One of the things that make life more enjoyable is having good friends. When you have people in your life that you can have fun with, rely on in times of trouble, and can just plain keep you from feeling lonely, you really have a treasure.
Unfortunately, friendships can change over time, coming and going whether we want them to or not.
Sometimes, we have to move to a new town or state, leaving our extended family and established friendships. Other times, we’re the first in our group to have children, and because we’re in a totally different stage of life than our childless friends, those friendships fade.
But even though our world is more connected than ever before (thanks, Social Media!), so many of us feel very lonely. We may not have those close mom friends that we need, and so life starts to feel more and more difficult.
While I don’t pretend to have all the answers on how to make mom friends, I do have a few suggestions that could help.
The importance of making mom friends
When I had my first baby, my husband was in the military, and we lived thousands of miles away from our family and friends in a brand-new town. I didn’t know anyone in our area, and felt so bored and lonely all day at home without anybody to talk to.
Luckily, I had found out that the local library offered a sort of story time for infants once a month. Even though my baby was only 4 months old, I decided to take her so that she could have a bit of stimulation and so I could get out of the house.
After going to story time for a few months, I was approached by another mom who wanted to get a mom’s group together. She had seen me a few times at the library and wanted to know if I would like to get together once a week at a local coffee shop.
That group of moms met for the better part of 4 years, and was truly a lifeline for me in the early years of motherhood. Not only did I get to talk to other moms once a week, but my kids were able to have play dates and outings with friends their own age.
We also became close enough that we babysat for each other and supported each other during miscarriages, long periods of bed rest, and post-partum depression.
This group was such an important part of my life, and although most of us all have moved in the past few years and don’t see each other often, I’ll always be grateful for these ladies and how they helped me get through some tough years.
Find where other moms hang out
If you’re in need of some mom friends, you first have to find out where they spend time. Like my friend who found me in the library, you can also look for potential mom friends at story times, at kids’ museums, or classes.
Two of my mom friends met at a post-partum yoga class, while other moms I know met at their neighborhood park.
You can also check into local mom groups, searching online for those in your area. I was part of a local chapter of MOMS Club for a few years, in which I met many moms with kids my age.
They offered a large meeting once a month, where the kids could play in a big open room, and the moms could hear from a speaker on a mom-related topic. They also offered pre-scheduled play dates or trips to parks or museums where you could get out with your kids and have some fun with other moms.
Make an effort to reach out to other moms
I don’t know about you, but it is so hard for me to make friends as an adult. Sometimes I’m just nervous to talk to new people, or I think to myself that all the other moms have enough friends already. Or I’m worried that my house isn’t clean enough or decorated the right way to invite people over.
Irrational, I know, but it’s true.
Do you ever feel this way? I’m sure you sometimes do, and guess what…the other moms might be thinking it too, and they just need a mom who is brave enough to make the first step.
My motherhood mentor, Sally Clarkson, often talks about how she had to reach other to other moms when she wanted to make new friends. She moved quite a few times over the years, and each time found herself without any close friends, so she made an effort to invite people over for coffee or a play time.
If we want to have mom friends, we have to make an effort to reach out to others and take the initiative to be friendly.
Most of the time, other moms understand if our homes aren’t in pristine condition because they know that we are dealing with toys and messes and dishes and laundry…they are too! So take a chance and invite a mom over and see if a friendship will develop.
Making time for mom friendships
We all know how trying motherhood can be, especially in the early years when we aren’t getting that much sleep. But if our schedule is too crammed full with stuff to be able to enjoy some time with mom friends, then we have a big problem.
Because if we don’t take the time to enjoy the company of friends, our lives can get out of balance quickly. Again, as Sally Clarkson likes to say, if we don’t fill up our cup…with rest, time with friends, etc…then we won’t have anything to give to our families.
This might mean that your housework doesn’t get completed that week or that you might have to order a pizza for dinner, but the ability to spend some life-giving time with friends will pay off in other ways.
I hope this has given you some ideas on how to make mom friends and provided you with some encouragement to go find them. Motherhood can be a difficult road to travel, so the more support you have (and give), the better we all will be.