What girl doesn’t need a good girlfriend? As you get older and have kids, you may find that your friends who don’t have children seem more distant or aren’t understanding of your schedule. Sometimes, you just don’t have that much in common anymore. That’s when you need mom friends. Where’s the guide on how to make mom friends? They have books for every stage of your kid’s development from birth until they’re 20 and living in your basement, and they can’t make a simple guidebook for making mom friends? Come on!
It’s especially difficult for those of us who are introverts and shy moms. Where do you find mom friends? Who makes the first move? What if you’re rejected? What if the other moms think I’m annoying?!
Here’s some practical advice from a not-so-social mom on making friends.
How to Make Mom Friends: Tips From an Introvert
If making friends is difficult for you, I want you to know that I hear you. I really do. I’m an introvert who’s quite content with silence and being alone most of the time. And when it comes to friends, I had a small handful of friends that I made in elementary/middle/high school and college, and that was enough for me, thank you very much.
Until it wasn’t.
I worked outside the home even after our son was born until he was about 16 months old. Then, I became a work at home mom, and between taking care of him, working, cooking and trying to keep the house somewhat tidy, my day was full. I didn’t bother making mom friends because my day was full enough as it is.
But, as the kiddo grew and was less of a handful, I noticed that I felt pretty lonely in this house with only a preschooler to keep me company. (Okay, and my husband, too, when he’s not working.) That’s when I knew I had to learn how to make mom friends, for my own sanity.
My childless friends didn’t understand mom guilt. My friends with older kids no longer wanted to commiserate over potty training struggles.
It was slow going at first. They were more like mom ‘acquaintances’ in my son’s first year of preschool. I felt somewhat left out of the mom friend circle because we’re not from this town, and it seemed like everyone else already knew each other.
During his second year, I made my first real mom friend. Our boys got along great, and she was really down-to-earth and friendly. We even did a playdate in the park one day after Lego club! Unfortunately for me (though fortunately for her), she went back to work, her son went to a different school for kindergarten, and I was back to square one for the school year.
The best thing we did was put our son in sports. That gave us time with parents outside of the quick hi/bye during pickup or the small chit-chat during school functions. With that said, here are some practical tips on how to make mom friends.
Get Out of the House
Instead of staying at home with the kids, get out there. Go to the park, visit the library for story time, etc. Go where you think moms would hang out in your area. The more chances you have to meet people, the better.
It can be scary at first, but it can lead to new friendships. If you’re new to a neighborhood, go around an introduce yourself to your neighbors. Making friends that live nearby can be great for your kids as well.
If going out really isn’t your thing, take heart. You will learn how to make mom friends when your kids start school or sports.
I made my first mom friend while my son was in preschool and made a few more as he went through kindergarten and started sports. Soccer and baseball moms are the best, you guys, as long as you don’t pair up with the crazy ones who take little league and youth soccer way too seriously.
Make the First Move
Sit down next to another mom at the park and strike up a conversation. You might even talk to the mom who is picking out produce next to you at the grocery store.
The more mothers you speak to, the better chance you have of meeting someone who shares the same interests. If you’re stumped for conversation topics, you can always start with the kids, the school, activities, etc.
However, if you’re like me and need to get comfortable with someone before you have lots of in-person talking, use Facebook messenger, or send another mom a text. Ask a question about upcoming activities… thank her for the cute pic she snapped of your kid or the amazing snack she sent to school. That makes conversation easier when you see her in person.
Join Facebook Groups
You’ll be amazed at how many moms you can meet through Facebook groups… or so my friends in larger areas tell me. It’s not really a thing in our rural area, but if you’re in a metro area, you’ll have a lot more luck. Try searching for groups that match your lifestyle. For example, if you homeschool, join local homeschool groups.
Even if you make mom friends that are in another state, it can be good to have someone to talk to that is going through the same things you are. Online mom friends are valuable, too!
Get Contact Information
If you meet someone who seems interesting, ask for their contact information. If you’re meeting people in person, ask to connect on Facebook. This can be better than asking for a phone number. If you become better friends, you can then trade phone numbers.
Plan a Playdate
A great way to spend more time with people and see if you get along is to plan a playdate for your children. This will give you time to talk and get to know one another. This also gives your children the chance to make new friends. Or in my case, our kids already knew each other from school.
I prefer to plan playdates in a public place rather than a home — at least at first. It’s easier to keep an eye on the kids that way, and watching kids play in the park or pool gives you something to talk about if you don’t know the other moms well yet.
Keep Trying to Learn How to Make Mom Friends
Not everyone you meet is going to become a great friend. Some will be moms that you’re just friendly with, but you won’t hang out with them outside of school functions. That’s okay! Don’t let that stop you. Keep trying, and you’ll eventually find a mom or two that you click with.
It can be difficult to make new friends. However, having a friend that’s also a mom can make all the difference. Other moms are ones that you can share stories with and they’ll actually understand the joys, heartache, and every other emotion you’ll experience as a mom. Take the time and put in the effort to learn how to make mom friends. It’s well worth it. I love my mom friends!