“I’m so lonely. I stay home with my kids, so I don’t go out and work to meet people. I have no friends. I try inviting mom‘s from my church to do play dates with and even tell them they should invite me if they go to some places and I get no responses. Is there like a book I can buy to learn to make friends or have a better personality? Ha but for real. Obviously I’m pretty boring. I was fun in high school I had plenty of friends. Now I’m just boring and can’t find even one friend. I feel like there can be something I can do to make friends but obviously don’t know. How do you make friends? Especially when your a Stay At Home Mom?”
The struggle is real. In fact, when this question was originally posted, several of the responses were “I feel the same way-do you live close? Let’s get together.” So you definitely aren’t alone.
I think the hardest part of becoming a mom is trying to figure out where you fit in the friend department. It’s like we start out as a friend first. It’s one of the first titles we accept in life. We spend a LOT of years becoming a good friend, and for so many years of our life, friends make our worlds go round. Through high school and college it really feels like these friendships are the center of our being. And then life changes. Your first friend gets married, and they are in the “married friends stage.” They start seeking out other “married friends.” I told myself this would never happen to me-but it did. I found myself struggling to connect to my friends who I spent my whole teenage life with. I think friendship is all about relating, and understanding each other. And when you are married and your friend is partying and juggling 3 men, it’s hard to relate.
The same thing happens with kids. I remember talking about diapers with one of my friends, and having another married friend, without kids, say “I can’t believe you have been talking about this for 20 minutes.” When you can’t relate, and have nothing in common besides the “good old days” it’s hard to maintain relationships.
So I guess that brings us to the “what can I do” part, and I think the answer is-a lot.
Plan something: I am very social. I thrive when I see my friends and I enjoy being around them. I like to entertain and I like to be surrounded by people. We host game nights. Holiday parties. BBQ’s. I go out of my way to invite acquaintances to these events-usually when there are other couples/families there so there isn’t any pressure. It continues to amaze me how fast an acquaintance can become a great friend. If you are friends with someone on Facebook (like a mom with kids close to your age) and you dig her posts-invite her over. You have no idea how much she might need it too.
Post on Social Media: Come up with an idea (picnic at the park,) post it on your own page or on a local moms group, and see if anyone would like to meet up. If it’s something that would have sparked your interest, it will spark somebody else’s.
Reach out to old friends: Sometimes we grow apart from our friends as our lives take separate paths at different times. And then even when our paths come back together (or we are both married, with kids, living in the same town) it’s hard to feel like things will be the same. You had chemistry once, but one get together was awkward, or bombed (like the diaper situation) and now you feel like you probably don’t click. You are, most likely, wrong. Try the relationship out again. It has amazed me how many times the friends that I thought I was no longer compatible with-become compatible a little later down the road. I have many friends who I know were annoyed by my constant kid chatter-until they had kids. And now it feels like we have picked up where we left off years ago. You start to understand each other in a completely different way, and since you know each others backgrounds, you don’t feel like you have to completely start over.
Join a gym/fitness class/hobby group: A lot of moms go out in the evenings a couple times a week when their husbands are home. They can meet other women who also want to get out of the house, and do something for themselves. If you have a hobby, look up options in your area to do it with other people. Yoga classes, Zumba classes, Water aerobics,book club-all are great places to meet people in the same wake of life as you.
Get A Job: Hear me out. This doesn’t have to be full time. It doesn’t even have to be PART time. Do something to get out of the house a few hours a week. Call it a Disneyland fund. My favorite part of my job is the social aspects of it. Some of my best friends are people I work with every single day. I’ve become friends with co-workers AND their wives (I work with a lot of men) and let’s face it-you already have a lot in common. These kinds of friends are the ones who understand your crazy schedule, and can relate to your stress. It’s also a great outlet if you feel like you want to do something for yourself. Another good option-ask your husband to invite a work friend over with their family (or even friends of his from outside of work.) You might find you get along great!
Join A Social Media Group: It never ceases to amaze me how many groups there are out there. And how many smaller groups come out of those. I have met a lot of great people and great friends because we have connected in a mom group or something similar. There are groups out there for everything: Newlywed Moms, Religious Moms, Swearing Moms, Single Moms, Funny Moms-you name it. You are bound to find a group of moms close to you, with similar interests. And you will be amazed at how many of them are also looking for a friend-you aren’t alone in that.
Do Service: I think doing something nice for someone is a great way to get to know them. If you have a neighbor that you really like, and would like to be friends with-make them cookies. If a friend on social media is looking for a babysitter-offer to help. You will find that little acts of service give you the opportunity to get to know people. And when people feel like you have helped them, or care about them, they are more likely to like you as well.
I think if you are willing to put yourself out there you will be amazed at how many opportunities will present themselves to you. So many people are unwilling or afraid to take that step-but are hoping for the opportunity to be a friend. Give them that opportunity-and help yourself in the process.