Guest post by Monique Solomon
Adult friendships can be difficult to start, especially when you need mom friends with similar interests and kids around the same age. This is further heightened for stay at home moms who aren't thrust into many social situations outside of the occasional play-date.
These days, people who live next door to each other seldom take the time to get to know each other. Even co-workers go into the same building daily and ride the same elevator, without even saying a word to each other.
Personal relationships would be so much easier to develop if we’d all take a moment to greet each other in passing. We may find people right under our noses who share our interests and start to cultivate positive relationships.
If we live the expression, “be the change you hope to see”, we may be able to gain more fulfilling relationships with other moms, developing a support circle of women on a similar journey to ours. Having friends who relate to what we’re going through who we can talk to and find comfort in is an important part of self-care for all moms but especially new moms.
Thankfully, the awesome thing about developing positive relationships is that it is never too late to do so, even when you’re feeling less than confident or in a totally new situation. The tips below will help you find and keep new mom friends.
Boosting Your Confidence
First things first, let’s make sure you’ll be a hit at the park. A good way to begin is to minimize the negative talk, in yourself and in others. Take note of when you’re putting yourself down and turn those negative affirmations into more positive thoughts about your own self.
Begin to compliment yourself more. Nod to yourself in the mirror when you’re feeling pretty or give yourself a virtual high-five when you’ve completed a task at home.
Extend these compliments to your family members as you begin to practice the skills you’ll be using in conversational situations outside the home.
Tell your husband how good his hair looks today or thank him for bringing you a cup of tea. Celebrate with your children when they’ve done well.
Now begin to practice this with other moms on the playground.
Putting Yourself Out There
If you want to make mom friends, you’ll have to make the first move. It sounds scary, but it will be worth it and can even be fun. The trick is sniffing out those who share similar interests with you. And you’re a mom, you’re good at sniffing things out.
The next time you go to the park, compliment a mom on the way she handled a situation with her kid or ask her something in relation to her child. Try on these opening lines for size:
“Wow you handled that so well, my kid would never!”
“How’d you get him to eat that?!”
“That baby bag/carrier/accessory of some kind looks so handy, where’d you get it?”
These kinds of opening lines lead to conversations that will help to tell you what type of mom you’re dealing with and if you and her will vibe.
Target One at a Time
It’s always awkward to try and break into a group of friends already hanging out. Who wants to be a third wheel anywhere and sit through endless inside jokes?
Look for the mom at the park who’s by herself just like you and find an “in” to strike up a conversation with her.
When your pack of friends starts to get bigger, try to extend the conversation to other moms hanging out by themselves. Remember your time when you were all alone and be the olive branch for the new singleton in the park.
Not Everyone Will Be Your Friend
We aren’t for everybody and that’s OK. You’ll come across moms who are on a totally different path than you are and some who simply don’t match your vibe.
Try not to judge them for anything you don’t agree with and don’t take it personally if someone isn’t feeling you. Just make your exit and move on to the next. You’ll luck out and find your mommy soulmate the more you date around.
Remember to Exchange Deets
It happens so often.You have an amazing conversation with someone and leave thinking to yourself, “Wow, that person was so nice!” and forget to keep the convo going.
It can be as simple as following each other on IG to start or as far as saying “Hey, I’ll be here next week, want to meet up? I’ll call/text you to arrange a time.”
Now that you have their info, don’t neglect to use it!
Bridge the Second Convo
A great way to keep the friendship going after you’ve left the park is to seek some lighthearted advice from your new mom friend. Something that will let them know that they made a mark on you and you really value their opinion.
Keep it light, you don’t want them to go running from you and all your deep-rooted issues, they have enough on their plate already. Try asking them for their favorite kid-friendly snack recipe or a remedy for a diaper rash.
Then ask them if they’re into a show on Netflix you’ve been digging or the latest good book they’ve read in an effort to dive into a subject that’s totally not mommying so that you both can get a break from all things kids.
Solidify the Relationship
Now it’s time to meet up for a second time to make sure this thing is real. Meeting up for playdates are cool and all but you want to plan something like a coffee date or a nap time Bachelor marathon session with some wine and popcorn while the kids sleep.
The aim here is to build strong friendships outside of just the babies so that you know what you’ve got is real. If you both dig the same things and can have fun hanging out sans babies, then you’ve found your mommy bestie.
Things to Avoid
We’ve already said don’t be judgy but it’s important enough to say again. Mom life is hard enough without feeling as if some other mom is watching and judging your every move.
This means you want to also stay away from saying anything about stains, food choices, disheveled outfits and lack of combed hair.
If these things bother you enough that you want to say something, this person isn’t meant for you.
Also, definitely don’t hit up your new mom friend with a babysitting request. You’re looking for life-long friendship here, not someone offering a service. This is the fastest way to send a new friend running. They’ve got their own herd to deal with.
Monique Solomon is the blogger behind TheBeauticle where she shares tips on living a beautiful life from within. You can find everything from physical health to mental wellness on this blog. You can also catch up with Monique personally on IrieDiva.com where she shares her life in the beautiful island of Jamaica, lots of DIY beauty hacks and fashion outfits and even more tips on living a beautiful, balanced life.