Mom Squad. You’ve heard the term, right? It seems to be the buzz-phrase of late on the mom social media scene. I’m sure you’ve heard it or seen it in several places already. If not, then I bet you’ll notice it now. Isn’t it funny how that happens? You never hear of something until someone mentions it and then…bam…it’s everywhere?! Just look and you’ll see it in photo posts, hashtags, etc.
But, really…what IS a “mom squad”, anyway? I guess that depends on who you ask. I think perhaps the most commonly held assumption is that it’s a group of mom friends (I hate to say “clique” as that can sometimes have negative connotations associated with it) that hang together often. Right? It’s a group of friends where the kids are friends and the moms are friends. It’s the groups where if one mom shows up to pick up all the squad’s kids from school, no one blinks an eye because they all just roll together like that. Pretty awesome, right? Yep. Unless you don’t have that. And, then…what?
I Googled the term “mom squad” and there is no shortage of blogs telling us all how a mom squad is, basically, essential to mom life today. You can read any number of blog posts about how you MUST have a mom squad and how this group will have your back and save your sanity a thousand different ways. Which…hey…that’s beautiful! Moms helping moms? Nothing short of incredible. Truly. In a world where judgment seems to be passed on every parenting decision you could ever possibly make? Bring ON having like-minded people around you who can also get your kid from the bus stop if you get stuck in traffic or who bring you a Starbucks just because or who meet you for lunch on certain days of the week because that’s just what you do. That cannot be a bad thing. But, what if you don’t have that?
See, I’ve read articles and blogs about how you need to get yourself a mom squad, but, frankly…it’s not always just that easy. It’s not like you can just WANT it and make it happen. As social and as outgoing as I am, and as many friends as I’m fortunate to have? I still don’t belong to a traditional “mom squad” and, really, I never have. I’ve never been a part of just one group of friends. All my life, I’ve always had friends of various ages, stages, races, etc. And, I like it that way. No…I actually LOVE it that way. I wouldn’t say that I so much have a “circle of friends” as I feel I have more of an “Oval of Awesome.” See, even my closest friends are a wonderful variety that encourage me in every facet possible. Where would I be without…
- My college-age and 20-something friends? Some aren’t married and don’t have children yet and they remind of of all the possibility that is before them and how that can be terrifying, but also incredible. They also encourage me because they aren’t SO far removed from our girls’ ages and they help me to be reminded of what it’s like to be a tween and a teen.
- My young married/young children friends? Sometimes, I get to be the one giving advice and the main thing I try to share with those who are newly married is to soak up those moments of just being husband and wife. Kids are such a blessing, but so is being together and learning life together before kids come into the family. And, I always try to encourage new parents, particularly new moms because it’s true that the “days are long, but the years are short.”
- My tween/teen parent friends? We are on this hormonal roller-coaster together, y’all! Sometimes it’s a thrill ride, sometimes it’s a tilt-a-whirl of crazy, sometimes it’s a upside-down-hang-on-for-your-life spin, and sometimes it’s wonderfully adventurous. Through it all? It’s always incredible! And, this stage? It has a lot of great about it. Thank God we have our friends in the trenches so we know that when the tailspins happen, we aren’t alone. And when the cool stuff happens, we can high five one another and celebrate!
- My “older” kid parent/empty-nester friends? The ones who have been there/done that and gotten their kids off to college and/or grown are of such value in my life. Just like I remind new mamas and parents of screaming toddlers of how quickly THOSE years pass by? I have parents whose kids are grown who pour that same knowledge back into me to help me fully embrace all of these years too.
- My child-free friends? Some of our friends are child-free by choice and they remind us that everyone’s life choices are their own to make and to live out just how they see fit to do so. I feel like our world basically says “you MUST have kids”, but some people don’t feel so lead and I support their right to go with their own flow. And, some of our friends are in waiting period, for various reasons, while wanting to start their families. I have seen such faith in action in the waiting process. It’s not always pretty, but that’s life and it’s real and we all need to see that in action.
- My “just like family” friends? I have a few friends who I very much consider my family. Words fail to be adequate here, but those friends are the ones I know will I’ll be friends with for all my days. Ever heard that saying that some come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime? The lifetimers in my own life aren’t many in number, but I couldn’t be more thankful to have them.
- My faith encouraging friends? I think we all need people in our life that encourage us. For me, I truly value my Christian faith and, just like other Christians, I need encouragement in my walk and my daily life. I’m so fortunate that I have friends that pour into me and that I get to pour into as well. I pray frequently that our girls will have and BE these types of friends too.
- My “not just like me” friends? I have friends who beautifully decorate my life with rich diversity. How boring and blah would life be without the blessing of diversity? And, let me just be honest here too – if every friend I had was just like me? My life would be a hot mess. I love the balance and goodness that variety brings into my life.
I feel like I could go on and on with this because I have such a wonderful array of varied friendships in my life. And, just like any friendships, some are closer to me than others, but I’m thankful for every single one in my life. I may not have a traditional “mom squad”, but I’m no less rich in friendships that make my life so much better.
Here’s where I want to encourage us all. If you’re a part of a “mom squad” group of friends? Embrace that. Seriously, it’s incredible. But, if, like me, you don’t have that one solid group? Please don’t be discouraged. Please don’t feel like that’s all there is because I bet that, like me, if you assess the relationships you have in your life, you’ll see how the friendships you DO have are blessings too.
Let’s all be sure to value our friendships where they are. Let’s pour into those we care about and truly support one another. Really, that’s the main thing. It’s not about how many friends you have or if you even have a squad at all. It’s about being invested in those that are in your life and having those who return the same back to you. Life is short, so we must all cherish the good we have, share the burden of the difficulties we experience, and support one another as we journey together. Let’s be ALL IN on what really matters and grow kindness where we can.