Mama Doesn’t Need More Friends. She Needs Villagers!


As I grow in marriage, motherhood and life in general, I’m learning that the best relationships are symbiotic. Let me confess: I just don’t have the time or mental energy for small talks over coffee or mediocre lunches. I need to be killing two birds with one stone at ALL times. If we can chat on the phone while I do laundry and my kid squealing in the background doesn’t phase you … you’re a keeper! If we can meet up during nap time for a quick pedicure, that’s the stuff! If you truly love me, you’ll call me while you’re at the grocery store and ask me if I need anything and I will do the same. And the next time I pop by for a play date, I’ll bring you your favorite salad because I know you probably haven’t eaten all day.

When we match up well, I give and also take. They share and I receive. This reality is the reason I rarely do lunch dates or dinners with my single friends anymore. It’s not that I don’t love them because I definitely do, but I need something from them that they can’t offer, and I don’t feel I have much to add to their singlehood. The stages of life are funny that way. A year or two in a new direction can place an ocean between who you once were and who you are now. The distance between old friends can start to feel like galaxies.

I value my trusted girlfriend who can keep my child for several hours while I get a medical procedure done with no questions asked. She doesn’t check in to ask when I’ll be back, and I know that my daughter is in good hands. To boot, she understands that I’ve had a rough day and offers to make me lunch so I can have something to eat and be able to rest as soon as I get home.  

I need my mom who comes for visits and when I wake up in the morning, she’s already made breakfast for everyone and emptied the dishwasher. She’ll put on a movie and sit my child in her lap and braid her hair, so I have one less thing to do that week. She has the magic touch to take my child overnight and actually get her to sleep so my husband and I can enjoy a rare childless dinner somewhere that doesn’t serve mac and cheese.

My daughter needs her godparents who shower her with tight hugs and silly kisses. They make time to see her and spend meaningful time with her. They embody love and acceptance and do the mundane things that make a her feel special, even if it’s just sitting on the side of the pool while she takes swim lessons. 

My husband and I can’t do without our church family who embrace us and pray for us no matter what is going on. They care about our spiritual and emotional well being and push us to be better people. They are always one message, call or text away. They seem to know when to speak just the right words and when to listen without judgement.  

I need people in my life who understand the travesty of lost kitchenware and always return my items empty and clean. These kinds of people don’t bat an eye when my child spills juice on their carpet or has a meltdown over the inability to zip her jacket on her own. Better yet, they aren’t squeamish about vomit or any of the other bodily fluids likely to make an appearance on any given day, unexpectedly. They get me. I get them. We need each other and we’re figuring it all out together. My village rocks and I appreciate them more and more each day. They are a beautiful blend of people and I couldn’t do life without them.

So I guess that means I’m taking myself off of the friendship market. I’m not actively seeking villagers either, but more are always welcome. We seem to have a way of finding each other. 


  1. Wow this is amazing Stephanie! Thanks a lot for this wonderful piece. I had to read it over and over again because it’s that good!

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