The 5 Friends All Moms Need

The Toddler Years: The Spur-of-the-Moment Coffee Buddy

I met my friend Susan when my daughter was 18 months old; her toddler was a few months younger. Initially, I thought we were just too different to be good friends -- not only was she much more outgoing than I am, she was about 10 years younger. But despite our differences, we clicked. We brought out something funny and spontaneous in each other, and she turned out to be a lifesaver during those long winter "I-need-to-talk-to-another-adult-or-I'll-go-insane" afternoons of toddlerhood.

She was always up for meeting at Starbucks at a moment's notice or dragging the kids to the children's museum or playground. All in all, she brought a bright ray of sunshine to the occasional doldrums of motherhood. I knew it was perfectly okay to drop by her house unannounced; if she was busy, she would tell me. If she was up for an outing, she would grab her diaper bag and go.

Every mother of young children needs a Susan, a free-spirited mom who isn't daunted by the fact that it's naptime or that the last trip to the museum didn't turn out so well. She's positive and energetic, and you get a huge kick out of her. Get-togethers with this mom do not require elaborate plans a week ahead of time, and she won't care if you haven't showered yet. In the end, she may not turn out to be your absolute best friend, the confidante you share your most intimate secrets with. But she always, always makes you smile.

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