Motherhood

3 Things You Must Know About How to Find and Keep Mom Friends

5 Comments 15 March 2011

Having close friends has always been important to me.

And I prefer quality over quantity.

Since becoming pregnant and giving birth to my daughter, finding and keeping close friends hasn’t always been easy.

The friendships that have lasted and those which have faded out surprised me. I’ve learned some very valuable lessons.

I’d like to share some of my discoveries with you in this blog post in helps that you will make new, or strengthen existing, friendships.

The core components of true, lasting friendship doesn’t always come down to what philosophies we share on parenting or lifestyle, age or race. It comes down to matters much bigger than that.

#1: Matching Personalities

“All you have to do is get along.”

It is our similarities in personality, not lifestyle, that make or break friendship.

The most important thing about making new friends after becoming a mom is learning to keep an open mind about who you might end up being friends with.

I learned we didn’t necessarily have to be “like-minded” even though that is what I had expected to need from friends (being such a odd-ball home birther).

Example:

I was introduced to a friend of a friend while I loved in Portland. My first overview concluded she might be materialistic because she was what I considered to be “done-up” for a mom. Hair done, flawless makeup, perfect nails, big bling of a ring, nice clothes, etc.

I never thought in a million years I would be friends with this woman.

She just didn’t seem my type. I was more hippie-dippie, and she looked like a preppy cheerleader (she was a cheerleader in high school by the way).

Boy was I ever wrong!

We hit it off so fast! Within weeks we were close friends. Our time together was always filled with laughter and story telling. Although I’ve since moved back to Michigan, we’re still good friends and talk often.

#2: Respect

“There is nothing wrong with being completely different from your friends if you share a mutual respect for each other.”

Example friend and I have little in
common.

She gave birth by epidural in a hospital while I gave birth at home, all natural. She circumcised her son, I plan to keep mine (if I have a boy) intact. She’s wouldn’t consider herself organic, while I’m almost overboard strict on making sure I eat organic food. She’s a Christian, I somewhere between agnostic & atheism.

The list could go on. But it doesn’t matter. It never has. We like and respect each other too much¬† to let anything like a lifestyle difference come between our bond. That would just be silly! We both believe the other is a wonderful mother. What could be more beautiful than that?

#3: Compatibility

“Treat your friend as you wish to be treated.”

If you’re giving more than you’re receiving, the friendship will likely not last.

It’s a two way street baby.¬†

Seeing eye-to-eye on the philosophy and/or concept of friendship is really important to maintaining a strong and sustainable relationship.

This topic is a sore spot for me.

I’m a giver to a fault. Always have been. My art teacher warned me if I continued behaving that way, I’d have little to nothing left for myself.

I argued, couldn’t these friends I’m emotionally supporting return the favor and help replenish my well? It doesn’t always happen that way. Not everyone is the same kind of friend you are.

My tip is this: make sure you’re compatible before investing too much time and energy. And if your ideas of friendship don’t match up, understand there is nothing wrong with either of you. You’re just different, and your friendship will be what it is (not necessarily what you want it to be).

Friendship can be tricky business!

Mixing people together and watching the result is always interesting. A constant surprise; often a humbling experience.

What has been your experience in making mom friends? Do you agree with these components? Add your friendship-making expertise in the comments below!

Your Comments

5 Comments so far

  1. michelle says:

    I love the point that your lifestyle doesn’t have to be the same! I don’t know anyone with the same lifestyle and parenting style as me. I don’t know anyone else, in person, who has home birthed, water birthed, or even birthed naturally at all. My best friend is still my best friend from jr high. She went to college, I didn’t. I got married at 20, bought a home at 21, started having babies at 22. She’s still single, in an apartment, no kids, and lives 2 hours away. She’s still my closest friend. The hardest thing for me isn’t making or keeping friends (I have 3 close friends and I’m totally fine with that number!) but finding time to talk and stay in touch. I’m happy that it doesn’t hurt our friendships, but I can go 1-3 months without being able to talk to them sometimes. That’s a bummer, but it’s life, and we’re all at different stages.

  2. Katrina says:

    Since becoming a mother I’ve found that my friendships have changed quite a bit. I no longer feel that close to my once best friends from college. I think becoming a parent forces you to really hone in on what your values are. It seems these girls that I once stayed up late laughing and talking over every detail of our lives, just aren’t on the same page as me today. At the same time, I’ve made new friends since becoming a parent who I have so much more in common with now.

  3. CB says:

    So on #3 do you end up holding back on the amount you give/contribute towards the work of the friendship or how do you compensate for the difference? That’s one of the biggest things that ends up irking me in friendships… when my “friends” need me I’m there but when I have a need I sometimes feel as though they don’t care/don’t have time or whatever… *sigh*

  4. Diana says:

    What a nice read. So true. I find the definition of a friend has changed so much now that I’m a Mother. What I need to be fulfilled changed, evolved I would even say.

  5. Sarah says:

    This has been a tough subject for me (and my husband also). I battled a lot of lonliness after my son was born. I always had a rich, full social life and all of sudden it was gone. I felt so selfish for feeling that way, the depth of the loss, when I had my beautiful baby. Contributing to this was that most of our friends did/do not have children. We just simply didn’t have the same freedoms as before – especially having no family near by and being on a tight budget. They just kind of fell away, these people I thought were my “best” friends. Even the friendships I was able to maintain (basically via the phone) felt distant. It was one of the hardest parts of becoming a mom for me.

    Then, slowly, I started to make new friends, friends with children. These were mostly aquaintances, but the more I saw of the same women, at the park, through the play group I joined, the more these aquaintances grew. Eventually, out of this, I found a few good, solid Momma-friends, including one in particular. She is different than me but we just connect in so many other ways and building the network really lifted my spirits. By the time I had my daughter, I no longer felt lonely and felt completed by my husband, children and “new” friends. I still talk to a few of the “old” ones and hold them dear. But I no longer mourn the losses from before I had kids – now I just enjoy all the fun I’m having with them and other Mommas.


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