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The 8 Friends Every Woman Needs To Survive Motherhood

Parenting is hard, and — even on the best days — our girlfriends get us through it.

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illustration of different women friends who are mothers
Hye Jin Chung
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Motherhood is hard, and — even on the best days — our girlfriends get us through it. When I look at the rich friendships around me, I’m grateful every day that my friends understand what it’s like to deal with teen eye-rolling and professional chaos. Frankly, I’m mostly grateful that they still answer my phone calls and don’t judge my laundry piles when they come over for wine.

I truly could not survive being a mother without my friends to lift me up. In fact, I’ve come to realize that there are certain categories that friends fall into, and there are eight “must haves” if you really are going to survive motherhood.

The shoulder-to-cry-on friend

She’s the one who still answers the phone, even though she knows it probably will involve rushing to your house with wine, chocolate and fuzzy slippers. This is the friend who knows your inner failings and your heartaches, and still loves you anyway. She will hold you as you cry and softly whisper, “You don’t suck as a human, I promise.” And don’t worry: You’ll do the same for her when she’s having a rotten day, right?

The ride-or-die adventurer

This gal is ready for anything — anytime, anywhere. She’s always up for adventure, and is happy to ride shotgun on the way to a spontaneous concert in the city or to a hot spot for a fancy cocktail. She’s likely the one who is holding your hair in the bathroom when you’ve been struck with the cocktail flu (wink, wink). She has your back, always. And, she probably has your purse, too, because she noticed you dropped it when you were dancing on the bar.

The gossip buddy

I know, I know: We shouldn’t gossip, but ... oh, stop it. We all do it. And we all have that one friend who delights in our tasty little morsels of gossip. This is the friend who will dissect a PTA disruption with military precision, or listen raptly as you detail a personal snub. Just like Dolly Parton says in Steel Magnolias, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, come sit by me.” And your gossip buddy always will.

The laugh-until-you-pee friend

This friend should have a comedy show, because she keeps everyone in stitches on girls’ nights out. Whether it’s her spot-on impression of the school secretary or her perfect sense of timing, she’s the girlfriend who will have you laughing until you pee when you need it the most. She’s also the one who probably has taught you creative ways to use swear words, too. That’s why we love her.

The partner-in-crime work ally

Let’s face it: Work is stressful, and sometimes you need that work buddy to help you blow off steam. Whether the boss is making unrealistic demands or your customer-service smile is wearing thin, this gal is in the next cubicle cheering you on. She’s also totally up for an early lunch and won’t judge if you make it a liquid lunch once in a while. She’s also willing to cover for you when you screw up, and pitches in when you are drowning in assignments. And she won’t tattle on you for sending personal emails on company time.

The exercise pal

Finding time to exercise when you are juggling kids, work and activities isn’t always easy. But, your exercise pal holds you accountable. Whether it’s texting that a class opened up and you should join her or reminding you that it has been a few days since you’ve gone for a run, this girlfriend is the reason your thighs haven’t completely taken over. And, she’s the one who is always game for a donut and coffee after your workout, because she exercises to support her eating and drinking habits, too. She’s no dummy.  

The spending-accident instigator

Admittedly, this friend is terrible for our wallets, but our closets have never looked so fancy, thanks to her. Go ahead. Treat yourself to a spending accident. She won’t judge. In fact, she’s in the dressing room next to you doing the same thing.

The political-activist friend

This friend can always be counted on to help you formulate an argument or counterpoint when you are fired up politically. She knows the name of every congresswoman, and she can cite legislation off the top of her head without blinking an eye. She makes you feel bold and helps you stand firm in your convictions. She also won’t let you forget to vote — ever.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, this list has made me realize that it’s high time I scheduled a girls’ night out with my laugh-until-I-pee and ride-or-die-adventure friends.