Are you tired of trying so hard to Make Mom Friends only to find you can’t get past the “library/park acquaintance” stage? There has got to be more to fellow female relationships than just stroller strides or play dates , no?
The answer is a resounding YES! A thousand times yes.
If you want to succeed at Making Mom Friends and, in the process, genuinely thrive in those relationships even as a busy parent, keep reading. You will find out what to look for in a friendship, how to cultivate it, and how to approach it in a way that is going to result in relationships that are worth keeping!
BE a Friend
So, you want friends. You want a work out buddy, or you want invites for coffee, or maybe you’d like to go on a walk with a friend, or get to chat with a fellow sister? Be the friend. Be hospitable. Get out of your comfort zone and give a call. Extend invites to an activity you’re into or something your interested in doing.
Seek community as much as possible. We are not designed to spend life alone, with just your pets, husband or Mom as your only “friends”. As human beings, we have a natural inclination to depend on extended relationships in order to thrive through life’s trenches. That’s the way it is. It’s why back in the day, Women gathered on a consistent basis for tea or other types of bonding activities. It was highly nurturing!
Who Needs a Friend Right Now
Did you see an new family at church? Did a Mom just move in from another town or state? Are you in a community group that just welcomed a new member, such as a local Mom or Women’s group. If we look past our own conveniences, we can increase our awareness of situations others are in. It’s a good time to be human!
Put Yourself Out There
In order for a friendship to blossom, it is necessary to have openness and vulnerability. You need to open up. I’m not saying share your darkest secrets right off the bat. I’m saying be who you are and do not invest energy trying to be who you think they will like and wanna be friends with. On the contrary, you want to be liked for who you are in reality! It would be life draining to fake it long term. You will be highly relieved when that person is around you and you can just be you. You will not always be liked, however. Build resiliency and self-esteem to move on without being butt-hurt.
Choose A Variety
I don’t mean not to validate “quantity vs quality” That is not what mean. I am not saying have a ton of “friends”. What I am saying is, have friends for different areas of your life. Have someone you can talk politics with, another to discuss faith, or lifestyle, a motherhood or childhood friend, friends to talk about culture with, etc.
It Goes Both Ways
A friendship is not a friendship if it is not two people putting in the interest and investing in the effort. If you are being a friend only for what it benefits you, you are not being a friend. On the other hand, if only you are the one making the invites, calling, texting, etc. and the other does not reciprocate, then that sends a pretty clear message.
As with all relationships, such as in parenting, marriage, or in laws, setting and enforcing boundaries is an imperative factor necessary for your friendship to survive and thrive. It is not healthy for a friend to be clingy, dependent or needy. A friendship is not defined by how much you hang out, how much you call each other, how long your phone calls last or FORCING YOUR KIDS TO BE BESTIES. That is not how it works. A friend who is your friend will understand and respect your limits.
Friendships Can Just Be Seasonal
Understand that some friends come and go and that is ok. There is a reason that some friends are just friends for a season. It is ok if a friendship does not last and when it ends it is not always a bad thing or because of you. Embrace the time you had, the lessons learned, the love you shared and the growth you acquired. Overall, proceed to move forward with grace, peace and gratitude!
My grandmother (God rest her soul) used to say: “Anywhere you go, there will always be someone you don’t like, and there will always be someone who doesn’t like you“. This phrase comes to mind, because it is the same in a friendship. You will never have friends if you only want friends with shortcomings. There will always be some level of sacrifice to keeping a friendship.
You might have a friend, for example, who is a fine, virtuous and selfless woman, but her kids are a headache to have over. You might have a friend who is amazing as such, but somehow a lot of your time is wasted when a date is planned because of how she manages (or not) her time.
At the end of the day, you call the shots on what your ok with, where to compromise when circumstances are less than desirable and where to say…”This is just draining more out of me than I am getting“. Most importantly, (and this isn’t if you want to, it’s a must) you must set, and enforce boundaries! If you do not, it (whatever that becomes) will come to bite you in the butt, arm, and leg.
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