When I became a mom making and maintaining friends became arduous. Meeting people was hard after college, but motherhood brought it to a whole other level. I’m sure at this point you’ve heard “finding mom friends is harder than dating.” True. That.
The first two years I was a mom I didn’t connect with any moms except my roommate from college who lived a two hour plane flight away. I set out to find friends, and became somewhat of an expert on finding kid activities. I went to the library, indoor playgrounds, joined a mommy bootcamp work out, music class, tons of walks around my neighborhood.
I lived on a street with three other FTMs who’s babies were the same age as mine, but I still felt as if I was on a friendship desert! What gives?
One of the main ways to grow friendship connections is consistency. A weekly class or ongoing meet up (play date) was my best bet. After Kat was born, we moved to a town with a great mom’s group network and lots of kid classes nearby. I joined a local mom’s group.
A lot of the working moms I met at first were really cool, but, once the maternity leave was over so were a lot of beginning friendships. Not through the fault of me or the other mom, SAHM vs working mom’s schedules are so hard to coordinate.
Women want to help other women. But holding onto friendships is a competitive nature! We don’t want to share once we’ve found someone great.
So much of motherhood is also a huge facade. Sometimes I feel like the only one out there saying this is tough. I don’t have it all together. I’m overwhelmed. My kids drive me crazy.
Moms admit motherhood is hard, but sometimes it’s not in a real way. The conversations are small annoyances, not always the real struggles. It’s like we are building small barriers around ourselves and by not letting them come down it’s another hurdle in overcoming loneliness.
Motherhood can leave you feeling alienated and lonely. I get it. I’ve had days when I’m in a huge funk, it feels like my best friend is a two year old. Some days, even now when I’m starting to get some traction, I want to throw my hands up in the air and give up.
It took over four years of being a mom to really begin making meaningful friendships. These friendships are still new. They aren’t those super tight relationships I had in college. Those take years and many experiences to cement. With a mom’s schedule, it’s no easy task to accomplish.
These newer friendships are still finding their legs to stand on. I doubt things I’ve said. Was this OK? Are we still friends? Am I texting too much? Not enough? Why am I so awkward?!!
If you haven’t met your mom village and mom bestie, keep putting yourself out there.
It’s slow, but we just don’t have the time like we did in our pre-kid days to invest in fast friendships. It’s the silent wedge in connecting with other people. This huge thing – parenthood – which gives us the biggest commonality, is the biggest impediment.
My closest friends live many states away. Boo! Those connections I made pre-kids are great, but you need local friends to survive motherhood. I really want to go out and do something without my kids. Without my own husband even – who is awesome but people need people, not just one person.
The continuous effort to go from “mom friend” to friend is somewhere in the middle. I won’t say, “Wait until your kids are in preschool or elementary school.” It can feel like a long road, but new friendships are out there. They just take a lot of work and time, which is a challenge when you have small kids, but can be done!
It’s not easy, but it’s not hopeless (although I’ve had days, and maybe you have to where it feels hopeless). Please leave comments and feedback on ideas you have for meeting people post pregnancy, or if you want to share highs/lows from the friendship search, or your big successes, or your worries. Let’s step over the facade. If you have a worry or fear about this, I’m sure many other moms have as well.