Motherhood is quite the paradox. It comes with the most incredible highs, and it also can carry with it some deep lows. This is evident in a new mom’s sense of friendship and connection. One might think we mamas would feel socially and emotionally fulfilled by our little ones, and some women are, but most find socializing with their children all day to be, well, the opposite of social. We have constant contact and interaction, and yet we may feel utterly lonely and disconnected from everything or everyone else. Even the word “motherhood” is oxymoronic, suggesting a communal state of mothering, which in our society is often not the case. (This is one of the main reasons for this blog Real Life Mama, by the way!!)
Combatting this isolation and loneliness while trying to navigate friendship when you are a mom can often leave you feeling lost. Your friends that are in different stages of life may start to drop off, and your new baby-centric schedule can limit contact with the friends that do try to stay in touch.
But don’t give up hope! (Time to upright turn this downer post!)
Many a mama has felt EXACTLY how you are feeling. You are not alone, even if it feels like it at times. You may be wondering where to even begin. Keep on reading, mama! Mom friends abound!
You’ll see that if you put in the tiniest effort, you’ll find yourself at the very least connecting and relating to other moms, and very possibly, making new friends and strengthening existing friendships!
Seeking out new mom friends can take you back to the awkward days of your prepubescent past, but fret not. Remember, you made friends then, and believe me, with the ideas below, you can do it now! And you’ll be so glad you did.
- Sign up for a mommy and me class. To up the chances of meeting like-minded moms, you can choose from a variety to class types that might interest you, such as a music class, outdoor exploring group, second language class, or baby sign language group.
- Talk to other parents at your neighborhood park! This approach enables you to make a friend that most likely lives in nearby, upping the potential for a future playdate. Bonus is that you have adult company while watching your kiddo on the playground, so your childcare activity for the day includes some grown-up conversation! Hallelujah!
- Go to your library’s storytime. Again you may meet other local mamas, and you will have the benefit of someone else entertaining your children! If you attend regularly, you might start to feel comfortable with some familiar faces. This helps conversation begin more naturally over time and feel less contrived.
- Have a group playdate at your home with an existing mom friend and have them invite other mom friends for you to meet! By approaching expanding your social support network in this way, your own friends have already vetted your potential your new ones, doing the leg work for you.
If your old friends are not yet parents, they might not understand how much you actually need them. There’s a chance the friendship might wane during this time, so you can either choose to let the friendship follow its natural ebb and flow, knowing it will build again in time, or you can explicitly let them know that you want to talk with them more. So often we don’t muster the courage to say exactly what we need — now is the time to speak up.
If your old friends are already parents, they most likely know exactly what you’re going through. So, again, find your voice (a recurring theme in my posts!), and let them know you are feeling lonely and would love their companionship. They will be just the people to talk to about your new life. Schedule family hangouts at the house where the kids can run amuck and the adults can catch up, and arrange for outings where you and your mom friend get a break while the partners watch the kids together.
Sooner or later you’ll find your crew, your people, your mom friends, your village. Foster these relationships and you will begin to feel socially fulfilled, and hopefully, quite proud of yourself!
If you don’t feel ready to reach out in person to other mamas to form your support network, engage right here on Real Life Mama! Comment, like, or share, and see what other mamas have to say!
You can also always shoot me a private message and I will respond ASAP. I am here for you!
Hugs and love,