It used to be easy to make friends. If I shared interests with someone and we “clicked,” then we hung out. That’s how friendship works. Well, this all came easily until I had a child. Obviously, I don’t regret becoming a mother, but let's be honest: Sustaining friendships when you have a kid is pretty tough.
First of all, I don’t even hang out with the friends I used to see all the time. Once I had my child, they seemed to drift away. Maybe because I didn’t want to go out on weekends anymore?
Although I love spending time with my 7-year-old son, making crafts and playing dinosaurs with him, sometimes I need more adult interaction in my life. It would be nice to have more mom friends, but it’s so stinking hard. Just because my son has a playdate with someone, I have to remember it doesn’t mean that's my chance to also gain a new friend, because honestly, we can’t be BFF with every mom.
First off, you're not necessarily going to share the same views. We live in a world where people criticize moms for getting their children vaccinated—or not getting their kids vaccinated. Not to mention, it seems as if wherever you go you’re getting judged for what you feed your child, how you discipline your child and what you let your child watch.
If you do meet a mom that you get along with yet respectfully share different views, then never let that one out of your sight. Unfortunately, it’s not always that easy. We're all humans, and we’re bound to get sensitive if someone criticizes the way we raise our children.
That said, even when you do share the same views, life can often get in the way. I’m a work-at-home mom, and people usually assume I have all the time in the world. Truth is, it’s actually the opposite. I never have time. Between working from home, taking college classes and homeschooling my son, I barely have time to sit down and have some “me time." How would I have time to take on a new BFF? It doesn’t matter if you’re a working mom or stay-at-home mom, you’re busy. Between making sure your kids stay on their routine—feeding them, bathing them and spending time with family—it’s pretty hard to find time for most anything else. And when you do find time, then you have to coordinate calendars. How exhausting! Next thing you know, you’ll be making plans and won’t be able to meet up for months.
Then what happens if your kids don't get along? That's a whole new drama! If your child decides to pull her son’s hair, watch out. You might find yourself worrying that she thinks you've got a bully on your hands.
This part is actually a challenge for me. I seem to find all the potential mom friends that have children younger than my own (read: the ripe hair-pulling age).
If you’re on the prowl for a new mom friend, keep some things in mind: Are your kids around the same age? Will they both share a similar obsession with, say, Minecraft or Pokemon? I mean, it’d be nice to have more mom BFFs so I could pawn all the Minecraft talk on others. (Don’t get me wrong, I love that my child has found a passion for these things, but really, I don’t know anything about playing these games, aside from them having creepy yet cute creatures!)
And even when the kids do get along, your focus tends to be on them. So, basically you went through the ropes of finding the perfect friend (phew!), but when you’re together you don’t really get to bond. I’ve been there. One of the few mom friends I do get to see will come over, but we have to constantly check on the kiddos, so our conversations tend to get scattered. "Wait. What were we talking about again?"
This is especially true when your kids are still little. You’ll have to fetch them some snacks, make sure they aren’t breaking something, keep them safe, give them bandages if they get hurt. Yup, you’re spending just as much time with your kids as you do at home.
Maybe it’s time to have Dad watch the kids while you meet up with your new friend? Or maybe it’s time for us to realize that we may have more “mom acquaintances” than genuine BFFs. But when you do find your #momsquad—hang on tight!