As a new mom, it can seem tough to make friends with other moms. This is especially true if none of your friends have kids or if you’ve recently moved to a new city. You may go to story times or to the park or to other places where moms gather and and feel like everyone knows everyone except you. (If you’re not going to these places, and you desire to have friends, these are good places to start!)
The first step to making mom friends or any friends as an adult is to believe you can.
This may seem mega obvious, but I am floored by how many people approach daily life with the mindset that they can’t make friends because no one wants to be friends with them.
Look up the definition of “blanket statement”, then look up the definition of “self-defeating mindsets” then stop telling yourself that.
According to a quick Google search of my own, there are 7.5 BILLION people in the world. You can make friends with at least one person.
You are not the last woman on Earth living on a deserted island with just you and your infant. If you interact with any humans ever, you can make one of those humans your friend.
The second step in making a friend is another obvious one: be friendly.
My mom always says, “if you want to have friends, be friendly.” (It’s also a scripture in Proverbs: A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly.)
This doesn’t mean blurting out your deepest darkest secret to the nearest mom at the trampoline park. Being friendly simply means being kind and pleasant. You can (and probably should) be kind and pleasant to almost everyone.
The third step is to realize that you could potentially make a friend with anyone.
Don’t box yourself out of your next great friend based on surface differences. You can be friends with someone who, on the surface, seems completely different than you. She has a son, you have a daughter. She is on her fifth kid, you’re on your first. She is white, you’re black. She is single, you’re married. She works full time, you stay at home. We would all love to meet someone who is just like us, but that’s not realistic. It’s okay to have a few differences. You could still be friends!
The previous step leads into this one: be willing to put in the work.
It’s so easy to say “I don’t fit in. I’m so lonely. No moms want to be friends with me.” It’s much more difficult to do the work required as an adult to make a friend. And it can be work!
It’s work to introduce yourself to a mom, to suggest you exchange phone numbers (or IG handles), to reach out to set up playdates, to get up and actually go on playdates when you don’t feel like it.
If you’re feeling “friendless”, ask yourself what’s the last “friendly” thing I’ve done? When is the last time I’ve reached out to someone? Or messaged a local mom to hang out? Or showed up at a playground or story time and struck up a convo with a complete stranger?
Setting up a playdate is not that difficult if you do it correctly. Saying “we should get together sometime” is vague, noncommittal, and unlikely to ever happen. If you really are interested in hanging out with this person, an easy way to set up a playdate is to say: I’m going to be at (THIS PLACE) at (THIS TIME) if you want to come!
And if she can’t come, then another time, suggest somewhere else. Or say “Okay, let me know what you’re up to this week!”
If the mom can’t meet up, don’t automatically assume it’s because she has no interest in being friends with you (see step one!). Maybe 10am on Tuesdays don’t work because her son has speech therapy and she doesn’t know you well enough to want to go into all of that detail. Perhaps she would like to meet up on Friday instead.
If your efforts toward one mom don’t pan out – or if you hang out and decide you truly do not want to be friends with this person, then try someone else. And if it does work out, keep reaching out! Keep setting up times to hang out.
Whatever you do, don’t just retreat into a life of loneliness.
YES it’s hard. YES you won’t click with everyone. YES some relationships seem to be nothing more than “surface” “meaningless chit-chat” but if realize that if you’re willing to do the work, then know that there is a better chance to make at least one real friend eventually.
It’s also important for us to realize that friendships as adults may not look the same as friendships as kids. Your BFF as a kid was probably someone you were with all the time. You liked all of the same things. Could talk for hours about a variety of topics. You probably lived in the same neighborhood and had near identical family situations.
As an adult, however, you might a “best” friend split up into ten different people. You may have a friend with a kid your age, and a friend with no kids who is always up for a night out, and a friend who you run with, and a friend who you see at church, and a friend who you commiserate with at work, and a friend whose husband is friends with your husband, and a friend who always comments encouraging things on your FB posts.
It’s okay to not have one inseparable friend. It’s okay to go through seasons where some close friends become distant and distant friends become closer.
If you’re feeling lonely, know that feeling doesn’t have to be permanent. You are worthy of friends. You deserve to receive text messages inviting you to hang out. You can meet people whom you click with. You can start a lifelong friendship with someone you meet TODAY. Making mom friends is possible! You can do it!