But finding mom friends? Whoa nelly, that sh*t’s even harder.
Moms are busy. Moms are tired. And some moms just aren’t very nice anyway.
So how do you find mom friends who you can connect with and form genuine relationships with?
That is the question I’ve been tackling for the past two and a half years since having my first child. And now that I’m finding some real, beautiful, and strong women in my life, I want to share what I’ve learned. Because you know what? They don’t teach you this stuff in school. But they should. Because having mom friends who support you is everything. Having women to bounce ideas off without judgment, friends who you can tell your #parentingfail horror stories without worry, and friends who will laugh and cry with you through the hard and the ugly and the ridiculous. We need mom friends.
Here are five tips to get you started.
- Go to that cocktail party. I know you’re tired. I know the baby kept you up all night, and you have a headache and the laundry is beckoning you. But you never know who you’re going to meet. I met a dear friend at a gala dinner when my son was only a month old! My boobs were leaking, I could hardly fit in my dress… but it turned out she too had a new baby that was colicky. We bonded instantly and I was grateful to find such a good person in similar life circumstances. I promise you one thing — you’ll never make a friend watching Netflix at home alone in your PJs. And no, Kimmy Schmitt doesn’t count as a friend.
- Stalk your daycare. I found some awesome friends going to my kids’ daycare at lunch to breastfeed. First, our kids were the same age by default. Second, they were also trying to figure out the work-life balance, they understood how much pumping sucks, and we could commiserate on our low milk supply together.
- Try a moms group. I haven’t had as much luck with moms groups as I like, but I have other friends who swear by them. There are a lot of groups out there. Some are religious, some are for stay at home moms, and some are specifically for working moms and meet at night or on weekends. You can find them through Google, Meet Up, Facebook, or just word of mouth.
- Look for the smiling face on the playground. Some moms aren’t interested in making new friends. Maybe they’ve already found their tribe, or they’re just the aforementioned mean girls. And other moms are probably the nicest people in the world but they’re tired and just need to decompress while their kids play on the playground. You’ll spot them easily because they’re looking down at their phone or they’re not making eye contact. You need to look for the smiling faces. These are the women who make eye contact and look hungry for adult conversation. I met the nicest woman the other day just by spotting her smiling face at the swings.
- Reconnect with old friends. Remember your friends pre-kids? You’re probably still friends on Facebook but you got married and started having kids and your lives just went different directions. Try reconnecting with the ones who have kids similar in age to yours. You may think you have nothing in common with your hard-partying college roommate, but now that you both have toddlers, you might be surprised. I have several friends I completely lost touch with, and only noticed they had babies recently through Facebook. All of sudden, we are living through sleep deprivation, baby wearing, and the great Ergo vs. Baby Bjorn debate together!
Ultimately, it really all comes down to getting out of the house and taking the time. Which sounds easy, but is really freakin hard with kids. I know, and like most people I have days where I’m the hungry-eyes, smiling parent at the playground, and other days where I’m staring at my phone and just trying to get through the day. But every one of my mom friends was well worth the effort. Try these tips, and you’ll have your own mommy tribe in no time!