Shroomin' with EmilySee that girl over there? She's (one of) my best friends. She came into my life in the exact season I needed her, and she's seen me through some rough stuff. Did you ever see the episode of How I Met Your Mother where they discuss "reachers" and "settlers"? It basically boiled down to the fact that in every relationship there is always one person that reaches up to be as cool as the other person while the other person settles for the slightly less spectacular partner.
Emily and I have had a bountiful relationship of reaching and settling and it's proven to be one of the most complex and healing relationships in my life. Where I struggle she shines, whereas the things she needs most I'm somehow able to give her. I mean, sometimes. Let's be honest, I feel like the reacher most of the time. Time magazine recently posed the question "Are you mom enough?" when addressing different parenting camps. I'd like to introduce you to the mommy wars I have with my best friend.
"I'm at the market, is there anything you need?"
"No, I'm good."
"Don't lie to me, I'm five minutes away, what do you want?"
"Okay, fine, I'll take some kale."
"Ugh, I feel so gross and disgusting."
"Shut up. You look amazing. That color looks fantastic on you."
"You seriously mean to tell me your skin looks that good and you NEVER WASH YOUR FACE? Go away, I can't stand to be around you right now."
"How can I ever repay you?"
"You can't, and that's what I like about our friendship."
She breastfeeds like a boss, I bottle feed with the best of them. She drinks a smoothie with a raw egg in it for breakfast, I sometimes eat all the marshmallows out of the box of Lucky Charms. She births her babies with nary a drop of medication, I say bring on the epidural. We both admit our horrible parenting moments to each other and we've both been on the phone while locked in respective rooms of our houses if only to escape the chaos for five stinking minutes. We don't have a whole lot in common, and yet we have everything in common because we have a mutual respect for how stupid hard this job is that we do everyday. There's safety in having a mom friend that would never judge any of your parenting decisions on even your worst day.
Rather than looking down our noses at others asking "How do you feed your baby/wear your baby/sleep with your baby/raise your baby?" I'd much rather we ask "How can I help you?" Because in every relationship, be it best friends or two moms who've never met trying to make it through the grocery store with kids in tow, we all have things we can offer to help one another. Even if it's just a knowing "Oh honey, I've been there." when a baby (Vivi) loses her damn mind on the applesauce aisle.
- By Casey Mullins
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