You have heard the saying before, “Making mom friends is like dating.”
Legit. It totally is and I’m a very awkward flirter.
The moment you are thrown into the world of momlife, everything changes. Different moms experience it in different ways, but socialization with other moms is a whole new ballgame. Boobs are out, poop stains are the newest fashion trend and licking your finger to wipe that “chocolate” off your child’s face is a completely acceptable cleaning method. You have the moms who tend to “hide” behind their kids as they are so used to them being around. And then you have the moms who seem to not even notice their kid screaming right next to them because they are so used to them being around. We all handle it differently, but let’s be realistic that it’s just a tad bit harder to continue building current relationships and even more so, make new friends, once you begin mommin.’
I remember the day, crystal clear. I was leaving my moms’ group in my freakin’ awesome minivan with all five kids in tow. There was crusty food, wrappers and an abundance of random toys scattered across the van floor as I pulled up to the stoplight. I heard honking next to me and looked over to see one of the other moms from my group next to me at the light. I rolled down my window and she held up her phone and said, “We should be friends! Give me your number!” And that was the day I realized it didn’t have to be so hard. And the lovely lady who took that bold move is a cherished friend even to this day.
And with that, I give you 5 tactics to making mom friends.
- BOLD BURST: Be like my dear friend, Kaylene. When you feel the unction to reach out to someone, just be the DO-ER and DO IT. Ask them for their number. Be completely transparent and tell them exactly how you feel. Sure, it might make be a little uncomfortable. OR… it could be the beginning of a forever friendship. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1-it. The tactic goes, when you think of something you really want to do, your brain rejects it within seconds. You quickly come up with all the reasons NOT to take the leap. So count down from 5, and then just do it. Nike style. You won’t regret it. I once met a women at my church and thought she was just darling. My top love language is gift-giving/receiving and I came home that day and felt compelled to create a little gift package for her. My husband was so concerned, “You’re giving a gift to someone you JUST met? Isn’t that a little weird?” Yep… it totally is. But I’m a ‘go big or go home’ kinda gal and I just went for it. She may have thought I was a total weirdo, but I went for BOLD and maybe it impacted her in some sort of way, even if it’s down the road. When you meet someone you just click with, be the weirdo and make a memorable move to create a lasting friendship.
- SUBTLE STRATEGY: If you are more on the reserved side, capitalize on your personality traits. Be authentically you, and slowly and strategically invest into that fellow mama you’ve had your eye on. Make small talk at the park, “like” her posts on Facebook, make the effort to converse with her at events. And when you slowly build up the courage, ask her to plan some time for a coffee date. It’s okay to work your way up to that trust and comfort level. Friendship grows through time and effort and shared experiences. If slow and subtle is your jam, slow dance away!
- MS. CREEPER McCREEPERSON: Just Facebook stalk the crap out of her and “show up” at the same place she checked in at and throw out the casual, “Oh, what are the chances we would be both be here at the exact time on the exact day at the exact location?!” Play it cool and capitalize on this “serendipitous” moment. I don’t necessarily recommend this method, but… if you’re in a pickle and the occasion arises…
- PLAYDATE PANDEMONIUM: Schedule weekly playdates with you, your kids, the women you want to know and their kids. It might be complete chaos. You may say “hi” and sneak in a few words before the “bye, see you next week,” but after about 57 of these playdates, you may just have become friends in the process. Good luck!
- ORGANIC GROWTH: Just relax. Share your life. Take interest in others. Schedule playdates, ladies night, one-on-one coffee dates and get to know the women you want to be friends with in numerous different settings so you learn different sides of them. Slip them a piece of paper that says, “Want to be friends? Check yes or no.” Go with your gut on the times to be bold and in the moments to just chill. Show that you care and be kind. Don’t be clingy, but don’t stand in the corner waiting for them. We NEED each other. Us mamas need other mama friends. So, let’s stop pretending we can go this alone and instead, build community.
We are on this journey together. We have super tough days dealing with crying babies, huge work loads, endless laundry and drool dripping from our faces (because mama’s skin is the ultimate chew toy.) Let’s get real and raw and realize that we all desire friendship and other ADULT HUMAN interaction. And let’s go get it!
Whatever approach you take, be confident in it. Be you and also, go out of your comfort zone. I will never forget the moment my friend pulled up to me in her car and asked to be friends. It was a moment forever engrained in my mind and a neat story we get to tell. So, be bold, be authentic and go make yourself some mama friends!