I have to admit. Making new mom friends is hard work. It isn’t because I feel that I am above anyone or think that others don’t really match up I just feel like the older we get the harder it gets to connect, hang out and make it work. Where do we find these awesome mom friends. How do we approach them? What do we say? Where do we go. How do we know if we are connected? It sounds like elementary school doesn’t? What if they don’t like me. The mom friend struggle is for real! I am super laid back and things happen and I am always really understanding but it can be really hard when you cancel plans, or don’t fall through NOT because of them and that friend takes it hard or personally. That is probably one of the hardest things about maintaining friendships as an adult. Trying to maintain friendships is a huge struggle. So what can we do to make finding and keeping friends as an adult easier?
1. Go where the other moms are or if you see a mom just say hi. Ok cool but where are they? Coffee shops? Parks? School pick up? Social media? What do we do. How do we approach them? It is interesting because I have a HUGE personality and I will talk and talk and talk but only if I want to. So if I am out at a coffee shop or picking up my kids from school and someone is wearing something I like, or I like their lipstick or want to throw a compliment or overhear their conversation I will 99% of the time say something. This opens a window and warms them up for talking and usually they will say hi again next time you see them. That is probably my go to. SAY SOMETHING what are they going to do? Ignore you? I doubt it. Compliments go a long way especially to other mamas.
I have noticed that If I see someone that peaks my interest most of the time I won’t say anything unless I am in a mood to chat. It isn’t personal but sometimes when I see other moms even if I know them I am tired. I don’t want to talk. So if I go where the moms are. What if I just want our kids to play and for me to have that moment alone. How do you find that balance and not sound rude if they want to talk. That is a HUGE struggle of mine. So one thing that I advise is be open and honest. That is a downfall of mine. I will fake it till I make it sometimes and I know that sounds horrible but I hate being rude but sometimes I just want a minute alone. So if we aren’t feeling it SAY something “hey I wanted to say hi but I am going to sit this one out while the kids play” BUT if you do run into someone say hi and chat if you want to. But again don’t be afraid to sit this one out. Go off of your mood in the moment. But always be honest.
2. Don’t be too pushy to hang out and force something to work. This is one that has always gotten me in trouble but not always in a bad way. Sometimes I feed off of other people's energy and I basically say “LETS DO THIS OR THAT” and I have to take into consideration a] I don’t know this person. B] what if they don’t want to. C] Maybe they just aren’t in the mood THAT day and I shouldn’t just shove myself on them. Start slow with waving, hello, ask how they are. Feel the vibe make sure you connect and ride it out for a bit before suggesting a play date. I know having coffee with a new mom friend sounds exciting but you don’t want to force something if it doesn’t feel right. I feel that with every relationship I have, it needs to feel right or it won’t work out and you are basically forcing a relationship to work. It is OK to not be friends with someone.
3. Understand that even if you have a huge connection it doesn’t mean that if you slip apart that your friendship is over. Life gets really busy, we all have things going on and MOST of the time it isn’t personal. But it is HARD not to take things personally especially when you really connect with someone. I have had friends for YEARS and we lose touch. I will reach out if they don’t respond and then INSTANTLY I am offended. That is a huge issue that I have, I take it all personally and then I find myself pulling away. I need to understand that maybe they are busy, maybe they don’t want to get together or maybe they forgot ect. Give it time and I always know that real friendships come back together someday.
4. Be open minded to friends that maybe you don’t have much in common with. Remember middle and high school where we tended to flock to a certain type of person and later on maybe you realized that you didn’t have AS much in common with them as you thought and you should have been more open minded as an adult? I have noticed that as adults we tend to flock towards the same type of person. WE HAVE to learn to be more open minded to meeting new people, talking to new people, be kind and more open to spending time with new friends, maybe those we don’t have anything in common with. Sometimes it is hard to be open minded. Reach out to someone who is shy, doesn’t have a “crew” and trust me most moms have crews. I don’t. I always like to socialize with everyone and I am the same now.
4. Give it time. I have a handful of really close friends. I know a lot of people and sometimes I wish I had more SUPER close mom friends but I know that in time I will find them or they will find me. I cannot FORCE it. If you force it like I said before it will feel wrong and fake and just not what you are hoping. Just because your good friend is close with someone else doens’t mean you have to TRY to force it to work. I have done that. Tried multiple times with the same friend with it only burning out in the end, STOP trying to force things. Give it time. Your mama friends will find you.
ONE thing to understand is you have to stop making excuses on why you can't hang out with people or make new friends. Your social life is important and the people in your life matters so take a step say hello and who knows you might just meet the "one."
i feel heartbroken when i think of who i can reach out to when i'm deeply struggling. no one.
my heart hurts. i'm not sure how much more i can take.
I suck at being a mom sometimes. I feel like I push them away and tell them to go away when I really just want a minute alone. Then I feel bad about it later.