One thing that surprises me over and over again as an adult is the number of times I have to make new friends. I just didn’t expect it to come up this often! But with moves, and circles of friends changing, and new friends moving away, and just the natural ebb and flow of life, I find I have to use my friend-making skills pretty regularly.
One part of life that makes friendship more of a challenge is parenting. Making good girl friends is often much harder as a mom. Just finding the time to interact with other people in a casual way can seem insurmountable.
But moms need friends just as much as anyone else, so it’s important to keep finding friends despite the difficulties involved. One way to approach the challenge is to treat finding mom friends like dating, by using some tips you may have picked up when you were single. Why not apply these dating strategies to building new friendships?
1Try short and sweet first dates
Invite a mom you don’t know to grab coffee or tea. Get to know each other (not just about each other’s kids). Talk for about an hour, then go home. That way it’s not overwhelming for either of you and you’re not locked into a long conversation with no end in sight.
Go on friend dates where you do something together. Take a walk, go bowling, go ax throwing. Find a mom who can be your workout accountability partner and plan a workout together once a week. It’s often easier to get to know someone when you can do an activity with them.
3Set up group dates
Get a few moms together for a group event. Whether that looks like going out for drinks and dessert, or having a craft night at someone’s house, this allows you to get to know different women in a relaxed and kid-free setting. When setting up an event like this, try to find a dad who’s willing to care for more than just his kids, so that any mom in the group who needs help with childcare is still able to come.
4Use technology to befriend high risk or quarantined moms
Are you or a mom you know lying low due to Covid-19? Don’t let that stop you from getting to know each other. Try connecting on Facebook messenger, the video message app Marco Polo, texting, or really anything that allows you to send little messages or pictures to keep in touch. That’s the benefit to mom relationships; you can ease into friendships by bonding over your kids. Sending a little update and check-in and getting a reply might just become a lifeline while isolated.
5Incrementally increase how much you share
Just as in dating, it may not be prudent to share all of the hard parts of your life up front. However, you have to start building trust and being vulnerable at some point. Be willing to share the more difficult parts of your life slowly but surely, and when you do, avoid gossiping about other people. You don’t need to tear down someone else in order to cement a friendship.
Having a support system is vital when it comes to your sanity. Put in the effort it takes to pursue friendship with other moms. You and everyone around you will benefit when you have women who support you. St. Gianna Beretta Molla, a busy mom who is now a saint, pray for us!
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