Do you want to know the secret to surviving motherhood? Mom friends. I have never felt as alone and confused as when I became a mom. Luckily there are mom friends to be found who understand because they live that mystifying life too. They will give you reassuring looks when your threenager has an emotional throw down after being told they can’t have a unicorn as a pet. They understand how babies leave you feeling so tired that you forget words. They also will have whatever snack your kid would rather eat than the one you brought. It doesn’t matter if you have giant M&M cookies and your friend has cold steamed broccoli. Your kid would rather eat someone else’s snack. Mom friends are essential for your sanity. Finding the right ones can be much like dating.
Location, Location, Location
Want to jump right in and show the world the real you? Try to find a new friend at the grocery store. If someone wants to be your friend after they see the temper tantrum your toddler throws when you won’t buy candy, your milk leaking when a random baby starts crying, and your preteen groaning and rolling their eyes whenever you speak, I’d say you’ve got yourself a life-long friend!
Too much, too soon? You can also find moms nearby through varies online sites (MOMs club, MOPS, Meetup, and other playdate websites), family type activities, and yes, of course, there’s an app for that!
What If I Say the Wrong Thing?
First of all, please don’t sell anything. You are making a friend, not a customer! I don’t know about you, but I would much rather spend my money getting drinks with a friend or going somewhere together with my kids than buying some expensive leggings, shake, oil, makeup or whatever product is “the thing” right now.
Compliment the other mom on something you like about the way she handled something. There is an overload of parenting information and it always feels good to be told you are doing something right! Mommy Wars are never fun so steer clear of hot topics until you get to know each other better.
Take advantage of opportunities to nurture new friendships.
I have seen so many cool moms that I wish I had taken a deep breath and taken the time to introduce myself. Maybe I’m a little introverted? That’s not such a bad thing. In my mind, I see our kids playing together and the two of us gossiping while drinking wine. If you make the mistake of not exchanging information, you still might have a potential chance to make it right. You can go to the same place and time and hope the two of you run into each other again. No promises, but I’ve had it happen.
Getting the Hookup
Your kids are getting along and laughing. The two of you have found some things you have in common. It’s time for the big question! You are now going to ask for her number. Too hard? A mommy card can help if asking for a number is too overwhelming. They have everyone’s names in your family and your number. I forget names all the time, so these can be very helpful.
When Can I See You Again?
Meeting a new friend can leave you with butterflies like when you had a great date. You find yourself smiling on the way back to your car excited about hanging out again. If you met your friend at a class, you will see them again at the same scheduled time. If you met them during a random time, text quickly with a new time to meet. You don’t need to play games and wait to text. A favorite moment of mine is always getting a text from a new friend reminding me of something funny or sweet that happened and saying they can’t wait to get together again.
Beware of the Booty Call
Beware of BOOTY friends (Bitchy, One-sided, Over-commits, Tactless, Yes-man). Having a friend should stimulate you, make you want to be better, and make your life easier. You deserve to have friends who are there when you need them and are honest. It’s hard enough getting out of the house with kids without wasting your time with people who stand you up. No one likes to be left with disappointed kids who had expected a playdate. There are plenty of friends to be had. You don’t need to settle. You are finding friends not just for yourself but for your family.
Could She be The ONE?
Just like meeting your significant other, sometimes you just KNOW that this friend is more special than the other moms. Finding a close mom friend can take some time. Inside jokes, shared experiences, and moments that make you laugh until you cry are worth the wait though. Unless, of course, you cement your friendship through a trial by fire. I met one of my favorite mom friends when I was a shaky uncertain mom with a newborn. A fellow mom during a group playdate criticized me for having a c-section and it ended with me holding back tears. After the playdate, before I even had driven home, I had a text from a different mom who was at the same playdate commending me on my mothering skills and to not listen to the mean mom. She told me not to give up the playgroup and that she couldn’t wait to hang out again. That mom is still one of my favorite mom friends and always will be.
Mom friends are crucial to survive this nonsensical thing called mommyhood. Your soon-to-be friends are out there searching for someone who understands bizarre life too. Happy hunting, mamas! I raise my sippy cup of wine and wish you luck!