Have you ever put yourself out there, joining a new class or group with your kids hopeful to meet a new friend only to realize making mom friends is so hard! You just want to meet someone you can call when you need to vent about the kids throwing tantrums all day, getting food in your hair, and destroying your house. Someone who can relate to the stage you are in in life, because as much as your old, childless friends say they are interested, their not.
The thought of mom friends sounds great, someone who can relate to what I am going through, to go out for a glass of wine with once the baby is in bed, or meet at the park so the kids can play while we chat. I have tried a few different groups and classes to make mom friends, but always found it hard to connect. I truly just thought it was my personality getting in my way as I’m shy and introverted. But then my sister who is the complete opposite of me called me crying today.
My sister, Lily, is the most outgoing person I know. Put her in front of a crowd and she thrives. Throw her in a room full of people she doesn’t know and she’ll be best friends with them in no time. So today, when she woke up and set out to get herself and her 6 month old son to a story time at the library with hopes of meeting some new friends, she figured it would be no problem!
Lily showed up to the library eager to meet the other moms. She sat down at the start of class trying to chat them up, asking about their kids and their lives. What do they do, how old are your kids, what other kinds of classes do you go to each week? She explained they just moved to the area a few months before having her son, and that she really didn’t know anyone yet.
Hearing this, you’d think they would respond openly, happy to chat and invite someone new in to their group. Instead, she was met with hostility, feeling instantly as if she didn’t belong. It basically sounded like she was the new kid at the high school lunch table that no one wanted to talk to. She asked about each person and their kids, which they were all happy to talk about, but not a single other mom asked about my sister or nephew. Why?!
Instead of leaving right then like I would’ve she sat down for the story time, ready to play and let her son enjoy the time. She sat my nephew on the floor unassisted, a new skill he is learning, and he reached for a toy. He toppled right over like all kids do and bumped his head. She shushed him and told him he was okay, trying to calm him knowing he wasn’t hurt. Instead of the other moms letting her mom her child the way she knows is best, one interjected with a snarky voice stating “obviously he isn’t okay! He’s crying, he’s hurt!”
Right then, my sister lost it. She started crying, gathering her things, and left. Lily felt so judged and hurt and like she was a bad mom, which she isn’t!! She knows what her child needs, so why was this other woman judging her?
I tried to encourage her as much as I could. Meeting moms friends is so hard especially after a bad experience like that! But truly I think she just met a bad batch of catty women!
The classes that L and I have attended have been an overall positive experience. Sure, not everyone is friendly but that’s to be expected. For the most part though all the other moms seem to be eager to make friends also.
Being a mom to young kids is hard, exhausting, and isolating. As women we need to rally with others, supporting and encouraging each other, not judging while we are sitting in music class.
So where are some good places to make mom friends?
- Gymboree Play & Learn
- Story Time at the Library
- Music Class
- The Gym
- Sports games (if your kids are old enough)
- MeetUp groups – check your local area to see what goes on
Another tip… start new to you classes at the beginning of the session. Women are less likely to have already made a strong bond with others and you’ll more easily be able to talk to everyone. Most classes we’ve gone to start with a “get to know you” time where everyone introduces themselves and their kids, if they work or stay home, how many kids they have, etc. That little bit of info can help make it easier to know who you can relate to. And if you feel like you have nothing to say, always ask about them and their kids. Everyone likes to talk about themselves!
Do you find making mom friends so hard? Where have you met mom friends?