand you more than those women. No one else is willing to hear your complaints and take your side through it all like a mama friend. You need them. Your kids need them. And your husband needs you to have them. Your mama friends are you tribe.
Dedicated to all my mama friends, because it seriously takes a village to raise these little minions and you have all helped me more than I could ever explain.