Journey Through the Stages of Motherhood: Best Friends Edition


So, we all know there are different Stages of Motherhood: the Newborn Stage, the Toddler Stage, the Crap, Now There’s Two of Them Stage, the Just How Many Butts Have I Wiped Today Stage, the I’m Never Going to Sleep Again Stage, and the Hey, I Might Have the Hang of This Stage. And then there’s the Tonight We Ride Stage of Motherhood. For those of you who are there, you know it. Your kids are “easier” to leave. They are becoming self-sufficient, in some cases. I think once your youngest can tell you he’s hungry, he’s hurt, or what he’s feeling, you’re there. You can leave them for the day with your significant other, a sitter or family, and not need a minute-by-minute list of what needs to happen, what could happen, what to do if this or that happens, you know the drill.

You can literally say “Peace Out!” and walk out the door, knowing one of your kids will tell the adult they’re with that they need something.

This is the stage that we’re in- and trust us, it’s amazing!

We met on the high school softball field (quite) a few years ago and have traveled through most of the major stages of our lives together. From high school to college roommates to long-distance friendship to momma best friends, we think this Tonight We Ride Stage is the best. If you would have told our pre-baby selves that this would be us in 20 years, we would have laughed in your face. But, here we are, 10+ years into marriage, 3 wild kids each, and too many wrinkles to count, living our best lives during the “Tonight We Ride” Stage.  And do you know what we’d tell our high school selves? We’d say, “Just wait, your life is going to be amazing! Oh, and you’ll be tired all the time.” 

Just like our mommy roles have evolved, so has our friendship. I mean, our friendship has officially reached the legal drinking age (24 years and counting!).  When we weren’t together in high school we spent our time on the phone with each other (or even using our super cool pagers to send each other cryptic messages (if you had a pager, you totally know what we’re talking about). In college, we would Instant Message (Google it, youngins) while in the same dorm room. We spent a lot of time texting during those really fun overnight baby feedings. Now, we spend a ton of time texting each other memes and really good Amazon deals. 

So what’s the Tonight We Ride Stage of Motherhood all about?

It’s being able to leave the house and see your girlfriends. It’s having Girls Night Out. It’s taking Girls Trips…for the weekend, GASP! We know, we know. And, we’re so happy to announce to the world that we are in this stage! We’ve waited so long. We’ve paid our dirty diaper dues. Now, we can enjoy time with our friends again. We’ve missed each other. Yes, we talk pretty much every day. We’re always there for each other.

But, it’s not the same. When you’re in the thick of Motherhood, even together, it’s still hard… 

Our daily texts usually start with a funny story about our kids or something our husbands did to make us shake our heads.  Oftentimes they include some “talk me off a ledge,” “tell me you feel like this too sometimes,” or “tell me not to sell my kids on Etsy.”  

We go shopping, grab dinner and drinks, workout together. We need this time with our friends. We need to recharge. We need to laugh and complain with the people who get us and get it. We need to be away from our kids, even though we miss them and spend the entire time talking about them. We’ve made it through the many stages of motherhood and now we get to take full advantage of our surroundings.

Fellow mamas, we’re not going to tell you to enjoy the stage you’re in because the kids grow up so fast and you’re going to miss this someday, and blah blah blah. You know this already.

What we will tell you is that the Stages of Motherhood are constantly getting better.

And if you are nowhere near the Tonight We Ride Stage, don’t worry. You’ll be here soon enough and the wait is so worth it!  While you’re in the middle of the other stages, keep in touch with your friends. Reach out. Tell them how hard this motherhood thing is and how much you miss them. Going through battle together helps you feel less alone. You’ve got this! 

If you are near the Tonight We Ride Stage, congratulations! Text your besties and start planning all of the things. All of them. And, if you see us out on one of our Girls Night Outs, stop over and say hi! 

Written by Toledo Mom besties Sara Jones and Dani Mullan!

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Sara Jones
Sara was born and raised in the 419 and is a self-proclaimed hot mess momma. She met her husband Jim at BGSU (Ay Ziggy Zoomba!) and they currently live in Perrysburg. They have three kids: Paxton (10), Sawyer (7), and Delaney (4). Sara is a full-time school psychologist for Perrysburg Schools and an adjunct professor at the University of Toledo in the school psychology department. Sara is an avid distance runner and die-hard Pure Barre groupie. She loves coffee, wine, spending time with her kids, and spending time away from her kids. Sara loves sharing the messy, real-life side of being a busy, working momma and meeting other moms who thrive on being real with each other.


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