I'm here to say it. There is no way I could survive motherhood without my mom friends. Some of them live in my phone, some of them live down the street but all of them keep me sane. For me, having a well-rounded roster of mom friends has proven to be an invaluable peanut gallery of advice, opinions and knowledge and they each fuel me when I'm running on empty. Are you out there looking for a Mom Tribe? Here are five types of mamas that you absolutely need in your life (and where to find them).

1. The Justifying Mom

My absolute favorite type of mom friend is the mama who is there to support my less-than-conventional parenting moves. No matter how desperate the situation gets, she's the first to employ a White House worthy spin to make a girl feel better about her stellar motherhood skills. So, the kids had popcorn for dinner? She's quick to point out that popcorn was once a healthy ear of corn so, really, it's not so far off from serving the base of the food pyramid. They had unlimited screen time for an entire day? No problem! Think of the hand/eye coordination those kiddos are developing! The Justifying Mom is always looking out for you, reminding you that you've got this and she's got you.

Where to find her

the Chick-Fil-A play place. She'll be scrolling social media while her kids hit the slide because the best dinners are the ones that come with a toy.

2. The Same-Stage-As-You Mom

There might not be a mom more valuable to stash in your mom arsenal than a mama who has a baby that is exactly the same age as one of your own darling offspring. She's right there in the trenches with you, unjaded and worrying about the same things that you are. Who else could you possibly text "should her poop be neon orange?"(complete with photo evidence) without a preemptive warning? If it weren't for my Same Stage Mamas, I probably would have expected my firstborn to crawl at 4 months and held off on solids until he had a tooth. Hey, it takes a village, am I right?

Where to find her

the Bouncing Babies story hour at the library. It's free, segregated by age and you can gauge her level of chill by her enthusiasm over the chicken dance.

3. The Been There Done That Mom

She's seen it all and will be the first to remind you that "were you breastfed or formula fed?" will not be on your child's college applications (and that he won't take that paci with him when he gets in). The memories of sleepless nights are a bit more hazy for her but her perspective on what really matters is invaluable. When you feel like teething will never end she'll be the one to point out that braces are just around the corner, and unlike teething, braces ain't free. This mama will inspire you to appreciate your littles when they're little but not to sweat the small stuff because you'll be onto the next stage before you know it.

Where to find her

the school volunteer committee you were roped into joining. She'll be one of the head honchos because she's been around a while and she knows what's up (and, since you're friends, she won't stick you with clean-up duty).

4. The Sympathizing Mom

She's the first to pour you a cup of coffee when you find out your kid is the biter in class, during day three of potty training or after that time you had to drag your screaming preschooler out of a children's theatre show about balloons. Bless her, the Sympathizing Mom never asks why, never suggests you read that latest parenting book on the "spirited child" and never, ever starts a sentence with "well, have you tried..." She's calm and steady, ready to remind you that you will survive this motherhood thing - even if just barely.

Where to find her

the pediatrician's office. You'll bond over your respective baby ear infections and she'll know the best remedy to help your little sicky sleep and the best wine you can grab at CVS to help you sleep, too.

5. The Down-For-Whatever Mom

Just got a call from the husband that he'll be working late? This mama is your go-to girl for a last minute Happy Meal and wine playdate dinner. She is flexible, doesn't take her schedule too seriously and you never clean your house for her. She's the one that won't roll her eyes when you tell her you just can't handle another snow day off from school and she always knows which playground is closest to a Starbucks. She's down to do whatever it takes to make it through the day. Bonus: at least one of her kids is always in pajamas and she has never once made a kid-friendly craft from Pinterest.

Where to find her

at the playground, sitting on a bench while her kids are in shouting distance. She definitely won't be hovering near the slide to make sure they stick the landing.

Now get out there and build that tribe!

Editor's note: This article was originally published on Olive & Tate. It has been republished here with permission.

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