When it comes to becoming a mom, the importance of having a village is a well-known concept. Having other mom friends who understand what you’re going through and can offer to listen can go a long way in relieving some of the stress that we feel as moms. If you don’t have these relationships in your life, you may feel more burned out or that you’re missing something by not having these moms to go to when things are going wrong.
Not having this support can be difficult and make you feel isolated. The pandemic has made things worse, too, because playdates aren’t quite what they used to be. We’ve had to adapt when it comes to getting together. Even though it’s become more work, making mom friends is still important in helping those who feel a bit isolated.
Mom friends are disappearing.
I had my first child before the pandemic started, and I worked to make mom friends and cultivate friendships. I found them through yoga classes and just by striking up a conversation at the library when we were there during a playgroup.
Once the pandemic hit, we were all staying home and, honestly, just avoiding each other. No one wanted their kids to get sick, so we did whatever we could to protect them. Even though things have slightly calmed down, the sickness seems to come and go in waves. Not seeing each other as often has pushed these friendships to the background.
Making mom friends is challenging simply because of the logistics involved. Your schedule may be sensitive and not line up well with other moms. Sometimes maybe you just aren’t up for it. The other problem with making a genuine connection is that the kids are the main focus. They are loud and constantly interrupting. This can make it hard to get to know someone new when you can’t even hear each other.
Not having mom friends is hard.
It can be really easy to feel alone or like your kids are the only ones doing crazy things. This can be stressful not to have an outlet to vent to or a friend who understands what you’re going through. Talking about things with someone who understands can relieve this stress.
The other thing you may worry about is that your kids aren’t getting enough socialization. When you have mom friends, it’s an outlet for you, but it can also be great for your kids to play with other kids. You may feel like you’re failing them by not providing them with more friends and interaction.
How to make new mom friends.
Look within your family.
You may often have other moms in your family that you can connect with. Reach out to siblings, cousins, or moms in your partner’s family. You already know these moms to a degree, so maybe it’s a good time to reconnect.
Reach out to old friends.
Maybe friends you’ve lost contact with have kids around the same age as yours. Since you have a previous connection, it can be easier to reach out to them than trying to make completely new friends.
Go to public kids’ events.
These events could be kid classes or library readings. Scheduled events can be great for planning your week and getting out of the house. Your kids may find others there to make friends with and help you connect with other moms.
Start a conversation.
You don’t need to rely on your kids to introduce you. Strike up a conversation with a mom at one of these events. Be the one to initiate and ask for contact information if the conversation goes well. You can always ask, and maybe you just found a new friend.
Join local mom Facebook groups.
Poke around Facebook and try to find a mom group for your area. These groups will often post local events, and you can connect with other moms through the group itself.
You can’t expect other people to take the initiative. If you want to get together with mom friends, be the one to take the first step.
Get together without the kids.
Building new friendships as an adult seems so much harder than when we were kids. If all you do is have playdates with the kids, connecting with the other mom can be hard. You’re both distracted and being interrupted by the kids. Plan a get-together without kids to be able to have a conversation.
While it can be hard not to have mom friends, it’s important to keep things in perspective. If you’re not ready to reach out, give yourself some time. Don’t put too much pressure on it. Stressing out about not having these friends could make things worse. When you’re ready to actively seek out friends and have the time to do so, go ahead. In the end, do what’s right for you and what you need.