I remember the first day Tomas went to work after we moved to Washington. I woke up, got the boys dressed, got myself dressed, made some breakfast, tidied up a bit… and wondered what the heck we were going to do living here. I had taken a break from my blog, we were staying in temporary housing, and we had only what we could fit into a minivan with us. We’d never even been here before, and then we moved here to chase a dream job, leaving pretty much everyone and everything we knew behind. I had no sense of direction, no sense of the area, no go-to spots, and knew exactly one person besides my husband.
Luckily, though, most of those things come with time. I eventually found Target, we eventually found a place to live, unpacked, and we love it here. But that’s not what’s made our transition here so smooth. You can know where all the beautiful hiking trails are, know all the short cuts to all the drive thru coffee places, know which Target cashier is quickest and will give your kids the most stickers. But it’s the people, the tribe I’ve been lucky enough to build here that’s made Washington feel like home. And of course we miss and love our Colorado tribe – we always will!
But being a mom is already a tough gig, add in stark loneliness and I’d have already gone postal at this point. So today, let’s talk about mom friends. Those sweet sweet ladies who just get it. And also, tips and tricks I learned along the way in making mom friends that helped us start from scratch in a new place, and quickly feel at home.
(Also – huge huge huge shout out to my sweet friends who let my camera crash our Moms Brunch so I could have some nice photos for this post)
So, maybe you have friends already but they’re not moms. Maybe you just moved (like we did) and don’t know anyone. Maybe you’re just an introvert and making friends is a tough thing for you. Either way – why you need (good) Mom friends, in case you didn’t know.
- They just get it. We’re all flakes. All of us. We have all grand plans to get out of the house, be at a play date by 10, bring a homemade snack, bring a craft for all the kids to do. And then we show up late with the half eaten granola bars dropped off the side of the car seat, our hair in yesterday’s top knot, but you somehow managed to bring coffee or a bottle of wine. Mom friends? They just get it. They don’t care about the grease in your hair or how late you were. They’re just happy to see another adult, and have someone for their kids to play with.
- They have good advice. Good mom friends will always be super helpful when you just don’t know what else to do. “This is what worked for us!” is the best phrase they can use. No pressure, just giving you information and options and man can it be helpful. And sometimes their advice is just “toddlers are hard.” Because they are hard. But so is every other age, isn’t it?
- They don’t always give advice. Sometimes you just need to vent. Sometimes they just need to vent. And a listening ear is a good enough. No strings or life coaching necessary.
- They’ll say something to your kid. Y’all – I have 2-year old twins. I am constantly chasing after 2 loose canons running in opposite directions toward equally dangerous things. And lots of times, a mom friend of mine will run after the other kid for me, and man is that helpful. Or they’ll referee a fight. Or they’ll pull a rock out of their mouth. And I do the same for their kids. It’s just what we do.
- You have someone to drink wine with. And have Moms Nights Out with. And Moms Nights In. And Brunch (sans kids!).
- They’re just as busy as you are. When you can’t make it to play dates for 3 weeks, forget to return a text, are running around multitasking for days on end, so are they. And when you catch each other in passing in the midst of it, you’re both happy to see each other, and totally understand why you have to run because nap time is in 20 minutes and no, they can’t just sleep in the car.
I mean… it all kind of boils down to my first point, doesn’t it? They just get it. And you just get them. At least I hope. I mean, I know the Mommy Wars is a big one lately, but eventually I think most moms just come to the realization that we’re all just doing our best, none of us knows what we’re doing, and this is hard stuff, man. And if it comes down to it, I think most people are more than happy to just concede with Good for You, Not for Me. And then join you in the next glass of wine.
So… then if mom friends are so great, how to you find them? If you asked my mother who was navigating this about 30 years ago, it was much different. But luckily for us, we have technology at our hands and my goodness does it make making friends so much easier. So a few things I did when we moved to Washington to find myself some Mom Friends:
- Facebook – search for groups in your area. Use keywords like “Stay at Home Moms,” “Working Moms,” or “Mothers of Multiples”, and don’t forget to look in surrounding towns, too, or in larger areas, like “Denver Metro Area” or “Seattle Eastside.” There will surely be lots of groups already established that you can join.
- Meet Up – The search function in Meet Up is virtually the same as Facebook, but lots of groups have minimal joining fees (mostly to cover the cost of Meet Up). Usually less than $10 a year, and they will almost always allow you to go to a first event free to make sure it’s a good fit before you join.
- Classes or Schools – I met quite a few wonderful women at our Cooperative Preschool we started attending immediately when we moved here. Other places like Gymboree classes, Music classes, Library story time, even Stroller Strides fitness classes – organized things that you can make during the day are a great way to find other moms who have similar lifestyles and children the same age.
- Good Old Fashioned Public Places – this one is hit or miss, and definitely can be nerve wracking to approach someone in public and strike up a conversation. But whether they’re alone at the playground with their kid, or part of what seems to be a play date, they’re usually fine with you approaching, introducing yourself, and including you in their activities. Even other moms in the store, at the indoor play spaces, etc.
But then once you meet those wonderful ladies, then it’s all about cultivating friendships. Invite people to the park and make play dates, grab their phone numbers and start texting, follow them on Instagram, friend them on Facebook. Use Social Media! And then, start hanging with the kids more, doing play dates at your house or theirs. Keep it easy for people to show up (including you) and then just let those relationships grow.
My favorite thing that my friends and I do, and something that I think really helped us become good friends, was hanging out without kids. I know I just told you why you need Mom friends and now I’m telling you to hang out without kids. But when you’re chasing kids, talking in half sentences, staying distracted, it’s hard to really make friends. But we try to, about once every week or two, get together, make some yummy food (I mean seriously….look at that spread below), drink some wine, and just hang out. Not just as moms, but as women who all need friends, who all need a village, a tribe, and who all support the heck out of each other.
I think the biggest thing, and the best thing we have done as a group of friends, is to tell people to come as you are. Sometimes people are in yesterday’s yoga pants, sometimes we actually had time to do our hair and make up, sometimes there’s a baby because a hubby had to work.
But I never would have made these friends if I didn’t put myself out there. I will openly claim my Social Anxiety, will openly claim my home body-tendencies… but the loneliness that can be motherhood was way worse than showing up, than saying hi, and making friends.
I hope if you’re where I was, finding yourself in need of a tribe, that you’ll feel a little more encouraged this way. I know it can be intimidating to make friends and put yourself out there, especially with all the judgment abound in the mom communities. But there are people out there like you, who just get it, who will love you and your kids as you are, and who need friends too, who need adult interaction, and need a glass of wine outside of the house. Trust me.
So tell me, y’all. How did you make your best mom friends? What do you guys do as a group? Are do you maybe find yourself searching for mom friends? Tell me!