There's no question that mommy hood is hard! I've heard it a million times, making mom friends is by far one of the most difficult things about mommy hood. Mothers are, on one hand, needing quality and fulfilling relationships with adults who speak actual words, and on the other, are completely and overwhelmingly exhausted from this thing called raising children. Its a catch 22 and today I want to give you some ideas of how to be a better mom friend.
-Get out of your comfort zone: You are the only person in charge of you. It's both freeing and terrifying! If you want mom friends, it is up to you to make some mom friends. Going to events that make you uncomfortable, engaging in mom groups and saying hello to the mom on the playground are all amazing ways to start! Getting out of our comfort zone is one of the single hardest things about being an adult but it can produce results that are so fulfilling. If there's any one piece of advise that I give to moms, it's this. Take control of you and slap a smile on your face. Mom friends, here we come!
-Choose to be kind: You will come in contact with people who you may think, "I don't know if they are the right friend for me." or, "There's no way they would want to be friends with me." How do you know? What has made you decide that? How do you change that way of thinking so that the question becomes, "How can I make all of these people my friend?" The answer to that question? Smile, engage, listen. People want to tell you their story, they want to feel connected to you in some way. This is simply how the majority of people function, we thrive on connection. So whenever you've gotten out of your comfort zone by striking up a conversation, or you see a mom all alone at the park, choose kindness and I can guarantee your chances of making a friend will go up about a million%.
-Be non-judgmental way: Women thrive on connection. We thrive on relationships with people that have things in common with us. People with similar belief systems, parenting ideals and ways of life make it easy for us to connect and engage. Interestingly enough, my best and most encouraging relationships are with people who I have very little, if anything, in common with. When you choose these people to interact with, you choose conversation and growth. You may have completely different ways of living but when kindness and being non-judmental are incorporated into a blossoming friendship, there's an understanding and embracing of connection. These relationships allow us to open our minds and be better people and I highly encourage them!
-Strike up a conversation: If you want to be a better mom friend, it's time to take the lead!
The majority of people in the United States will not strike up a conversation with you. They will not open their arms and welcome you into their friend group and they will not call you up to hang out on a Saturday night.
These things make people extremely uncomfortable because they are new and unpracticed. In the beginning stages of these relationships, a good mom friend takes the lead. They ask the questions and call for a girls night. It can be a lot of hard work but the end result is almost always a wonderful experience.
-Welcome the stragglers: I have moved between 15-20 times in my life. I have uprooted my life and started anew in a place that is unfamiliar. I have endured being the straggler for the majority of my life and I can say with certainty that it is exhausting! The chances that I have been immediately included and welcomed in these new places are slim to none and It's hard. It's hard being the new mom at the park and the new mom in the community. I highly encourage established friendships to open their arms and invite the new girl. Send her a message and invite her to your book club. Call her up when you are bored and your kids need to play and you need to chat. Send her a text when you're headed to the park. These will not only help new relationships thrive, they will help the newbie feel more comfortable and more welcomed in their new community.
Above all else, don't give up. Don't brush off todays awkward encounter for a life of awkward encounters and stop putting yourself out there. Open the door to good mom relationships by being a good mom friend. I can guarantee your life will feel more fulfilled and you will be a better person for it!