The 5 Commandments of Making Mom Friends
Are you the first of your clique to have a child? Is everyone shacking up rather than settling down? Do your friends cringe or tune you out – or worse, pass out the moment you mention “baby”? Rather than feeling alienated, set out and make some new friends. We’re talking MOM friends.
When lifestyles clash and it’s hard to relate, you’re not doing yourself any favors by limiting yourself to the old gang. Having a great support system that understands your new phase in life is crucial. Whether it’s for help, advice, or simply to hang out and have fun, it’s important to surround yourself with people that get you.
Follow these 5 Mom-Friend-Making Commandments, and you’re on your way to building a posse of happy, fun, and cool ladies (with babies!):
Thou Shall Give Thy Phone Number with Conviction
Some people are just social butterflies. But for those who need a little push, here’s a tip: Don’t be so intimidated! Mothers are understanding. Chances are, they’ve been in your shoes before.
If you strike up a conversation with someone at the park, Gymboree class, or supermarket, and they seem like your perfect, non-romantic soulmate, don’t just let them go! The stars have aligned, so make sure to exchange contact info.
Scared of getting rejected? Give them your phone number, and ask them to give you call when they feel like chatting or hanging out. 99.9% of the time, you’ll have their number by the time you walk away. If you don’t, or they never call back, it’s not you… it’s their busy schedule.
Thou Shall Seek out Mothers From All Walks of Life
Sure, it’s important to find people that have a ton of things in common with you. In fact, that’s probably how you met your own friends— you frequent the same places, share the same interests, and live the same lifestyles.
But you know what’s even more awesome? Having a diverse group of friends with different hobbies, passions, cultures, and parenting styles. Remember feeling alienated by your non-mom friends? Well, having a horde of Stepford Wives isn’t going to help you out, either. You’re not a one-dimensional mother. As your child grows and learns, so will you. When your support system is diverse and flexible, you’ll find out which parenting system works for you, and you’ll never feel like what you’re doing is wrong… just different!
Besides, all that diversity means triple the fun! You’ll be invited to cool events and visit new places. 10X more holidays! You’ll broaden your child’s horizons and teach them to respect – and even embrace! – the different and unconventional.
Don’t just stop with varying interests and cultures. Make friends with older (and newer!) moms. Experienced mothers are indispensable friends— you’ll be going to them all the time for advice as you raise your little one. Don’t knock new moms either. They can offer a fresh perspective. Besides, they say the best way to learn is to teach, so be generous with imparting your wisdom (when asked!) and offer a ton of encouragement.
Thou Shall Maintain a Judge-Free Zone
No parent is perfect. You will make countless mistakes—some minimal, some colossal. You know what’s not helpful? Having someone point them out to you, as if you’re just so clueless. Don’t be that mom friend. The bane of every mother’s existence is unsolicited advice.
As previously mentioned, there are many parenting styles. No single way to parent is the best. What works for you may not work for the next person. Unless specifically asked for advice, don’t offer any! Mothers seek comfort, solace, and unwavering support in their group of friends. It’s hard enough that society puts a lot of pressure on moms, but to hear it from your own kind is just disheartening.
Lend an ear, even a shoulder. Be an excellent and genuine listener. Your friends will do the same for you when it’s your turn to spill.
Thou Shall Make Consistent Plans
Being busy with baby and feeling lonely aren’t mutually exclusive. In fact, they go hand in hand. It’s the daily grind that takes its toll on you. Even when you feel swamped by your daily schedule, make time for your friends. It will be just what the doctor ordered: a weekly/bi weekly/monthly refresher that serves as a reset button.
Hanging out doesn’t have to be such grand affairs. Keep it simple, but make it consistent. Maybe go for a jog with the strollers every other morning. Go on a weekly park date. Have a fancy adult-only dinner once a month (and let the dads babysit!) Whatever it is, it will be something you’ll look forward to—something for you, when everything seems to be about baby lately.
Even when you don’t really feel like hanging out, force yourself to! In fact, when you’re feeling stuck or uninspired is when you probably need to get out the most. Go! You’ll thank yourself later.
Thou Shall Be an Open, Welcoming Mom Friend
Making new friends for the first time in years was probably scary and intimidating for you. So when you see a nice, nervous mom possibly hinting at being friends, be warm and inviting. Rather than waiting for them to execute Commandment #1, you make the first move! It will take the pressure off them, and you two can get a head start on a wonderful, new friendship!
What are your tips when making new mom friends? Share your experiences with us in the comments below!Tags : relationships motherhood