Mommy Mingling: The Challenge of Making New Friends

I recently posted a meme on the Indy Moms Blog Instagram page: “Anyone that says cliques end in high school have obviously never been through the ordeal of trying to make mom friends.”

And it blew up with likes and comments. Completely BLEW up.

“This is so, so true,” one mom posted; “#truth” surfaced as another short, but sweet, predominant post.

The response really revealed how many moms are truly craving genuine friendships and adult time. And acceptance.

Who would have thought that cliques did not stop in high school? And that making friends was, well, an ordeal?

“I have no idea where to meet people. The only place I really go to is the grocery, and other than that it is work or home,” offered one mom.

The biggest takeaway from the overall response to the post, aside from the fact that moms are tired of b.s. cliques, is that moms WANT to make friends. They just don’t always know how or where to do so.

It’s totally like a dating scene…but for friendship! 

They want girlfriends to talk with about all things kids, and most definitely, all things non-kids; relationships, sex, food, fitness, sleep, gossip…all of it!

“The hardest part is time,” one follower shared. “Forming true bonds takes time and as moms, we are all so dang busy.”

Definitely a true statement.

Yet, ultimately, we all carve time out for what it is important to us. Every day we decide where our time and energy goes. Making new mommy friends may be something that indeed takes some time, but for those who are really serious about cultivating genuine connections and friendships, it might prove worth the extra effort.

Another mom shared her struggle that was created due to an age difference with her kids and subsequently, the other moms she encounters.

“I was young when my girls started school; never clicked with any of the moms. Now I will be the “older” mom…so my goal this time around is to make a point to reach out to other moms and make them all feel accepted no matter their age!”

What a great idea. Acceptance is amazing.

So, the remaining questions, now that we know the sentiment is that many mommies out there want to mingle, is where can moms go to make friends, and how do they go about doing it?

And how can it not be so darn awkward, like as though you’re trying to “pick up” the fellow mom who looks exhausted and has the same messy bun as you?

“I see you have created a little person. I, too, have done this. Wanna be friends?”

“Do you want to do karate in the garage?”

“Um, maybe we could do a play date some time soon?”

There’s probably no one exact right way to get a new mommy friendship started; it’s ultimately going to depend on how your personalities mesh, if you have similar interests, how comfortable you feel around each other and, of course, how well the kids get along (because if that’s a struggle, it could definitely be a road block to a smooth friendship).

My best friend once told me that if your words and actions are real and genuine and authentic, then you can’t go wrong. So just be yourself and see how things go. It really is just like the dating scene in some regards!

I remember one time at the mall’s indoor playground, there was another mom nearby who kept smiling at me. Her kids were super cute and getting along nicely with my son (when he wasn’t kamikazying like a madman off the slide).

She and I would sporadically make eye contact and smile; it was like, “Yaaaay! Look at our cute kids playing together!” But, it was also like, “Ummmm, yeah, are we supposed to talk now?”

I still giggle at the whole awkwardness of the situation.

She and I did end up talking (turns out we had some mutual acquaintances), and we became Facebook friends that day, but nothing else transpired after that. I think ultimately what happened is nothing, literally; we had a lot in common and got along that day, but neither one of us made the time to contact the other person and initiate a follow-up conversation or play date. And that’s ok. Somehow, my heart will go on…tee hee.
Anyway, possibilities for new encounters exist everywhere: Indoor and outdoor playgrounds, the gym (my favorite place), church, mommy groups and even online mommy groups (check out the “Indy Mamas” groups!)…just think of all the places you go, and maybe next time, you will see through a fresh lens where there are possibilities for new friendships.

It seems like another key place for meeting new people and potentially garnering new friendships is through your child’s school/preschool/daycare. Maybe it’s a class field trip, a parent meeting or a school event that gives you some extra time to get to know the other parents. You can decide who is your type of crazy and who totally annoys you or freaks you out. Undoubtedly, there is going to be some opportunity to connect, even if it’s just a small window. That’s all it takes to get things started.

Meeting new friends through mutual friends is another great way to increase your friends circle. You are a good judge of character, so if you have a valued friend who brings along their friend(s) to a party or event, it might be another opening for some new mommy mingling. One of my best friends is someone I met through another one of my friends; we were introduced while we were both pregnant, and we ended up having our babies the same day, an hour apart, and one floor away, from each other! I’m so grateful our mutual friend took the time to introduce us to each other, as we have shared in the ups and downs of mommyhood, marriage and life in general.

Ultimately, my biggest advice would be to be open to making new friends anywhere. Maybe it would be at the grocery store; you just never know.

Our very own Indianapolis Moms Blog is also planning some upcoming events to unite moms throughout the city, so stay tuned! What are your tips for making new mommy friends?

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