It takes a village, and that鈥檚 why you need to make mommy friends. Like, right now. You can still hang with your girls now that you鈥檙e a mom, but you鈥檒l also need a tribe of other parents for friendship, support and more. Check out why making mommy friends should be moved to the top of your must-do list (okay, maybe you can put it behind buying all of those adorable little onesies!).

Three mothers and babies in strollers walking on beach

1. They understand you. Christa Terry, co-founder of the online mom-meet-mom community Hello Mamas, says, 鈥淵ou鈥檙e sleep deprived. If you鈥檙e breastfeeding, you are solely responsible for keeping a new human being alive. You may have had a traumatic delivery or be questioning your life choices in the context of your new role. It鈥檚 an amazing and terrifying experience like no other!鈥 She goes on to add, 鈥淲hile anyone who cares about you will do their best to support you, only other moms understand the depth of what you鈥檙e experiencing 鈥 both the highs and the lows 鈥 because they鈥檝e been there. Mom friends just get it鈥 the exhaustion, the love, the amazement, the confusion, everything.鈥

2. The books don鈥檛 tell you everything. You鈥檝e read every parenting book and blog out there, and you鈥檙e 100 percent sure that you鈥檙e clued in on everything that being a mommy means. Or at least 93 percent sure. Your mommy friends will give you the inside scoop on this whole baby thing. They鈥檒l tell you what it鈥檚 really like to breastfeed, when the best times to nap are (we鈥檙e talking a mom nap, not a baby nap) and give you the inside track on the best mommy and me classes in your area.

3. They鈥檒l give you the truth and nothing but the truth. Your mommy friends won鈥檛 candy-coat anything. While your non-mom friends wistfully look at your growing baby bump, smile and serenely say, 鈥淧regnancy is the most beautiful time of a woman鈥檚 life. You must feel so magical! So empowered! So perfect,鈥 your mommy tribe will agree that it鈥檚 not all rainbows, butterflies and unicorns frolicking in a bed of glitter.

Mothers nursing babies

4. You need empathy, in a really real way. 鈥淎w, I feel so bad for you. Those sleepless nights must suck,鈥 said the childless friend who still gets to sleep in until noon on the weekends. Not much of a mood-booster. Never fear, your mommy friends are here. Terry notes, 鈥淲hen it comes to emotional support, empathy beats sympathy. Someone who has been in your shoes will instinctively know how best to help you 鈥 they鈥檒l offer to hold the baby because they know you need a break. And mom friends know because once upon a time they needed that break more than anything.鈥 They鈥檙e here to give you that all-knowing look of empathy that you need right now. They鈥檒l tell you their war stories and let you know how they made it through to see the other side.

5. Sometimes the sitter quits (or at least, doesn鈥檛 show up). You鈥檝e been waiting all week for date night. You actually waxed, you might have even put on mascara and you鈥檙e ready for a meal that doesn鈥檛 come with a pack of crayons. And then, it happens. The sitter calls to say that her car broke down, she has pink eye, she鈥檚 still at her other job or she just can鈥檛 make it. What now? Call your mommy friends. At least one of them will feel your pain and offer to take your little one for the evening.

6. You鈥檙e in all-baby mode 24/7. Breast pumps, binkies, bottles and baby, baby, baby are the only things on your mind all day every day. While your childless friends might smile politely, nod and listen to your 45-minute story about choosing the 鈥渏ust-right鈥 jog stroller without rolling their eyes more than once, your mommy friends know what鈥檚 going on. 鈥淣ew moms can find themselves moving completely into the role of motherhood and may feel like they鈥檙e losing part of themselves in the process. The best thing a mom friend can do is listen to figure out what the new mom needs in any given moment,鈥 says Terry. They know that you鈥檙e now totally into your own baby immersion program and aren鈥檛 likely to talk about anything else for 鈥 well, the next 18 years. They get it, and they don鈥檛 care if you go on, and on, and on, and on about your new baby.

7. They have all the gear to give. Your BMFF (that鈥檚 best mommy friend forever) has a super-stylish stroller, a crazy-cool car seat cover and a closet filled with some of the most adorable newborn clothes you鈥檝e ever seen. And bonus, none of it fits her now-toddler. Ah, the glory of the well-cared-for hand me down. The gear is top notch, and it鈥檚 yours 鈥 for free!

How do you help your mommy friends out? Share your ideas and tweet us @BritandCo!

(Photos via Getty)