I know you clicked on this because you were like, “Oh my word, yes!!! Moms are scary! How do you approach other moms, what do you say, what if she doesn’t like you, doesn’t parent like you, is super creative and put together and you look like you just survived that last scene in Twister with Helen Hunt?”
… slow down …
Breathe in, breathe out. Breathe in, breathe out.
Repeat that until the anxiety of admitting that it is stinkin’ terrifying to THINK about making a mom friend let alone actually breaking through the comfort zone to talk to another mom.
Here’s the thing. Making mom friends IS fricken terrifying … if you over analyze it. If you pep-talk yourself with all the doubt and insecurities you hold before you even allow the word “hello” to come out of your mouth, YES, moms are scary!
I mean, we live in a time when it is both encouraged and championed for women to pursue a career as though they don’t have children WHILE simultaneously raising said children as if they do not go to work. We are constantly bombarded with the notion that being a stay at home mom is a waste of our time and talents, and yet it is deplorable for a woman to work (within or outside the home) because they aren’t raising their children.
Fast food, organic, non-GNO or vegan are all that anyone talks about and what happens when the dreaded vaccination or circumcision topics come up.
PS ^^ since when has it been ok to casually mention, “oh yeah, we got / did not get the snip because my husband is(n’t).”
LIKE seriously, now all I can think of is your husbands penis!
I should not even consider this!
I laugh, I probably have used this discussion as some sort of justification for our family in the past … and if I have … I apologize, how horribly awkward. Now you know what I’m working with, my husband is shuttering at that thought and we can both laugh because – seriously, WHO mentions their husbands package in that much detail as a side note discussion.
Never the less, the point is this … we live in a time when everything is shared, everything is judged, and we (above all) are our own worst critics.
We’ve been raised by a generation focused on diverging from the “old ways” on paving new grounds and chasing ambition blindly. Many of us have come from broken homes, were raised by the school system and daycares. We’ve struggled to find our identities in elementary, middle, high school and even university.
We’ve doubted who our friends are, we’ve struggled with being one of the guys because girls are too nasty << and paying for that decision dearly as we’ve battled nasty rumours, jokes about our intentions and a constant nagging, wondering if these girls are TRULY our friends.
And now, when you think you are passed all the drama, we enter this new world of momma-drama.
A world when all of our childhood insecurities are AMPLIFIED by the constant NOISE of how we are “supposed” to do this whole parenting thing.
And we become crippled.
Standing alone in a sea of other mothers wondering if they are like you, better than you, as bat crap crazy as you.
And it is scary, to say the least.
Yet, we are so driven by the need to connect on an emotional level with another human being that is going through the trenches of spit-up stained tank tops that allow your momma pouch to hang out and sleepless nights that beg us to consider just HOW much coffee is safe in a 24 hour period … that we KNOW we need to reach out. Grab a friend and hold on for dear stinkin’ life.
** PS >> I have had two full pots of coffee on one of those sleep deprived days (ok, more than one) and I no one died. SO, if you are wondering, two pots is still safe. **
I digress …
Here’s the thing.
That other mom, across the play ground or at the table with you … she is wondering the exact same thing. She is sitting there, wallowing in her own insecurities, wondering if you are going to like her, laugh at her, or let her into your circle. She is terrified and isolated.
How do I know?
Because we all are.
We all hesitate just long enough for doubt to creep in.
We pause, maybe before we even SEE another mother … while we try to muster the courage to get out of the car, we PAUSE long enough for the spark to fade from our smile, for that insecure little girl out on the playground to take a death grip of our facial expressions as we desperately try to “look happy”.
We all do it, some of us are getting better, others have stopped trying. And we fear what it will take to make a mom friend.
And I know, you are reading this and you have gotten to this point *hopefully* and are feeling like I have just described you and you’re waiting … anticipating that ah-ha breakthrough trick for making amazing mom friends.
DRUM ROLL …
There is no one tip besides this.
Now listen up momma.
Get out of your head!
Say hello! That is the very first step with making a mom friend. Being willing to step outside your doubt and your insecurities to even introduce yourself.
^^ did you catch that though?
You need to introduce yourself. YOU.
It’s no help if you break the ice by crossing the playground … standing awkwardly close to that new potential mom friend … looking at her or catching her eye “casually” (I say that because I know you have been looking in her direction a creepy amount, hoping that you can make that casual interaction), and saying, “Hey, I’m Johnny’s mom!”
Ok, Johnny’s mom.
You may have crossed over that no communication boundary but you have essentially become that pet parent, and you will likely always be known as “Johnny’s mom” and she will be “Suzy’s mom” and there will be no progression past a now slightly less uncomfortable wave the next time you see each other at the play ground.
Introduce YOURSELF, otherwise you will forever be returning home with stories of what Sally’s mom was up to, and why Frankie’s mom was not herself at the kinder-gym today.
And you’ll be no further ahead. You’re basically a dog owner – you know what I mean, if you are a fellow dog owner, you go on your usual route, you see the same dogs all the time, and you know that the golden doodle is Harry, and therefore the person at the other end of the leash is Harry’s owner, and the poodle that nips at your dog annoyingly is Juniper, and the person at the other end of the leash is Juniper’s owner.
You don’t want to be the dog owner, you don’t want to be “Johnny’s mom”.
So, the first step in making mom friends, after you’ve gotten out of your own head for a moment, is to introduce YOURSELF.
“Hi, I’m Cassandra! What a great day to get out to the park isn’t it?”
Practice some “ice breakers”, practice in the mirror, in your car on the way to the park or church. Rehearse on your husband. But remember, always introduce yourself. YOU matter in this relationship. Your kids … their names will come out … probably when you shout for Donna to stop pushing Gerald as you attempt to play it cool with this new mom.
Their names will make their way into the conversation as you feel out how experienced, seasoned, or “crunchy” this other mom is. Their names are inevitable. YOUR NAME, your name can remain a secret long enough for it to be too awkward for that other mom to ask, “hey, by the way, what IS your name?”
So, say hello!
That’s step ONE!
** ok, because I know that this is something that I struggled with for WAY too long, and – if I am honest – I still wrestle with … I want to tell you that there will be a few more posts that talk on this topic coming up. Can we say every Monday in February? Is that too much to commit to? But, for realz’. Making mom friends is something that I think we can benefit from tremendously, if only we are willing to admit some things about ourselves, our expectation, and that awkward process of making a new friend in the midst of one of the messiest transitions of our lives. Motherhood. So, make sure you subscribe to stay connected so that you don’t miss out on the dating stage, on the wedding the right ladies, and on what happens when there is a “falling out”. You DON’T want to miss it!
ALSO – if you are reading along, checking out the posts as they come out, and you are nodding along with me. If you’ve laughed or thought to yourself “this is MY girl”, don’t hold onto that without telling someone (telling me even). Drop a comment, share to your Facebook and let another mom friend in.
We are in this together. **