When I was a teenager, or even college, I could talk to anyone at anytime about anything. It was so easy. Somewhere along the way, I lost that ability completely and I am not sure how. I do know, however, that this is a common problem that moms face. Making mom friends can be a lot like dating at times. There are even apps for it now! So here are some things that have helped me.
Common Parenting Styles
You don’t have to agree 100% on every aspect of parenting. But it helps if your styles are somewhat similar. For example, the “strictly-organic” mom and the “junk is a food group” mom might have a hard time deciding on a place to grab lunch together. Just like the “go with the flow” mom may have a hard time getting together with the “schedule” mom because “schedule” mom likes to have a plan in advance and “go with the flow” mom may want to get together last minute. Sometimes these things can be worked around easily. Sometimes not so much. There is no right or wrong decision, just differences that may cause obstacles for mom friends.
Whether its wine and Netflix, or a good book, or knitting and crocheting, all moms have something that interests them. Everyone has a way they’d like to spend their free time (should they ever get any). These things make for great conversation topics, or even ways to bond with other moms. Example: “Super Fit” mom probably isn’t going to want to sit on my couch with me and binge watch an entire season of Gilmore Girls, while eating an obscene amount of chips and cookies. Understandable. If your passion is working out, you probably don’t want to sit around with someone who hasn’t exercised in any capacity since high school. More power to the motivated moms out there, but I just cant get excited about it. The only way my heart rate gets above resting is during The Walking Dead.
Kids of Similar Ages
Your child doesn’t need to be the exact age as mine, but probably your 10 year old doesn’t want to sit around watching Daniel Tiger and playing firetrucks all day with my 3 year old. And that is ok. We can still be mom friends. However, since my toddler is with me 24/7, it might make it hard for us to get together.
Similar Sense of Humor
To me, this is hugely important. I love to laugh and to make people laugh. I like to be loud and ridiculous at times. Often, I like to exaggerate for effect. I don’t want to have to worry about offending someone I am friends with. A real life example: I made a joke one time about selling my toddler on eBay. Clearly joking. This kid is my entire world and anyone who has been anywhere near me since his birth would say that fact is blatantly obvious.
However, this person was very offended. To the point that we are no longer friends. I need someone who can laugh with me and understand that parenting isn’t all roses and sunshine. On the days that it isn’t, I need the kind of mom friends who will smile and say to me, “You should sell him on Etsy since you made him yourself.”
Put Yourself Out There
This is a big one, and probably the hardest for me. My confidence just isn’t what it used to be. I get anxiety doing new things, and going new places. I get super nervous around other moms. This has been my mountain to climb. I’m still not great at it. Though I keep trying. I force myself to make small talk with other moms at the park or play groups. Often, I take my son to new places and try new things.
I even started a Facebook group dedicated to helping Michigan moms find mom friends. That was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. But I am so glad that I did it. I met my mom BFF, Ramona, through the group. She is the sweetest kindest person I think I have ever met. She is super supportive and helpful. Are kids have a couple years age difference, but they play well together. We found that we are both crafty (her more-so than me) and enjoy a lot of similar activities. Another bonus is that it turns out our husbands get along beautifully. So whenever I get discouraged, I think of how putting myself out there has given me this amazing friendship, and so many more.
Use Available Resources
As I mentioned earlier, there are tons of other moms going through this experience too. You can find groups through local schools, churches, or even hospitals. At least one of my local hospitals will set you up with parents of kids born the same year. There are apps available for your phone too. There is one called “Meetup” that shows you local meet-up groups in your area. Its not limited to parenting or moms. You can find groups for many things through this resource.
Another app I have come across is called “Peanut” and this one is specifically for moms. Its set up similar to Tinder, where it will show you photos and info on moms in your area, and you swipe either up or down if you’d maybe like to get to know them. Facebook groups are great for this too.
Try not to get discouraged. I am convinced we all have at least one mom soulmate out there. I try to avoid negativity and surround myself with people similar enough that we will get along, and different enough to push me to grow and try new things.