One of my favorite photos of my daughter doesn’t even show her face. She was lounging on a couch when my friend Heidi arrived and immediately went and laid down right on top of her, embracing her in a full body hug. My daughter returned the affection, wrapping her arms around Heidi. I snapped a photo because it filled me with joy, even though neither of their faces was visible.
My sweet girl had a rough start in life. She was abused, neglected and abandoned before we became a family through adoption. Though safe and so very loved now, the impact of early childhood trauma lingers on and on. Too many people have written her off without diving in to get to know how awesome she is.
But I’m blessed with amazing mom friends who adore my daughter. This means she’s blessed, too.
Because having safe, trustworthy adult women who love you and aren’t mom is a really good thing to have as a teenager.
She thinks Amy knows all the things. And she pretty much does. Amy has shared everything from in depth answers to sexual questions to facts about the gestation lengths of kangaroos. She even correctly diagnosed a funky rash on my daughter’s leg as ring worm after the kiddo said, “Take a picture and send it to Amy! She’ll know what it is!”
We’re lucky because Amy lives in our town so we see her often. My daughter’s friends love her, too. Amy and I recently spent a Saturday evening playing One Night Werewolf and reminiscing about our youth with a house full of teenagers.
“Oh. My. God. I love her!” my daughter’s friend kept saying in response to Amy’s wisdom and warnings on important matters of sex, drugs and rock and roll.
Amy gets my daughter’s struggles with multiple types of anxiety disorder. She battles her own mental health issues with grace and honesty. She helps me sort out what is anxiety based and what is typical teenage behavior.
She’s fiercely protective of my child. She recently threatened to send her spirit into a rooster and have it attack a boy who ignored my daughter at school.
Then there’s Heidi, giver of hugs that feed the soul, who lives a thousand miles away and we don’t get to see nearly often enough. My daughter is instantly comfortable with her the moment they reunite.
Heidi is full of wild hair, curse words and brutal honesty. She also had a traumatic childhood and still deals with the wounds. She’s helped my daughter see she isn’t alone in her struggles. Yet, she still calls her out when she sees fit.
Heidi can tell her, “You’re being a bitch. Get your shit together.” and she will listen.
My daughter knows she can go to either of these ladies if she ever needs something and I’m not available or she just prefers to bypass me.
And I love it. The more adults who love and support a kid, the better in my book.
They’ve both taken the time, care and interest to build their own relationships with my daughter. They see how amazing she is and want to help her soar. I love them even more for loving, supporting and encouraging my child. And I adore their kids right back.
Now that I think about it, my Facebook feed is filled with wonderful mom friends near and far cheering my daughter on. The support, encouragement and wisdom comes in strong whenever I post about her (which is way more often then she’d like).
Thank you, friends! You make this momma’s heart so happy.
5 Reasons Girls Need Role Models Other Than Mom
- Talking to someone not so close to the situation is easier. Moms go into MOM MODE instantly. Mom’s friends have enough emotional distance to discuss without immediately freaking.
- Other moms are cooler. When Mom drops an F-bomb, it’s embarrassing. When Mom’s friend does it, it’s cool.
- Mom doesn’t know everything. But if she surrounds herself with a smart posse of ladies, together they come close to knowing it all!
- Kids only see their mom as MOM. Mom’s friends are actual people with cool jobs, stories and insight.
- Mom friends bring the bigger picture. If you have a diverse group of friends, your kiddos will be exposed to a wide range of differences and ways of approaching life. How awesome is that?