*This post may contain affiliate links. If you click through, I may earn a small commission. Your price will never be affected by my affiliate link. On occasion, I also write sponsored posts, which help to run the blog as well. I thank you for supporting this space, so I can continue to share my journey and our family adventures. For more information, please visit the full disclosure here*
Not too long ago, I met a woman through a mutual friend. The friend we shared in common mentioned to me how much I’d like the woman I eventually met. And, like her I did!
When she arrived at my house for the first time, her her hair was wrapped. Instantly, I was aware this woman just might have some similar values with which we could connect. But, as we all started talking and discussing, I realized that this particular woman had more depth and I wanted to know more.
Within a few months, I got to know her and before long, we were pregnant together. Throughout pregnancy, we shared our woes, our happiness, and our growing sizes. There was never any judgement or criticism, only support and mutual understanding. We’d have long text conversations, even as she was out of the country, or in another part of this country. There was never any shaming, judgement, or guilt even if it took hours (or days) to respond. Somehow, at the end of any conversation, we’d both walk away feeling just that much lighter, understood, seen, and heard.
Through getting to know more about her, and she me, I also learned her husband is a musician. I remember thinking how incredible it was to meet someone who’s husband is a musician pursuing his dreams and passions.
I don’t know about you, but every time I meet someone who works hard at following their passions, it reignites me, gives me drive, and inspires me to reach for my dreams. Back to the story of this woman, who’s become a friend.
Now that my friend and I have both had our children, boys, we have even more to share with one another. We often talk about what it’s like to be a mother, the stresses of being at home most days alone, our individual needs as women and creatives to have time to ourselves, and the ways in which we strive to do more and better for our families every day. In all this, we are constantly figuring ways to get our families together and hang out.
One of our goals is to get her husband to play music for all of us. In that vein, I know I’ll definitely mention to her that the local Guitar Center has different types of drums her husband may find interesting as he continues to build his knowledge, skills, collection, and career.
Now, we sit and chat, nursing and watching our babies grow. I share some of my “wisdom” and experience in mothering these last 3 years, she shares her insights and we learn and grow together. We learn about ourselves and each other as we share our journey in life. We ask for recommendations or ideas, we support one another in the pursuit of knowledge and passion towards our own families. Often, we spend all day, just chatting and chasing our children, while somehow still marveling in the reality that is our life.
Whatever joy or struggle we face, there’s knowledge that we aren’t alone. At the very least, we hear each other out and we hold space for one another. And, through friendship with her, I know the real importance of having friends that are close in location, who are also mothers.
But, I know she and I aren’t the only moms on the lookout for other women and mothers with which to build strong and deep friendship. I also know, if you’re anything like me, this is an area in which you might struggle. I have such a hard time actively meeting other women, preferring to be introduced or knowing ahead of time that we might share interests outside of our children through community events and programs. Yet, even in those situations, I find it difficult to strike up conversation with other women.
So, in an effort to help all of us in building more friendships as women and mothers, I’m sharing these 5 tips.
1. Take chances.
Even if you have to talk yourself into it, go somewhere and get involved. Or form a small group based off the friendship that at least one person has with another 2 or 3 people. But, whatever you do, say hi. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture, just a simple hello. Or, even better, ask or compliment someone’s child or a mothering skill/behavior you see someone doing.
2. Engage from where you are.
In other words, if you’re a mom to 1 child, simply pregnant, or a mom to 12 children be that. If you’re a stay-at-home mom that really does mostly stay at home, talk from that perspective. You’re perspective and experience as a mother and woman is unique to you and you never know what you can give or get from just hearing what another mother does.
3. Remain authentic and be willing to share your authenticity.
This goes along with the point above. Be who you are. If you like pretty things, but also hiking in the woods, talk about them both. If you want to make everything from scratch or buy from a company you trust, that’s ok, too. No matter what, simply be yourself – all of you, not just parts of you. With the friend I mentioned in the post, we talk about our frustrations, our desperation, and our joy with ourselves and our families. Some of my experiences are similar to hers, others are vastly different. Yet, we each gain something not just in sharing with one another, but in learning with one another.
4. Stay connected.
No matter what, get in touch. If you haven’t heard from her in a few days or a week, just let her know you’ve thought of her and wish her well. Don’t pry, unless you’ve been granted permission or unless your relationship has deepened in that way. At the same time, don’t think that just because you haven’t heard from her that it’s either because of you or because she’s just busy. She could be in a time of struggle and she’d really like to know someone cares about her. She might not want to “bother” anyone with her struggles. Afterall, you may know a resource or something that can help, even something as innocuous as why is my washer gushing water all over.
5. Don’t forget to celebrate and commiserate together, too.
Whether in good times or bad, be there with her. Wherever she is. And, if you’re both in a good or bad time, celebrate and honor that. It could just be a great day, or a few great days, maybe even a terrible hour or so. Because, if can both celebrate and commiserate without judgement, you’ve definitely found a good friend. One that likely can last even beyond the young child years!
Tell me, how do you find friends as a mom? What tips have you used that help you to find and build friendships?