Making new friends is difficult at any age. Though, arguably, the older I get, the harder it becomes. No longer can I rely on a lucky class schedule or a gaggle of neighborhood kids when it comes to making connections. At a certain age, now, I actually kind of have to, you know, work for it (ugh).
And if you’re like me, finding non-awkward ways to make friends in your 30s is pretty valuable. I’ve settled into my routine, and I’m not necessarily putting myself in a ton of situations where I might meet new buds.
Making “Mom Friends”
Sure, I have a handful of friends that I text when I have a problem or want to chat, but it wasn’t until recently I noticed that we (my husband and I) don’t have that one couple. Lately, things have changed. I’ve always had a group of friends but people move away, have kids or interests change. I realized I needed “mom friends”, but that meant I needed to put myself out there. I needed a tinder app for moms. It’s just easier to make friends in a forced environment like school, right? Once you’re in the real world, it can feel so much harder. I don’t know why it’s so hard to make “mom friends”. I know what you’re thinking, why do you have to make “mom” friends? Just make “friends”. I totally agree with this. I agree with it so much that basically none of my friends have kids. My work friends don’t have kids, my old friends have moved away or have become busy with their own lives.
When I was younger my mom who was a stay-at-home mom surrounded herself with other stay-at-home moms. They say it takes a village, so I wanted to build a mom village of my very own. But where do I find these moms? I work all day, and then it’s straight into our routine. I selfishly thought that when I signed my kids up for all these different activities I’d meet these wonderful soccer moms but I haven’t, and I know it’s because I haven’t put in the effort.
Trading Out the Phone for Small Talk
I needed to put my cell phone down and interact with the other parents. Half the battle was putting myself out there, and it started with introductions, small talk and exchanging information. I also realized that I needed to smile more so I would seem less standoffish. I needed to be myself and open up to others. These are all things I tell my children to do on the first day of school, so I also needed to follow my own advice.
So at the next soccer game, I decided to venture out and sit with other parents. I introduced myself, told her what child was mine and continued the small talk. And, I made sure to plan a playdate for the kids that included the mom. I had them over for some cookies (possibly wine) and we really enjoyed ourselves, and so did the kids!
If I wanted to make a new friend, I needed to try. I made sure I talked to the mom and not through our kids. Lastly, I followed up with her and made a definite plan with her and her husband for the following weekend. Even though we don’t hang out every weekend, having a “mom friend” around for me to talk to has helped a lot, and it made me realize that I too can make friends at any age as long as I put myself out there and try.
Babies & Toddlers
In addition to the time I devote to being a mom, I also work full-time outside the home, which means my day is hardly ever as simple as nine to five. With an all-too-established schedule, as soon as I walk through the door, my day doesn’t end, but rather just begins. It’s a balancing act, especially with two children, but being a mom is one full-time job that I never want to quit!