When writing about making mum friends thus far I’ve focused mostly on the struggle I’ve experienced. Today I’m writing about getting over the hurdle that we create for ourselves. Exactly! We create the hurdle. Making mum friends is exactly like making friends of any sort. As mothers we’ve given it a different title and talked about how hard it is to achieve. But do we talk about why and what makes it hard? What or who are mum friends? Are they your play date buddies because they have children the same age as yours? Is your mum friends’ companionship convenient because they live in the same town as you do? I’ve stopped and asked myself these and other questions to come to the conclusion that it’s not hard to make mum friends at all.
What type of person are you when it comes to making new friends? Think about this carefully. Because the biggest factor in gaining friendships of any sort I believe is the amount of effort we put out as individuals. I could bump into someone I know out at the shops and strike a great conversation. We would say let’s catch up and exchange numbers to make sure we do get in touch. But then we get caught up in our busy lives and forget about this chance meeting that might have led to a wonderful new friendship. So are you all talk and no action? Or are you a person that will do what you say you will?
I don’t have a list of ways to make mum friends for you today. Rather I have a kind of a pep talk for you and me. If you think you struggle to make mum friends, think again. When you really want something you need to believe in yourself and do something about it. I can sit here and keep writing about struggling to find mum friends that I can really connect with. Or I can keep in touch with the beautiful women, mums that I know. Friendships are not struck in one or two chance meetings. Mum friends, work friends, neighbour friends or any other kind of friends you can think of will be there for you if you are there for them.
Since opening up about my struggle with making mum friends I’ve got off my behind and done something about it. I’ve met new people that I hope to get to know a little more. My activity with my online community has increased because I choose to socialise more now. I don’t want to be a fence sitter anymore. Sharing so much of my motherhood stories through my blog is drawing people to chat with me. So in a way I am refining my communication skills through social media. Why do my communication skills need refining? Well, I secluded myself from a lot of the outside world when I was a first time mum. Have a read of how I withdrew myself from friends and family in my article ‘Why do we need mama besties?’
When you leave work to have a baby you move into a whole new world. Your focus becomes motherhood. If you’re like me you put everything you learned from your working life behind you and start to build a shell. The shell protects you from everything that is not allowed inside it. And if you avoid the TV and Radio as much as I did, or you just watch the kids’ shows all day long you lose touch with the adult part of the world that you used to know. I did all of this. I didn’t need mum friends. The best friend that I have in my husband was enough for me at the time. Happily married and becoming a mummy was all that I needed.
If you feel like you’re letting yourself into this shell trap I will tell you now…Stop! Don’t do it.
Interaction with people other than your direct family is so important. Whether you make friends in person or on social media it’s all the same…it’s a friendship. And as some people have said making mum friends is like dating. It’s like dating because you need to get to know this person you have just met. And you have the notion that this person is going to be in your life for a very long time. So you want to suss them out a little bit by going on a few dates.
At first you meet up in public places so that you don’t shy them away. Then if you really like each other you start to welcome each other into your homes for brunch or and afternoon tea. Cooking for each other is one of the best things you can do to achieve the ‘getting to know you’ part of the friendship.
But how can all of this happen you are wondering? How can I make it happen? You just do. Are you prepared to be the initiator? Do you really want mum friends? Have faith and confidence in yourself and you will find the mum friends you are seeking.
Go out to the park with your children and talk to that other mum that’s there on her own with her kids. Just try it. When eating out with your little ones chances are you will find yourself in the same place as other mums. Throw in a comment about her child/children. Ask her a question and get a conversation started. You can think of something if you really want to talk to someone. Pick-up lines for dating mum friends could be something like;
Do you shop here often with the kids?
I see you have a kid that poops in a nappy like mine. Want to get a coffee and talk about it?
You’re children are so adorable. How old are they?
Wanna be mum friends?
It’s all about common ground. Find something you know will relate to another mum and ask an open ended question about it to strike that conversation you’re looking for. We bump into each other in so many different places. There are endless opportunities out there. But it is up to the individual to stop and make something of it. Stop when you’re walking into the childcare centre to pick up your child. Chat with that mum that you usually exchange smiles with. Stop when you’re passing another mum who also has kids in the trolley in the supermarket. Throw a pick up line at her. You can also stop and join in a chat in that Facebook mums group instead of just scrolling through everybody else’s comments. Join a mothers group or a playgroup and make sure you go more than once. Look up Mama Tribe, this Social group for mums is incredible.
Mum friends are there just waiting for you to talk to them. But there are also some mums that are quite content with not having mum friends. That’s ok too. This is where you need to have an open mind and be prepared for knock backs. You need to set no expectations that may lead to disappointment. And you need to expect that you won’t gain a friendship every time you try. But you have to try. When one attempt to entice a mum into becoming a mum friend doesn’t work out you move on and try again.
So yes there is a need for some mums to have mum friends. This need has been recognised in many online forums and in your local community too. It is all up to you Mama. Do you want mum friends? Do you want to talk about it to someone? That’s fine. But do a little less talking or thinking, and start actioning.
Would you like to revisit Part One of this guide? Here is the link for you 🙂