My BFF Saved My Maternity Leave


My maternity leave has come to an end. My 10-month-old is off to daycare, and I head back into the classroom as a public school teacher. I feel incredibly fortunate to have been able to be home on maternity leave for close to a full year. However, this last year has challenged me in so many ways (that is a blog post for another day). Today, I want to share with you how my best friend saved my maternity leave. She was the true “VIP” of my leave.

When I had my first child last October, I said goodbye to days that were filled with students and colleagues who kept me very busy and filled my “social bucket” daily. I am naturally an outgoing and talkative human, so the social part of being a teacher is one of my favorites. I was home alone with my baby all day once my husband went back to work. This is when I realized how lonely I felt. I went back and forth; fighting this feeling and wondering why I felt so… empty. Of course, I loved my boy, but I was craving adult interactions while wondering who I was since becoming a mother.

My sweet, sweet best friend picked up on this quickly. She started to send more voice memos to me each day. She would follow them up with kind notes like, “No need to get back to me. I am just checking on you and sending you my love”. For a few weeks (maybe a month?), it was hard to voice memo back. I couldn’t quite put into words how I was feeling. Each day would pass and she continued to check in on me. Eventually, I got to a place where I was able to articulate how I was feeling. Our daily voice memo sessions started filling up a lot of time during the day. It allowed for a lot of space to share what was happening with my body, on my mind, and with my precious baby boy. This is where my best friend saved my maternity leave

We would share the mundane things (“Wow, can you believe it is raining… again?”) to the intense, but important topics (“I have never felt this lonely before”). She would listen, respond, and comfort me. She would share what was happening in her life too. I would listen, respond, and comfort her. There was never a pressure to get back to one another quickly. The voice memo was there for when it was convenient for the other person to listen to.

These voice memos carried me through transitioning from pumping to formula feeding, from contact naps for the first 6 months of my baby’s life, through countless trips to Starbucks (another “VIP” of my maternity leave!) with a sleeping or crying baby in the backseat, to waiting for my husband to get home so I could finally take a shower and so much more. 

Adult friendships are powerful when done with love. They help you laugh, grow, and feel seen. I hope my best friend knows how much she saved me. She allowed me to have a space where I could connect with a loved one; whenever I needed. She has been in my life for over a decade and has always shown up for me but this was different. With her love and support, I was able to start to believe in my strength and power as a new mom. That is a gift that is priceless, and I will forever be grateful for her and our friendship. Actually, scratch that, our sisterhood.

Just like in elementary school, it is cool to have a best friend forever (BFF), and I am so happy I have mine. She makes my motherhood journey sweeter and filled with even more love, joy, and laughter. If you are feeling alone, no matter where you are in your motherhood journey, try to connect with a friend today.


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