Do you remember that feeling in the pit of your stomach, as you looked around the cafeteria on the first day in a new school, trying to make eye contact with someone…anyone?
The thought of making mom friends sends me right back to that middle school mentality again. As soon as I set foot into a school event, I feel like I’ve gone back in time. Has anyone seen my scrunchie?
(The awkward 14 year old girl on the left with the stylish glasses is me in middle school!)
Finding lasting friendships, now that I am older, is more difficult than trying to score a seat at the popular table. Every school has those moms that give off the vibe that screams, “I have it all together, and my life is perfect.” That, in itself, can be very intimidating. Especially so on one of those days when I finger combed my hair in the parking lot before running into to drop off the folder that was left on the dining room table.
Befriending moms on the playground can be tricky. You spot a promising candidate. Your little ones have hit it off in the sandbox, so of course, you are destined to become the best of friends. As you size each other up from across the jungle gym, you hope she isn’t judging your choice of yoga pants over skinny jeans. Maybe you think she is too pretty or too young for you to be friends with. Her parenting style may not mesh with yours, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be friends.
Mommies need playdates too.
I chase toddlers all day and deal with teenagers into the night. With barely a free moment to shower, kid free, how am I supposed to make friends? It seems to me that everyone else has connected with a tight knit group of mommy girlfriends. They plan Girls Night Out and Pampered Chef parties. I sit on the outskirts. Acquaintance to all, friend to barely a few.
Is it too late for me?
I might be too critical of others, and I know I am even more critical of myself. Also, it is easy to be quiet and unassuming. If you don’t put yourself out there, there is little chance of getting hurt.
When we were back in middle school, it was a whole lot easier to make friends. We were stuck together in the same classroom day in and day out, sharing pencils, hair ties, and stories about boys. Before you knew it we were joined at the hip, best friends forever. These days, us moms are standing in the back of the gym, texting while waiting to pick up our kids from an activity. We need to put down our phones and not be afraid to strike up a conversation with another mom.
Let’s make a vow to put ourselves out there. Strike up a conversation on the playground or at pickup from school or camp. You never know, it might be the start of a beautiful friendship.
Motherhood can be a challenging journey and we need all the support we can get.