Sometimes it can feel like forming a new adult friendship is impossible. It can feel even more impossible when you as a mom. It is easy to feel isolated and disconnected from the friends you had before becoming a mom when they do not also have kids. It can also be difficult to find new mom friends. Everyone has their own things going on and is busy taking care of their families. Plus, it can be hard breaking into already formed friend groups even as an adult. It is a constant struggle to find and stay connected to friends as a mom, but it is not impossible to find adult friendship and a supportive mom friend group.
The Struggle is Real
Becoming a mom is one of the most amazing and most life-altering things that you can do. Holding that tiny baby for the first time is so emotional. You get home from the hospital and want to show off that little bundle of joy to everyone you know, but you may have noticed that during your pregnancy some of your childless friends started to disappear a little. If not, once you and baby are home and you are dealing with nap times and feeding schedules and sleep deprivation, you might realize one day that you have not seen many of those friends much during the last few months.
Sometimes that distance is because who has time to nurture an adult friendship when you have not had time to take a shower in three days? So even when friends reach out, you may not have had the time to get back to them let alone hang out with them.
Other times, those childless friends, having the best intentions, give you space thinking that is what you need. Then they go about their lives and sooner than you realize, you have not talked to or heard from them in months. Now the struggle starts. Maintaining an adult friendship can already seem difficult without having a newborn who depends on you to survive. How do you reconnect with these friends you once regularly socialized with but who have suddenly become like strangers?
Where the Heck Do You Start an Adult Friendship?
It can feel impossible to form an adult friendship. This may feel especially true when you have your first baby if you do not already have friends who are moms. First of all, where are adults supposed to find friends? It is not like when you were a kid and could just best friend the kid next to you in class or the girl with the awesome braids in her hair that you always see on the playground at recess. But why can it not be that easy?
The reason we maintain an adult friendship with certain people is because we have things in common with them. Because of that, you would think that finding moms to form an adult friendship with would be easy since all moms have at least one thing in common – unconditionally loving their children more than anything in the world. The problem though is that everyone has their own parenting style, personality, and interests besides being a mom and those other things can get in the way of cultivating a meaningful and real adult friendship with another mom.
So what is the trick? As cliche as it might sound, you just have to find your mom tribe. It may take some trial and error and you may try to form an adult friendship or two with some moms that do not pan out, but you will never know unless you try.
If you do not have many mom friends, start by checking out some of the local programs for moms and little ones in your area like ones often offered by public libraries for instance. Consider signing up for some of those mommy and me types of classes like baby yoga, music, or gym classes and strike up a conversation with the moms you see regularly. Chances are they are also looking to strike up an adult friendship with another mom (especially a cool one like you!).
If you are the extroverted type who likes to talk to new people and does not mind joining a group that is already formed, consider taking your little one to a mom’s group to meet some new moms. Check out Facebook, Nextdoor, or Meetup for groups of moms who get together in your area.
Wherever you decide to venture out, once you have been a few times and notice another mom or two who also frequents class, strike up a conversation and maybe see if she (or they) wants to meet up at a local park or greenway for a walk one day. You have to be bold if you want to strike up an adult friendship – just like when you would run up to some random kid on the playground and ask them to join your group for a game of tag.
Get Those Digits!
Once you have struck up a conversation with a potential mom friend, go ahead and get her contact information. Do not wait until next time! For some people, it may feel strange to swap numbers with a random mom you just met at the park or at a baby yoga class but if you start chatting on the way to the car and you feel like there is a good vibe going, do not walk away without swapping numbers. Take your shot, mama! If you do not go ahead and swap contact information when you have the chance the first time, you may miss the chance and the opportunity to form that adult friendship may pass.
Next, you have to go ahead and text her. Send a quick text later that day or the next and say how it was nice to meet/talk to them and add a reference to something funny that you talked about or how cute her baby was. You are just looking to start a conversation here, so do not overthink it or make a big deal out of it. Go ahead and do it soon after swapping information rather than putting it off for a week so the meeting is fresh in both of your minds.
Make an Effort, Even When it is Difficult
The trick is to actually get together and forge an actual adult friendship. Suggest that walk or meet at a playground one afternoon. If that goes well, suggest a regular or semiregular meet-up like that. Some weekly fresh air and a walk around the park would surely do both of you and your little ones some good. Once you feel good about this relationship as an adult friendship and you start suggesting meet-ups for coffee or you invite them to your house for a playdate, you officially have a new mom friend!
Keep in mind though that it is okay if you are running late sometimes or you have to cancel every so often but make an effort to keep up with your routine. You do not want to send the message that this person is not important to you before you have even solidified that adult friendship. If you do, you are doomed to fail. Yes, being a new mom is exhausting and it can be hard to get out of the house, but another mom completely understands that.
If you show up unshowered and with your hair in a messy bun, she is not going to care. And if she does care, she is not the right friend for you. If your baby goes down late for a nap, send a quick text explaining and ask if you can meet half an hour later or see if they would like to come over to your house instead where you can sit outside on the back porch and drink some coffee or have a glass of wine.
The same rule goes for your pre-mom friends. Make the effort to reconnect with the people you want to keep in your life. More likely than not, they still want to be in your life but they may not necessarily know how to navigate your life now as a mom. They are grown-ups too, so it is not like they are out making a new adult friendship every day or anything!
So be upfront and tell them what works for you. Do not take on the responsibility of being the one who has to arrange everything, but give them an idea of what works for you. Let them know that you may not always text back right away but you will when you can. Remember, they are your friends. They love you and probably miss your awesome friendship.
Finding mom friends seems hard because as adults we somehow forget how to make friends. When we were kids, it seemed so easy. One afternoon at the park and you had a new best friend. Now we can see the same person over and over and never exchange more than a little smile and a quick “hello” as we pass by them. Summon that inner child and go for it! Chat up every mom you encounter who is giving off good vibes. You will strike out sometimes. There is nothing wrong with that. Keep it up. In no time, you will have that adult friendship you are looking for.
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