It can be tough making mom friends once you are a mom, especially if you are a mom who does not have a workplace. In my case, I also do not belong to a church nor did I ever feel that I had the time to join a local mom’s playgroup in the early years of my marriage with little ones at home. It was hard enough to get them all dressed and ready to go play in the backyard, let alone have three (then four) kids ready to go meet up with other families (with snacks, waters, favorite toys, etc… in tow). When my oldest kids were still in those pre-school years, it was simply easier to plan outings as a single family unit and then hope to stir up some friendships when we arrived.
|My daughter and our “new” neighbor|
Making Mom Friends
It wasn’t easy though. While my kids seemed to socialize easily, I struggled. At the park, moms were usually so busy chasing their little ones or playing on their phones to chat. My oldest daughter did a ballet class and it seemed that all the moms in the “watching room” already knew each other — and had no desire to meet me (I did try a few times without much success). We took a junior sports class at the YMCA and none of the moms seemed very eager to meet or talk to each other. When I did take a stab at extending a friendship by asking a simple question about one mom’s little girl, she scooted away from me and told me that she thought she was coming down with a cold. At some point, I stopped trying. I decided I should just be content with the friends I did have who I could talk, email and text with from afar. It was better than nothing (and I love those friends!), and kept my ego in tact.
Something changed when my oldest son started preschool three years ago, though. I started making mom friends like crazy, and without much effort at all. This trend has continued and really gained momentum this past school year, when I had a child in 1st grade, Kindergarten and pre-K. The pool of mom friends to be made seemed to multiply, so much so that even if I had tried NOT to make friends, I may have failed.
Simply having school-age kids didn’t earn me any actual friendships of course but it did raise my opportunities to meet like-minded people. Some friends are ones I chat with only at drop-off and pick-up, and others I text with outside school hours. One mom friend who doesn’t even have kids in classes with mine and I have gone out to dinner twice simply because we hit it off outside the 1st grade classroom doors after school. Our neighbors who live caddy-corner to us (and have for the three years I’ve been here at least) finally became our friends when our daughters ended up in the same Kindergarten classroom. Now we have built-in friends nearby and my oldest daughter has a convenient playmate to invite over, no complicated play date planning needed.
Some of the teachers at the elementary school live in our neighborhood and we see them at our favorite local spots, or at the grocery store (the kids flip out when this happens!). After three consecutive years of kids at the same pre-K establishment, I finally sent a Facebook friend request to the lead teacher and it turns out we have a lot of shared interests, including television shows. There is a group of moms who I ask/bother/stalk whenever I need some help finding sources for my newspaper articles, and another group who I buy Etsy items from when I need a gift. There are dads too that I’ve befriended, at least in the pick-up/drop-off capacity, and the kids call one of the local police officers my “friend” who is often helping kids cross the street at the school, and waves and says hi to me by name.
So the lesson in all of this (for me) is to never stop trying to expand the circle of people who you know and care about — even if it seems the universe has decided you should just stick with the friends you already have. If you open yourself up to the possibility of making mom friends, the right friends will find you at the right time.
Let’s connect on social media too: