How to Make Mom Friends (when you’re tired of trying)

how to make mom friends

When your first child is born, it’s fairly easy to make mom friends. There are groups designed just for that: like the ones your local hospital or community center coordinates for new moms. You check the birthday range set for each group, pick one, and enjoy regularly attending an event that you didn’t have to lift a finger to initiate, plan, or host.

Connection is easy, nearly effortless, right? You just had a baby; they just had a baby. The topics for conversation are endless!

Birth stories. Baby sleep. Swaddling techniques. Your choices are endless and fairly safe (unless you’re in a group that happened to attract moms who want to duke it out over breast versus bottle or schedules versus attachment).

Making mom friends was never easier. Fast forward five years to when it’s anything BUT easy. 




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Making Mom Friends Gets Harder

At some point, the scheduled meetings peter out, and everyone gradually drifts back to their own lives. You find your mommy groove and feel a little more confident.

Maybe some of the friendships stick; maybe they don’t. But you only have one kid, and you can get around easily. You hit the one year mark. Life starts again. You keep busy.

Then, you have another baby….and maybe another (and another, if you’re like me and a growing number of crazy parents who want big families).

As your kids get older, parenting gets a whole lot more complicated. Please, oh please can we go back to the “which sippy cup is the best” and “how can I get my kid to ditch the paci” type problems?!

A few kids in, your opinions on things like discipline and media and education are all rock solid. And those tiny little babies? Well, now they’re little people with their own blossoming personalities (all different from each others, of course). You’re also not as mobile as you once were with multiple littles in the house. And then there’s just life: jobs change; friends move; life happens.

These developments majorly complicate your friend-making efforts.

You Try Harder…

You try to schedule playdates with kids that your kids will like at best and tolerate at worst. It’s a major bummer to hop in the car after what you thought was an amazing playdate, only to have your kids beg, “Can we please never ever have a playdate with them again, mommy?” Ask me how I know.

You arrive for another playdate only to realize a few minutes in that you and that mom are definitely NOT meant to be BFFs. Your parenting opinions are so polar opposite, it’s off the charts! So you gingerly tiptoe around the conversation, carefully avoiding huge arguments. The playdate ends with you heaving a great sigh of relief to be done but also a tiny sigh of disappointment.

Maybe, like me, you move long-distance for the first time after living in the same city you want to college in. You are forced to make new friends for the first time in YEARS, and dang, it’s gotten a whole lot harder since you were 18!

After months of trying, you’re tired. You want to crawl into a cave with your coffee and your chocolate, and just give up. Making friends is overrated. You have the internet and social media, after all. What more could you need?!

Does any of this sound familiar?

I want you to know that making mom friends IS possible. And I promise you that all the effort you put in will pay off if you choose to keep trying. Kind of like blogging, perseverance is crucial if you want to see the fruit of your labor. Only when you finally find that one good friend (or group of friends, if you’re an extrovert) will you realize that all the time you invested was worth it.

How do I know? I just finally made a mom friend after five months of battling loneliness and the uphill battle of trying to make friends in a new city. Not just any mom friend – potentially one of those rare best friends. Here’s how I did it.

how to make mom friends

How to Make Mom Friends (5 Tips)

1) Choose a venue for consistently meeting new moms.

I started with a local church, but really, it can be anything that gets you constantly meeting new moms.  This can be a mom’s group, nearby playgrounds or the local YMCA.

Research community centers or libraries in your area that may offer play groups for the ages of your kids. Join a co-op, even if you don’t love co-ops – give it a try for a little while just to meet new people. Go the park at a time when you know other moms will be there.

Just do something where you are seeing people on a regular basis.

When you are home all day every day with young kids, it is so easy to become isolated and stay that way. Having a regular event on your calendar forces you out of isolation in order to interact with people.

You may not make mom friends at that specific event, but it will lead to other opportunities to make mom friends.

2) Make a habit of introducing yourself.

With smart phones, personal interaction in public settings has majorly decreased. When you go to local parks, almost everyone is glued to their phones. I’m totally guilty of this!

The interactions we have on our phones feel like they are quenching our loneliness, but long-distance connections are not a substitute for the real deal. They may sustain you for a little while, but eventually, you will feel the lack of physical friendships.

Introducing yourself in settings where no one else is takes courage and initiative. But if you make it a habit, it gets easier and easier to make introductions.

If the conversation goes nowhere, that’s ok. You can’t know until you try! The friend I just made? Awkward park introduction. 

Make it a habit. You never know when you will strike gold.

3) Initiate. Initiate. Initiate.

See life from the perspective of those you are trying to make friends with. Their lives are busy. They may or may not be lonely. If they are, they may not give any outward indication of this fact.

In our case, we moved to a new city. The people I’ve met likely already have friends, or at the very least, they have established rhythms and things to do. They know the city and are busy keeping up with life. Life hasn’t stopped for them like it has for me.

You need to be the initiator. It’s not always fun, but do you want mom friends? You’ve got to initiate.

Initiate with all the people you meet at your chosen venue that you think you might possibly like to be friends with. Get their number; schedule a playdate or coffee date. Reschedule if it gets canceled.

Do whatever it takes to get that one face to face interaction.

4) Take a break when you feel discouraged.

When you’ve been initiating for months and coming up empty, it can be extremely discouraging. When you hit the wall with trying to make mom friends, give yourself permission to take a break. But before you do, decide on a specific amount of time to take off.

If you don’t give yourself a deadline, it will be so easy to put off restarting the process. So give yourself a couple of weeks off, then start reaching out again.

Resist self-pity. It can make you feel better, at least temporarily. But what does it NOT do? Make friends.

5) Find someone who needs a friend more than you.

Especially if you are trying to make friends after a move, remember again that the people you’re trying to build relationships with most likely already have established friend groups. Their lives haven’t been completely rearranged the way yours has.

If you continue to initiate without reciprocation, consider changing your approach. Keep your eyes peeled for people who look lonelier than you are.

Just moved? Find someone whose move is more recent than yours.

Sitting alone at the park? Find another mom who is sitting alone and introduce yourself.

The ones who are most likely to make room in their schedules are the ones who are lonelier than you are. Find those moms.

In Closing

Making new mom friends can be tough. It takes a whole lot of perseverance. I once heard an older and wiser mom compare making new friends to sowing seed. Jeanine encouraged moms to constantly be planting seeds of friendship in order to eventually reap a harvest of quality friends.

You may not see the fruit of your efforts right away, but as you continue to take care of those tiny seeds of friendships, some of them will sprout and grow. With a little bit of water and care, a few will blossom into deep and lasting friendships that will sustain you for years to come.

Keep persevering, mama. Your new best friend could be right around the corner, sitting on a park bench just waiting for you to say, “Hello.”