I recently was browsing through social media and saw a post on a local mom page about why it was so hard to make time for friends after having children.
This was clearly a hot topic for moms — the post had upwards of a hundred comments.
Many women agreed that they felt the same way. They stated that they were too busy for friends, while others were saying they were sick of asking to spend time with their friends and getting turned down.
It seems that a lot of us struggle with maintaining friendships and making new friends as moms.
I have always been a “girl’s girl.” I never had male friends growing up, and even to this day I gravitate toward making connections with other women.
The most significant relationships I have (besides immediate family) are the relationships I have with my mom, my sister, and my girlfriends. I cherish those relationships.
And I also agree with the post I saw on social media — it can be hard to make time for friendships after you have children. It’s also hard to make new friends as an adult. But I’ve found that putting in the time and effort pays off.
Admittedly, I keep my circle of close friends pretty small. My girlfriends are the ones who know me like the back of their hand, and are like sisters to me.
And I make an effort to try get together with my friends frequently, whether it be going out for dinner, going for a walk with our kids and/or dogs, meeting for lunch, or going to a workout class.
Sometimes planning a dinner to fit with everyone’s schedules can be tricky. But we try to plan it a few weeks in advance so everyone has it on their calendar.
I find the effort is always worth it. After spending an evening with my girlfriends, I always feel refreshed and a little more like myself.
It’s easy to get caught up in just having the identity of “mom.” And it’s nice to be around people who know you as more than that.
And if you feel “mom guilt” for spending an evening away from your kids — just don’t!
I strongly believe it’s good for your kids to spend time one-on-one with each parent. Even if the nighttime routine turns out to be slightly different than you handle it — let it go. It will be fine and worth it, I always feel like a better mom after some time to myself, even if it’s only a few hours.
Stay Connected Online
One easy way to maintain your friendships and feel connected to each other is to have a group chat going over text or Snapchat. This is a great way to update each other on what’s going on in your day-to-day lives!
Or, Maybe It’s Time to Move On
Another thing I just want to mention here — sometimes friendships cannot be maintained.
One thing I have learned in the last few years is that it’s important to have relationships with your friends that have the same level of energy and commitment.
Are you the one always asking to get together with friends and feel like you are getting blown off?
Is your friend not responding to your texts or phone calls?
Maybe your friend doesn’t match your energy, and in that case, it’s time to just move on. You don’t need to make it a big deal, but stop putting in the effort if your effort is not being matched at all.
Making New Friends
I think everyone can agree that it’s hard to make friends as an adult.
It is hard — but it’s not impossible!
I am a pretty introverted person and like I said, I stick to a close circle, it’s hard for me to step out of my comfort zone. However, I’ve made an effort to get to know new people, and it’s paid off.
I never felt like I fit in with a “mom group” after having children. I don’t have a group of mom friends who can meet up with kids during the day, and that’s fine. Sometimes I feel a little jealous when I see large groups of moms at the mall or zoo with their kids, but I don’t think that’s for me.
I work part-time, so I don’t really fit in with the working moms, and I don’t really fit in with the stay-at-home moms.
And if that’s how you feel too, that’s okay! Your identity when meeting new people does not have to be “mom.”
Put Yourself Out There
In the last few years, I have made friends by doing the things I already do — such as, going to workout classes. If I see someone I know posting about a new class or studio on social media, I message them and ask to tag along.
It feels weird, but honestly, they are probably glad to have someone to go with! I know I’m always glad to see a familiar face.
And if you want to take it one step further, ask them to get a coffee after class.
Another way to meet new people sounds a lot easier than it is — stay off your phone!
When I drop one of my kids off at their activities, my first instinct is to start scrolling on my phone. However, by doing this, you miss out on meeting everyone around you.
If you want to meet other parents at your kids’ activities, just smile and say hi to them. Compliment them on their shoes, handbag, or something about their child — everyone likes that!
Or, if you know their last name, add them on social media. It might feel weird, but that’s an easy way to make a connection.
The bottom line with all of this is — if you want to make a friend or maintain a friendship, you need to be willing to put in the time and effort.