Moms Need Mom Friends
My friend Sharon and I go walking a couple of times a week for exercise. But the real benefit of our morning walk has a lot more to do with emotional than physical health. After nearly a decade of our morning outings you’d think we’d have the world’s problems all solved. That hasn’t happened yet. But we have helped one another through a lot of life. Having someone to talk about the ups and downs of parenting, work, weddings, job loss, caring for aging parents and other responsibilities has been a lifesaver for both of us.
Moms can spend a lot of time arranging play dates for their children, organizing birthday parties and driving carpools. In fact moms can be so busy taking care of the needs of their children that they have little time to develop their own friendships. But most women crave friendships with other moms—especially friends who offer physical, emotional and mental support during the crazy days of childrearing.
Mary Jo Rapini, Med, LPC, says, “Mom friends understand when the house smells like dirty diapers, or will talk over a colicky baby without batting an eye. Mom friends understand you crying in the middle of the afternoon because you can’t button your favorite dress, and they listen while you vent about your partner coming home late or being on a business trip leaving you alone with the kids. Mom friends are the backbone of every mom at some time or another.”
Rapini offers some simple ideas for building relationships with other moms.
1. Get yourself out there and take your baby for a stroll or go to the park. Having toys other children can play with will help draw kids and moms to you. Begin the conversation.
2. After you meet a mom you’re comfortable with, share contacts on Facebook or phone.
3. Organize play dates at your home.
4. Turn naptimes into coffee times with other moms.
5. Find kid friendly restaurants to meet or other kid activities and invite another mom and her children.
6. Join an exercise class at the Y. They are inexpensive and many have babysitting where you’re sure to meet other moms.
7. Sign up for a baby-and-me class and reach out to other moms.
8. Be willing to help another mom when you see a need.
9. Find a church that has activities or baby classes.
10. Send encouraging emails or notes to other moms. This will make you feel better, and they will be more receptive to reaching out and contacting you.