In my grand expectations of motherhood, I pictured playdates with all my mom friends. Maybe having tea, or coffee while our kids played (quietly, ha!) together. I imagined all my friends with similar aged children. I imagined bonding over our children and gossip. How great would that be?
In the last 8 months, I’ve realized my generation is much different than the ones that came before us. Couples are putting off marriage and having children even later. Where are all these mom friends? Finding them is much harder than I imagined. The truth is, we had children earlier than many of our friends. We’re also a military family that just relocated across the country. What few mom pals I had are now 2,000 miles away.
Making friends is hard, for everyone.
Is this just a mom problem? Every mother’s group, mom’s blog and parenting group seem to claim the same problem… where are all my mom friends? I wish I could find more mom friends. Why is making mom friends so hard? If we’re all looking, why is it we can’t find each other?
After being cooped up in the house for the first couple months, you start to wonder how do I make friends with other moms? Where do I meet them? Target? The park? Church? Eventually you start to wonder, how on Earth did I make friends before?
The truth is, making friends as an adult is just harder. Friendships now are more about quality over quantity. And that’s okay. With kids, you only have so much time to spare! Being a mom is hard enough without having to worry if your “friends” care that you have spit up in your hair, or have on mismatched socks? The older we get, the less that surface-y stuff matters.
It will feel like dating.
It takes a lot of courage to put on your real pants, get out of the house and introduce yourself (and your kids) to a stranger… let alone give them your number! Like in dating, sometimes you just don’t click. Your kid is annoying, their kid is annoying, your kid had a meltdown, you had a meltdown, etc.
You’re going to judge. They’re going to judge. It’s human nature. You’ll find yourself questioning everything. Does she like me? Are our personalities connecting? Do we have the same taste in food? Is it weird to ask for her number? Do I wait a couple days to text her? Even though you’re not really dating, it’s going to feel awkward. Especially if you’re out of practice and you’ll quickly remember what it’s like to put yourself out there.
It gets easier.
Your kids might not get along. You might not be pals right off the bat. I mean, making friends when you’re trying to breastfeed and pump will probably be hard. But just put on your big girl pants, brush your hair, and get out there! After a while, putting yourself out there gets easier. The awkwardness fades and you realize that sometimes, all you need is a “me too!” moment to open the door to a new friendship.
If you’re a stay-at-home-mom like me and you spend all day hanging out with your kids, it eventually gets boring and lonely for all of you. Finding another person who connects with you, and understands what you’re going through is will get you through motherhood.
We’re all trying to survive this parenting journey, it helps if you’ve got a couple of friends to walk along side.