As a stay-at-home mom, I know firsthand it can be difficult to make friends. It’s almost like dating. You scope out other moms at play lands, parks, church, or wherever you interact with your kids. Maybe you look for moms with kids the same ages as yours? Maybe you’re drawn to moms who have the same sense of style or parenting style that you also possess? I don’t have the answer, but I do know it’s hard making mom friends when you’re not a working mom. Here are some practical ways to help you navigate the friend zone when you’re a SAHM.
- Put yourself out there. This one is hard for me, since I am a shy, introverted person. You have to put yourself out there to make friends when you’re not in the workplace. Join a moms group. For me, this has been MOPS or Mothers of Preschoolers. Find a group at church, the library story time, or another group in your community. Start conversations with other moms when you’re at the playground.. Don’t be scared. The worse thing that happens is you get a funny look and have a good story to share later.
- Hold on tight to those who stick around. Motherhood is a messy journey. Don’t let go of the mom friends you make who hang in there for the messy moments. I have a few childhood mom friends who I still talk to weekly. They are there for encouragement and they love my kids, too. I have always been blessed to make a couple mom friends for life in the places I have lived. We have shared tears, hugs, and victories. Now that we don’t live in the same place, we share emails, texts, and mail packages. These women are people to cherish. Be that friend to someone. You never know how much it will mean to them, as well.
- Remember You Are Worthy. As a SAHM, sometimes I forget I have something to offer someone besides laundry and cleaning services. Remember you are worthy. You are a good friend and you deserve good friends. I have always found the right people wherever we have lived. There is a mom out there somewhere who needs me as much as I need her.
- Don’t be afraid to fail. Sometimes mom friendships don’t last forever, even if you are both a SAHM. Life changes. More babies come along. People move and people move on. Don’t let it bug you too bad if a mom friend suddenly becomes distant. It’s not you. It’s life. Before you know it, your kids will be in school or sports or other activities and you will find new mom friends to connect with.
I don’t have the answer to finding mom friends, but I know we all need them. Being a SAHM can be isolating and lonely especially. We need friends to share our struggles and stories. We need mom friends to bring us coffee when we run out. We also need mom friends to show our kids how to be a good friend. So momma, who can you reach out to today?
Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of three and desperate for some good mom friends in her new part of the country.