Let me take you back to Kindergarten--a time when it seemed like making friends was easy. Back then, we didn't care so much about being accepted, and we were surrounded by friendly faces and opportunities to create friendships almost every day. Then we fast-forward to high school and making friends seems a little trickier, but you knew what you were looking for in a friend and you got plenty of opportunities to create friendships, whether through sports, classes, or just by always being surrounded by people at school. Finally, we skip ahead to when you entered a new chapter in your life called parenthood--and suddenly it's not so easy to make friends anymore.
As a new parent, you may no longer be surrounded by other adults every day, or maybe it has become tricky to make friends that understand your new role. It may seem like you're back at square one in learning how to make friends, and that can feel a little scary, but I'm here to tell you it doesn't have to be scary or hard! I have some tips to help it be quite easy and feel very natural!
We All Want Friends
Whether you're introverted or extroverted, it’s a natural human desire to want to have friends. We love talking to them about similar interests, love relying on them when it’s been a rough day, and they are a blast to hang out with when we want to go somewhere fun or simply to have company. It’s even more desirable to have a friend when we become mothers.
But let's be honest, it can also be hard finding someone who gets you. And it's also hard to find time in your already busy schedule to hang out with another adult and build a friendship.
Plus, as mothers, we can be worried about how another woman will judge our parenting, making it intimidating to find mom-friends. As this Motherly article points out, "It’s tough to make mom friends because we’re evaluating each other as moms first and women second."
Really, all we want is another person who will accept us, someone we can ask for advice, and most importantly to know that there is someone in the same shoes as you.
Steps to Help You Find Your Momma Pal
Take Advantage of Community Events
This is a way I have found mom friends. Your community most likely has a lot of family-friendly, kid-orientated activities or events where you can go to and easily meet other moms! Check out state, city, and community websites like this one to find out what's going on near you.
I love to follow our favorite museums and city/state family activity spots on Instagram and Facebook, where they share about events and ideas that you can enjoy with your kids. I also love staying up to date with my local libraries. They will either have story time, playtime, and have days and times where they have fun crafts for kids. This will not only provide your kid with entertainment, but you will be bound to meet other moms like you there!
Make the First Move
Yes, you heard me right on this one. No, we are not talking about dating (haha!), but we are very much talking about an everyday struggle we as humas face sometimes! Striking up a conversation with someone you don't know or barely know can be difficult, but with some practice, it can become something very easy for you to do.
Before you start talking to another mother, think about what you're doing now or going through that you might have in common. Are your kids playing together? Do they love crafting like you do? Do they look the same age? Are they on the same team? Same class? Where did she get her cardigan? All of these are ways you can start up a conversation. Simply find some common ground.
I've noticed that people love talking about themselves and especially their kids. Once you start making small talk, the conversation will naturally flow to you: "Oh yeah, my son loves this instructor/sport, too," or, "My daughter turns 2 in August-- How fun that they're the same age."
I guarantee that the other mom is probably just as nervous to start talking as you are. Once the small talk starts, though, it can really build from there. Find your common ground, engage with them first, and watch your friendship start to grow. And, hey, if it goes nowhere after trying, don't let it put you down. Celebrate your amazing effort! It definitely can take time!
Get Your Child Involved in Activities
Simply by getting your child involved in sports, hobbies, and classes, you are bound to meet your other parents. Repeat contact can really help form friendships and lead to more meetups and playdates for your kids as well!
Join Online Groups/Apps
This has worked for me! There are hundreds upon hundreds of groups online that are specified to you. You can join groups on a page of a favorite brand where other moms frequently post, groups based on your city or state, groups for parents of disabled children. These groups are an easy way to post questions you might have and to arrange a meet up with women who have certain things in common and who live in your area!
There are groups in pregnancy apps for women who are pregnant at the same time you. You can even download apps that are specifically made for moms to find friends, similar to popular dating apps. You can filter it by how many kids you have, your interests, and more!
I truly love these groups because they allow me to connect with women who have gone through the same things as I have, and it also allows me to seek advice and give it to others. These groups can provide a much-needed, tight-knit support system, which is all we want in motherhood.
Doesn't this ring a bell? You've heard this from your parents and you've probably said it to your own child, but there's nothing but truth behind this! But as true as it is, we can still forget it.
With those perfectly put together Instagram stories and feeds we see of parents taking their kids on a new adventure every day, or moms constantly doing something with their friend group or their exciting lives, it can feel hard to be okay just being your. But what I have to remind myself is that the person we see online is only showing us a fraction of who they are and how their lives really are.
Just like back in middle school, don't feed into the peer pressure. Don't feel like you need to be doing something every day. Don't feel like you need to have it all together, because no mother has it together, and most importantly, don't be someone you're not.
Show your true self. Don't hide who you really are. Those mom friends that you're looking for will like you just the way you are, and trust me when I say don't waste your energy on those who will make you have unnecessary guilt or feel inferior. Genuine and meaningful friendships are formed when you can just be yourself!
- Invite a new friend to something
- Don't worry about age difference
- Meet your neighbors
- Join Mommy-and-Me classes
- Be a listening ear, a helper, and a giver
Yes, you may notice that when making mom friends you start to put them in categories, and that is okay. Some friends will just be play group friends, others will be your soccer mom friends, your PTA mom friends, or your internet mom friends, but I promise you as you create these mom friendships in all of these groups, you will find that one friend who gets you and will become your everyday friend soon enough.
Remember, just like when you were younger, you don’t need a huge group of friends, you only need a couple or even just one you can really count on.
Remember to step outside your comfort zone, share your interests, and work on the tips from above, and in no time you will find a friend you can talk to about anything and have girl time with!
We hope these tips and ideas have helped you! Be sure to share what ways you've seen have worked with finding friends as a mom below!