Making "mom friends" after you become a mother yourself isn't easy for everyone. Sure, there are some of you who gave birth into a circle of welcoming mom arms, but for the rest of us, it can be tricky. And incredibly lonely.
I recently moved to a new town where I know approximately zero people, and I've gotta be honest: I'm desperate for some company for myself, and some playmates for my daughter. I can be kind of shy, so I'm not one of those people who makes friends anywhere and everywhere they go. But in an effort to change that, I've gone well outside my comfort zone -- which, full disclosure, doesn't stretch much farther than my front lawn. I haven't bought a best friend charm just yet, but I think I'm making progress.
Here are 6 ways to make mom friends. (You can do it!)
1. Join MeetUp. This was one of the first things I did after settling into my new home. For those of you who are unfamiliar with MeetUp, it's a massive network of different people in different areas. Naturally, there are many "mom groups" on there that suit various tastes (IE, some of the groups I've come across have been "Hip Mama", "Working Moms", and "New Moms"). I joined a few groups recently, and everyone seems to be very welcoming and understanding, being that they, too, are after the same thing.
2. Go to a class -- with or without your kids. Going to a mommy and me class is guaranteed way to meet other women who have children. It would be weird if they were there without kids. But taking a class at your gym or your yoga studio is another way to make friends. Strike up a conversation with that woman you've spotted numerous times and see if she, too, has kids. If she does, great. If not, you at least found a friend for yourself.
3. Go to the park -- and put yourself out there. This is perhaps the hardest one for me. My daughter and I go to the park almost every day, and without fail, there are always groups of moms chatting in clusters while they watch their kids play. It may be the world's most uncomfortable thing, but walking over and saying hi usually is an easy way to make friends. No, I haven't done this myself yet (I'm summoning the courage!), but I've always found that people are much nicer when you talk to them than when you observe them from afar.
4. Go to family-friendly places on the weekends. It doesn't need to be just you and your child in order to make friends. A lot of the time when my husband, daughter, and I are someplace where a lot of families are over the weekend -- the zoo, the pool, a street fair -- we've organically struck up conversations with other families. We've never actually made a move to take things a step further, but it certainly wouldn't seem out of left field if we asked.
5. Expand your definition of "friends". Don't go out looking for your BFF, because odds are you're not going to find her. Look for pleasant people who you have things in common with. If you're looking for a person who ticks every one of your friendship boxes, you aren't going to find anyone. And on the flip side, someone who starts out as a casual friend could turn into a lifelong friend.
6. Don't fear rejection. This isn't grade school. If you try to be friends with someone and they act like they want nothing to do with you, you're not going to get laughed out of the lunch room. Yeah, your ego may be a little bruised, but think about it: Would you want to be friends with someone who didn't want to be friends with you? No way! You're awesome.
How did you make friends?
Image via mjmonty/Flickr