My Best Friend These Days Is My Toddler & I Secretly Love It

My Best Friend These Days Is My Toddler & I Secretly Love It

One mom realizes that her closest friend … is her 3-year-old daughter.

By Nicole Fabian-Weber

Motherhood can be incredibly lonely. Especially when your kids are young. And especially when you're either a stay-at-home mom or work from home. Me? I fall into the latter category. I'm a writer, and five days a week, I work from a little desk in the corner of my bedroom. While it's great in a lot of ways -- I get to spend loads of time with my kids, and I no longer have to deal with the horrendous morning commute -- it also can be very isolating.

Most of my days look more or less like this: Get up around 6 a.m. with my 3-year-old daughter, hang out with her for an hour until my 6-month-old son gets up, hang/try to survive with both of them until 9 a.m. when the babysitter arrives, work until the early afternoon, then spend a few hours with my daughter until my son wakes up from his second nap of the day and my husband gets home.

Being that my son is just an infant, the person I converse with most every day is my toddler daughter. Our conversations may not be the most highbrow -- many revolve around things like which dolls in the house need baths and what we should draw on the driveway with chalk -- but still, there's a lot of talking between the two of us each day. In fact, I probably talk to my daughter more than anyone else these days, which, in some ways, sort of makes her my best friend. Weird? Slightly. But also -- pretty awesome.

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I'm not one of those mothers who desperately wants to be her child's "friend." (Again, my daughter is 3.) When my kids grow up, I hope they can trust me enough to confide in me, and I hope we have fun together, but I know I'm their mother, and I'll never forget that is my main role in their lives. But for now, it's fun having this kind of relationship with my daughter. The kind that's predominantly centered around giggling, playing, and cuddling -- and constantly chatting with each other like old friends.

I obviously would never unload any of my problems or stresses onto my 3-year-old, and there are times when it can be very tedious, hanging out with a toddler for hours on end, but my daughter has become my little buddy. She knows when I'm tired, she knows when I'm in the mood for a cookie, she comes with me to run errands, she's right there if I'm on the phone with the doctor or the pharmacy. Until 7 p.m. when she goes to bed, she knows every aspect of my life -- better than anyone.

A few nights ago, my husband was giving our daughter a bath. I yelled up to him, asking if he could bring my hand cream when they came down. A few minutes later, I heard my daughter saying, "No, Dada. That's not Mama's cream. This is Mama's cream." My husband asked me which lotion I was talking about, and my daughter was right: I wanted the one in the blue bottle, not the white bottle. There isn't a person on this planet, besides her, who would have known that.

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And then there are the times I'm with my daughter when we're not talking. We're just doing our own thing beside each other or sitting together in silence, jointly snacking from a box of crackers. There's no worry about filling in quiet gaps with idle chit-chat. There's no worry that I'm being judged for being unshowered in sweatpants (again). It is, to be completely honest, the most comfortable relationship I've ever had.

Like I said, things can definitely get boring sometimes when you're hanging out with a small child all day -- and there are plenty of things I do with my "real" friends that I wouldn't do with my daughter -- but here's the thing: I know that there will come a day when my daughter and I aren't together this much, when we don't know every mundane aspect of each other's lives, when she doesn't know that I want the blue lotion instead of the white. So for now, I'm going to cherish this time and soak up as much of this special relationship as I possibly can.

And I just might refer to her as my "best friend" in the process.

Do you think of your toddler as your best friend?

Nicole Fabian-Weber is the mama to a sweet toddler girl and a baby boy. She lives outside of NYC and writes for The Stir and numerous other online publications. Right now, she’s probably fantasizing about sleep.

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