At this moment, I am sitting in the back of a plane with five mom friends on our way to Dallas.

While the idea for this trip began with a Facebook video on a bacon tasting sampler, the bottom line is that moms need mom friends.

Friends who understand the trials and tribulations of parenthood, who are always there to support, encourage and commiserate, and who realize the crazy adventure ideas are often times just what we need to recharge.

Parenting is tough. It’s hard and exhausting. And there is always so much self-doubt that we are doing it right and not screwing up our kids.

While our parenting partners are right there with us managing the day-to-day challenges, there is a unique role for the mom friends in our life, who are connected but still outside the familial circle.

The ideal mom group is diverse. There will be some that have kids the same age as yours, so they are in the weeds with you right where you are. Then there will be some with older and some with younger kids.

They offer experience, allow you to offer your experience, and let everyone know — these phases are normal, and it all will pass. We will survive.

The diversity can also extend to parenting styles.

Some of my mom friends embrace holistic and laid-back styles, while others are more strict and traditional. Each family uses what works best for them.

We share stories, listen and apply what might work in our homes, and appreciate that our way may not be the best way for others. There is no one right way, as every family is unique.

What is universal is being open and honest without shame or judgment, along with the knowledge that these women have my back.

When the chaos hits, they’ll be there by my side. They will cheer my successes just as loudly as if they were their own, and hold my hand shedding joint tears when needed.

It’s not all about parenting, though. Being mothers may be what initially brings us together, but it’s not what keeps us together.

These friendships were forged in the fires of motherhood, and true mom friends will remain bonded long after the kids have grown and left the nest.

So when you look around your circle, if you see women that you can text in the middle of the night, call on a moment’s notice to help with the kids, cheer your highs and mourn your lows, and jump on a plane to go eat bacon in Dallas with you — consider yourself blessed. The value of these mom friends is priceless.

Cherish them.

Then commit to being the best mom friend to them that you can be as well.

Melissa Introne is a Sun Chronicle community columnist.

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