Monday, October 7, 2013

Building Your Mom-Tourage: How to Make Mom Friends (Part Two)

In Building Your Mom-Tourage part one, we talked about all the reasons why having mom friends are important, but how does one necessarily go about getting said friends in the first place? Sometimes it can be hard for moms, especially brand new ones, to find a group of other moms to surround themselves with. These are the women you click with, laugh with, and share some of your hardest moments with- finding people like that can be a lot more difficult than you might think and that can often lead to moms feeling lonely or isolated. 

Child psychologist Joanna Jacobs compares the process of acquiring mom friends as back to being an adolescent in high school but says "No matter how awkward you feel, just remember every new mom is in the same situation, and all moms, no matter what stage of motherhood they are in, crave friendship." 

So i've researched and gathered five different strategies for helping moms go out of their comfort zone, break the ice, and cultivate those crucial friendships.

1. Don't be afraid to put yourself out there
As awkward and nerve wracking as it may feel, this is a situation where you just have to cram all of your shyness away and step out of your comfort zone. Don't wait for other mothers to approach you first, it is important to learn to be okay with making the first move. Break the ice with a compliment, to her or her child, and see if the conversation flows. If it is a person that you have a connection with, after those first few awkward moments the conversation should start to become easier and less forced. 

2. Exchange contact information
If you made good small talk and felt some positive energy, don't just walk away from it without any of their information! Now a days with Twitter, cell phones, email, and Facebook there are so many different ways to get a hold of people. You never know where really great friendships can come from so exchange information, before you leave, even if it's just an email or home phone number. Besides, there is never harm in just asking!

3. Schedule a play date with your kids
Kids are some of the best ice breakers out there, especially between moms. So if you are noticing that your kids are getting along, plan a play date! That way while your kids are having a good time and making new friends, you are too. Ease some of the anxiety you might feel about this first get together by doing something simple and casual, like a walk through the park with your strollers or a lunch date at your house. Being in an environment where you feel most comfortable will help you to relax and feel confident while putting yourself out there. 

4. Plan a follow up grown-ups play date
After you have had a few successful play dates with your new mom friend and her kids, plan the next one without the kids. Take some time out to grab dinner, go out for some drinks, or get coffee to just unwind and have some girls-night-style fun. Even if its in the middle of the afternoon while the kids are napping, give her a call and invite her over for coffee and some lunch. Making plans with new people is really refreshing and adds excitement when your days start feeling repetitive. 

5. Get out of the house!
Sometimes the hardest part is simply getting out of the house and going somewhere. Moms of newborns who spend a lot of time sleeping are especially affected by this. But regardless, it is important to make and effort and motivate yourself to get outside as much as possible because spending too much time alone or in the house can lead to some of the feelings of loneliness and depression that some moms experience. Even if it is just putting the baby in a stroller and taking a walk through the neighborhood or the local park, it can be very uplifting and put you in a great mood. Plus you never know who you will meet along the way! 

If you haven't already, don't forget to check out Building Your Mom-Tourage Part One: Why It Is Important to Have Mom Friends!

To learn more about Modern Moms and The Mom Code, please visit ONCEKids Publishing websiteFacebook and Twitter

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