It was 7:15 in the morning. I was emptying the trash in the bathroom, and my kids were playing on the bathroom floor. I reached into the trash can, hurrying to get everything out before the kids started fighting or the baby started crying, and when I pulled my hand out, my pinky finger was covered in blood.
And it wouldn't stop.
I kept putting pressure on it. It kept bleeding.
My son was jumping on the bed.
My daughter needed a diaper change.
And I couldn't use my hand, because every time I let go of the pressure on my finger, it bled some more.
Ten minutes went by. I was starting to freak out. My husband had already left for work (an early day for him), so I was on my own. And I had no idea what to do.
So, after about 30 minutes, I called one of my closest mom friends. She has kids that are the exact same age as mine, and she lives in my neighborhood. She came right over, in her pajamas, changed my daughter's diaper, and then together we decided that I probably didn't need to go to the emergency room.
About an hour later, another one of my mom friends came by to hang out with me and help with my children until the bleeding stopped.
The cut took a couple of weeks to heal, and now, not even a scar remains. But that morning, when my friends were there for me, is one of those days I will never forget.
Motherhood is exhausting. It's challenging, and sometimes it's entirely overwhelming. You've got to have a support network. You've got to have friends you can call. Friends on the same schedule as you are, friends who have kids the same age, friends who are going through the same thing. While of course it's important to have all types of friends for all parts of life, those mom friends are precious.
I didn't always know this. When I first had my son and became a stay-at-home mom, I spent the first six months alone. I didn't know anyone else who was at home, and my days were kind of lonely. And then, I met some women in my neighborhood who were also stay-at-home moms. They, like me, were military wives. And they, more than anyone, knew the secret to happiness in a new place: make some friends.
They quickly folded me into their group, and all of a sudden, I had invitations almost daily to meet at the gym, go shopping, or go out to lunch. I began to realize that these women were almost raising their children together, making almost daily plans to visit with each other, have some adult conversation, and give their kids time to play. It made motherhood like a sisterhood. All of a sudden, I felt like I was back in college. Someone was always knocking on our door; we always had an invitation to a family bbq or a girl's night out. All of a sudden, I got it. Mom friends are not just play date companions; they're extended family.
So when my husband and I moved to our new location, I tried immediately to make new friends. I even knocked on a few doors! And these women, who were first acquaintances in a new location, have become confidantes, play date companions and emergency contacts. They've become my lifeline as I've gone from a mother of one to a mother of two. And I hope I have been able to help them, too. I hope they know they can rely on me as I sometimes rely on them, because we are not alone in raising our kids. We have to help each other, laugh with each other, enjoy each other's children and share in the love and tough moments. Because motherhood can be isolating, lonely, and so, so hard.
But friends make all that rough stuff go away.
Sarahlynne loves writing for Yahoo! Shine as a Parenting Guru. You can also find her at her blog, merelymothers.com, where she and her co-creator write about everything motherhood, from philosophies to fashion.