Motherhood finds you busier than ever, but friendships are still possible. Learn how to make mom friends and get the support you need.
Friendships used to be tricky for me. Long before I was even a mom, I wondered why I didn’t have that one “best” friend that some people seemed so lucky to have.
Sure, I had good friends, but never that one person to call my best, the one that everyone would associate me with. I didn’t focus on how to make friends and certainly didn’t have many.
After I got over myself, I then wondered why I didn’t have a group of friends, you know, like on the show Friends. The group that always gets together for “friends-giving,” has annual traditions, and laughs at inside jokes. My friends, the awesome people they are, are scattered everywhere. We don’t exactly see one another three times a week at a coffee shop.
Thankfully, I’ve kicked both hangups to the curb. Not having one best friend doesn’t mean I’m any less loved. Even my friends who live miles away are still close to my heart. And I can reconnect with those whom I haven’t seen in ages as if we just spoke the other day.
Even though we don’t hang out every day (or even talk or email every day), they’re quality friends. I can (and have) cried to them over the phone or in person. I can be completely myself with them, look absolutely disheveled, and always be accepted and love.
Then there’s family. I get along amazingly well with my siblings and cousins. Our group of cousins, mostly the same age range, have remained close until today. We’ll hit up a bar for “cousin time” and send cheesy “I love my cousins” memes online.
So, I guess you can I’m lucky in the friendship department, even if it took me years to realize that.
How to make mom friends
But as a mom, many of us struggle with rediscovering ourselves after motherhood, including making new mom friends. Our kids need to see us nurturing friendships just as we would want them to. And we have to go beyond the role of mom into other interests and hobbies.
We’re all in different circumstances and locations, with varying family and friend dynamics.
But I’d like to offer several tips on how to make mom friends, from rekindling old friendships to finding new ones. As you’ll see, making friends doesn’t have to be a difficult task, nor should you let expectations or comparisons get you down.
Instead, take a look at these different ways to define friendships with other moms, and how they can fall into your life.
1. Befriend moms at your child’s school
Your child’s school is a fantastic way to make mom friends. Schools naturally rely on a network of parents, from volunteering in the school garden to putting on fundraisers. You can even simply chat with other moms at school drop offs and pickups and regular preschool functions.
Set up a playdate for your kids at the nearby playground, almost like a first date for you as well. You can then better see if you’d like to maintain the new friendship.
You might even propose a monthly lunch. A group of moms at my kids’ old school gathered for lunch at a different ethnic restaurant every month. It was a fantastic way for us to hear news about the school and get to know one another better.
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2. Set up play dates with playground moms
Do you see the same moms and their kids at the playground often? Strike up a conversation and see if you can schedule play dates in the future.
Offer your number so you can text each other when you plan to head to the park that day. Or schedule a day and time that week to meet up at the playground. And once you’re comfortable with each other, you can even set up play dates at each other’s homes.
She likely lives nearby, if she’s not already your neighbor, which makes getting together a lot easier and more convenient.
3. Be the ringleader
One of the best ways to make mom friends—and ensure you stay in touch—is to initiate outings and activities.
Host other families for dinner on Friday nights or put together a monthly book club. Plan movie outings, walks with the kids, see an author speak, or other fun activities with friends. Schedule a “moms only” dinner with other women, or plan a hike with a friend.
In other words, don’t just wait for people to call you. Be the ringleader, the one who will introduce moms to one another and help make connections.
Most importantly, accept other people’s invitations to events and outings that are important to them.
4. Welcome other moms into the neighborhood
From library story times to school pickups, a conversation might find you meeting a fellow mom who just moved into the neighborhood. When you’re already settled, it’s easy to overlook how others need to feel welcomed—and it’s a fantastic way to meet new people yourself.
You have the advantage of knowing more about the neighborhood, from the schools to the restaurants to events to attend. Exchange contact information so you can check out some of the places in the area together.
And don’t just leave them with your phone number in case they need anything. Follow up with a quick coffee chat or play date after school.
5. Find support groups
As a mom of twins, I’m naturally drawn to other moms of twins. I can find people who can relate to my particular circumstances that most others likely can’t.
Perhaps you find yourself part of a “group” to help you get through your situation. Your toddler might have a medical condition, or you’re a military family. Meeting other moms in the same scenarios can mean instant friendship and connection.
And don’t forget: you can make virtual friendship as well. Few local families might be going through the same experiences as you, but plenty of people across the country likely are. An online community can work just as well.
6. Meet moms in prenatal classes
A friend of mine gets together with a group of parents, a friendship that started years ago when they first met at a prenatal class.
Going through birth together—and having children all the same age—makes for an instant bond that can be hard to find elsewhere. Not only will you find new friends, but your children will have their own friends they’ve known since they were infants.
And don’t wait for someone else to “make the first move.” Even if you live in a small apartment with few toys, invite them over, even if they have bigger houses with a backyard trampoline.
7. Join local mom groups
I joined and later started my own “mommy group” when my son was a few months old. I sought other moms with kids roughly the same age as him, and were local enough to get together for both random and regular play dates.
Joining play groups can be as simple as searching on meetup.com for local activities and events. You’ll find tons of categories, from stay-at-home moms, to working parents getting together on the weekends.
And ask questions to get to know each person beyond small talk and chit chat. Truly listen to what they say, as all of us sometimes simply want to feel heard. We crave friendship—you can do your part to cultivate one with them.
Then, connect even more, either by exchanging phone numbers or at least finding one another on social media. Sometimes you need to get out of your comfort zone that you normally wouldn’t have done in the past, especially if you’re an introvert like me.
But that’s how friendships are born and maintained. Friendships are about being there, and they won’t grow if you aren’t.
8. Make friends at work
Given that most working moms spend hours away from home, making mom friends at work is a fantastic option. You’re already with one another all day—even something as simple as eating lunch together can make a difference.
When I worked in the office, many of my coworkers in my department had kids around the time I did. We naturally bonded over topics about our kids, on top of the friendships we already had before being moms.
Then, make sure to nurture those friendships outside of work. Invite one another to birthday parties, schedule stroller walks, and host a potluck at your home. Don’t limit your interactions to within the office walls.
Learning how to make mom friends may not come easily for most people. In fact, it takes effort and initiative to bring us out of our comfort zones. Still, that doesn’t mean we can’t make friends, even when we’re busy with our kids.
Befriend other moms at your child’s school, where there’s plenty of opportunities to socialize. Set up play dates with other moms you regularly see at the playground, as they’re likely local neighbors you can easily get together with.
Be the ringleader among your existing networks, inviting them to your home or initiating a monthly lunch with fellow moms. Welcome new moms into the neighborhood—not only will you have gained a friend, but they will appreciate your welcome more than you’ll know.
Find support groups—whether local or virtual—with others in similar circumstances as you. If you’re expecting, reach out to other moms in prenatal classes. Join local mom groups, as you’ll find plenty that fit your needs and schedule.
And finally, don’t forget other moms at work, and spend time both in the office as well as after you’re done for the day.
I’m fortunate for the mom friends I’ve made—some before we were even moms, and many since then. As isolating as parenthood can sometimes feel, having a mom tribe to call on is a must for every mom.
Get more tips:
- 8 Remarkable Parenting Goals Every Mom Should Have
- How to Spend Time with Your Family (Even as a Busy Mom)
- Top 7 Tips to Keep Your Sanity as a Mom
- 12 Crucial Rules for Visiting a New Mom
- What I Wish People Told Me About Being a New Mom
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