I had lunch with a friend today. Julie and I have been friends for almost 20 years. We’ve raised our kids together, homeschooled together, did a moms group together…we’ve lived life together for a long time. Now her three daughters are grown and mostly out of the home. While I still have three at home, mine are definitely more independent these days so Julie and I now meet for lunch at a restaurant each month.

Today we reminisced about the years we raised our kids together. We talked about how friendship is different when the kids are older. Not better, not worse, just different. And we both agreed that when a young mom has good friends that she lives life with, the preschool years of mothering are the Golden Years of Mothering.

Today we sat and talked for almost two hours. It was a great time of friendship. But we both agreed that we’d pay a million dollars to be able to go back to the early years where we would sit and visit for two hours while our children played dolls and legos and dress-ups in the next room. Life just doesn’t get any better than sitting and visiting with a friend while your children play at your feet.

Of course, if you are in that season of mothering you may not see it as the Golden Years. You see it as the “No sleep” years or the “changing diapers” years. Or if you’re not doing life with a community of mothers around you, your experience may be different because the friendship piece is missing. If that’s the case, find a MOPS group or a moms group in your community asap. Don’t wait! It’s worth the effort. Meet some other moms and then invite someone over for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Begin to do life together: fold laundry together, bake cookies together, solve the world’s problems together!

That kind of comraderie will give you memories that will last a lifetime and make the season of small children a most precious season of both friendship and family.

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