Find your people
I love making new “mom friends” – aka other moms with kids around the same age as yours, that you just click with and can totally be yourself around. Calling it “mom friends” sounds a bit funny, I realize. I have one friend who laughs at me every time I use this phrase. When my daughter C was young, I used this term a lot to refer to new friends that I had met. Nowadays, it’s usually just called a “friend”. I digress.
I’ve written a few other blog posts related to normalizing motherhood. For me, making mom friends played a major role in helping me to feel better and normal after my rocky start to motherhood.
So, how do you make mom friends? Well, having a baby gives you an automatic something in common. Bonus points if you have babies close in age and you’re both first-time moms. Extra bonus points if you’ve found a mom friend that keeps it real and honest, and doesn’t judge you or give you unsolicited parenting advice. Now, I’m not saying that you’ll click with every mom that you meet – that’s just not realistic. You’ll meet plenty of sanctimommies along the way. Ignore them. Better yet, run away from them. For me, I just knew when I’d met someone that I could be friends with. Motherhood brought me out of my shell in a way, and I found myself starting conversations more easily. A lot of my friendships started just by talking to other moms – at the grocery store, baby yoga, the park, birthday parties, early years programs, the beach, and many other random places. Anywhere, really. If we clicked, I would ask for her number, or give her mine, and go from there. Kinda like dating
The first year of motherhood can feel long and lonely at times. It’s much better to spend time with friends than alone, in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong – there were many days that I stayed home and just chilled with my daughter. And I had lots of days where I felt stir-crazy if I didn’t get out and do something. Mom friends are where it’s at for making plans and getting out of the house! I had so much fun during the second half of my maternity leave. My mom friends and I would often meet up with the babies for potluck lunches, stroller walks, coffee dates, swimming at the beach, picnics at the park, mom & baby bootcamp or yoga classes, and many other play dates.
I spent much of my maternity leave with one of my best friends – we were friends before I’d had my daughter, and we became much closer during this time. We would meet up a couple of times a week for stroller runs, workouts, snowshoe walks with the babies in backpacks, or strollercize at the local sportsplex. Our weekly dates always involved food. And coffee. And sometimes beer with lunch. It was the best! Even more than that, it was therapeutic for both of us. We helped each other through many difficult moments of motherhood. There were lots of laughs, tears, and hugs. I don’t know what I would have done without her, honestly.
By the end of my maternity leave, my group of mom friends had gotten somewhat smaller. Sometimes mom friendships fade away naturally over time, and that’s ok. I’m still in touch with many of the women I was lucky enough to meet during my daughter’s first year of life. And I’m even luckier to consider some of them my closest friends.