Moms, You Need a Mom Squad!

Here’s your PSA for the day: Parenting is tough. Really tough. Don’t go it alone.

When my children were little, I didn’t make a lot of time for friends. With the lack of sleep and chasing toddlers all day, it was an exhaustive time. As they’ve grown and become more independent, I’ve had time to invest in sweet friendships.

This wasn’t an overnight process. Don’t expect best friendships and trust to be built instantaneously. It’s been years of meeting other moms and investing time into others. God eventually knit together a group of moms who truly help and inspire me.

I used to call them “my peeps.” But, my tween recently told me that wasn’t cool anymore. They call it a “squad” now. Whatever you want to call it, it’s your village. Your tribe. Your inner circle.

You need one of those.

Friends you can call at 2am when your world falls apart. Friends who can finish your sentence and know your thoughts. Friends who keep everything confidential. Friends who encourage and support you, even when you make mistakes. Friends who give you constructive criticism, but it’s wrapped in love and grace. Friends who have your back. ALWAYS.

Here’s what my inner circle looks like:

*I have two friends who have slightly older children than me. HUGE BLESSING. I call these my “heads-up mamas.” They tell me what’s getting ready to happen. They guide me much more on the technology side because they’re just a year or two ahead of where I am (and parenting technology changes quickly). Before my daughter started middle school, both of my heads-up mamas said, “Get ready, Instagram is popular!” So, they taught me how to use Instagram. I wanted to know it thoroughly before I even thought about my daughter joining that social platform. Here’s a post I previously wrote on keeping your kids safe on Instagram: Click here for Instagram Safety Tips

*I also have two mentors for this parenting journey. For me, it’s important that my mentors have a solid Biblical understanding. These are people I go to when I need to know, “Why do we believe this?” or “What does the Bible say about this?” They are wise, seasoned women. They’ve raised great kids who are now amazing adults.

*The remainder of my inner circle are moms, just like me, in the daily trenches trying to figure it all out. Have several moms you trust. Because we’re all busy, and it takes a village. We continuously learn together, encourage and support each other.

For me, my squad shares a deep love for Jesus, and we believe the Bible is our moral compass. In fact, the Bible directs us to choose our inner circle carefully.

“Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble.” Proverbs 13:20mom-squad

Do you have a mom squad? What are characteristics you look for in developing your inner circle?

If you don’t have a mom squad yet, can I encourage you? I often felt lonely as a mom before I found my village. I prayed about it and sought out ways to meet other moms. Keep trying! When I moved to San Antonio 11 years ago, I felt like I had to start over with friendships. It took me years to find my people here. I promise, there are moms who need you in their inner circle! You have specific gifts, life experiences and stories that God is going to use in your own squad.

To the Single Mom: You Are My Hero

I sat in my third grade class listening to the writing assignment, our chairs arranged in a circle with the teacher sitting directly across from me. It was the week after returning from Spring Break, and our writing prompt was, “For Spring Break, we…”

Kid after kid stood up nervously and read their own personal essays about their families going on vacation. Skiing. Disney. Beach.

My heart hurt.

I felt like something was wrong with me. I was crying inside.

Why didn’t I have a normal family?

My essay highlight was the snuggle-time on the couch with my mom late Friday night when she got home from work. We watched a movie and made popcorn. I loved every second. I don’t remember the movie, but I remember how loved I felt.

At the time, I thought my essay was dumb and lacked a good story. Today, I think of it very differently.

My parents divorced when I was three. I don’t ever remember what it was like having a mom and dad under one roof. But, I have these colorful, vivid memories of my childhood because I was raised by the most amazing single mom:

*I remember my mom always working two jobs at the same time. Sometimes three.

*I remember hunting for spare change in the car for a McDonald’s cheeseburger. She bought one for me, she would go without.

*I remember when I had middle school cheerleading tryouts, and she got up early to make pancakes that spelled “Good Luck.” She had worked past midnight the evening before. When I got to school, all my friends received good luck balloons and huge floral arrangements. Dozens of roses. I knew she couldn’t afford any, and I was perfectly content with my pancakes. But around lunch, my name was called to the office because I got the most amazing single rose I’ve ever received with the sweetest words on the card that said,

“No matter what, I love you.”

*I remember when I made the cheerleading squad, and I received the take-home paper listing the fees for my spirit jacket. I cried in the school bathroom because I didn’t know how we would pay for it. The moment she saw me that day, she knew something was wrong. I could barely get out that we couldn’t afford for me to be cheerleader when she said, “I will take care of this. Do not worry.” She did take care of it…every single time. I still have that jacket, and I’ll never throw it away. It’s a symbol of my mom’s love for me. Her dedication. Her hard work.

*I remember when we could barely afford to pay our electricity bill, but yet I would watch her give to those in need.

*I remember going to the diner where she waitressed and a man was very disrespectful to her. I ached inside. Later, I said, “Please quit that job.” She didn’t, she kept working hard.

*I remember someone telling her once that she could quit at least one of her jobs and be eligible for food stamps. My mom said, “No. I can work. I’m able.”

*I remember my mom crying in the bathroom (behind closed doors and with the sink water turned on) when she didn’t know I could hear.

I’m a mom now. I know how hard it is. She worked 12+ hours a day, came home and LOVED me. She didn’t just raise me. She spent time with me. She always made time for me.

She disciplined. She was strict (too strict sometimes). She was a great mom, but we were also best friends. It was she and I, facing the odds, standing strong together.

She cuddled me when I cried. She was my protector. She taught me to work hard and give generously.

She was my maid of honor at my wedding because there was no other person who had walked through life with me the way she did (and continues to).

The two of us… we were a normal family. And now, as I think back to that third grade assignment, I cherish those times I remember with her. No big fancy vacations. No expensive clothes. No big home – mostly only rentals in trailer parks and apartments.

Just QUALITY time. The most important thing to give a child… she got it right.

I spent half my life wishing I had a different one. And now, I wouldn’t trade my childhood for anything. I’m proud of my family… my mom and my dad.*

To the single mom: You are my hero. I see what you do. I know how hard you work. I know you’re busy because you have to do everything, but keep investing that QUALITY time. You will have an unbreakable and special bond with your kids. No one will ever be able to take it away.
*My dad and I had a “start over” moment when I was newly married. I love him so. He had his own struggles when I was little. We all have them. We’re all doing the best we can. It has been amazing and awesome to watch our relationship grow. Healing and forgiveness is possible, with God. I’m so proud of you, Dad!