Building Friendships as a Mom

Friendships are so difficult to tend to and build when you are a mom. It's just the truth. It doesn't mean it's not possible, you just have to change your expectations and the way that you go about building up your friendships. 

I tend to struggle in this area, but after talking to several other moms this is an area many feel they struggle with the most. 

It's understandable. As moms we are busy. We have added responsibilities that we didn't have before children. Some moms work outside the home, some moms work inside the home, some moms keep other children along with their own children during the day and then you add in being a wife, cooking, laundry, cleaning and keeping your sanity...

It's no wonder that we all struggle with our friendships. 

I have learned a few things after I became a mom and tending to friendships. No, I'm not perfect. I'm constantly learning. However I wanted to share what I have learned so far in case any other mothers out there are severely struggling and just need a little advice, a little comfort, a little reality from another mom.

First of all you have to change your expectations.

Before children maybe you expected your friends to drop things so they could do something for you or spend time with you. Maybe there are still some moms that can do that, but I'm not one of them. I also don't expect my friends to be one of them either. I have several responsibilities at home including my two children and some days three children in the mornings. I have to plan out play dates, friend time or anything else that includes being social.

Even though you may have to schedule your time together and it may involve nursing a crying baby, changing a poopy diaper or telling a toddler a million times over to behave...your quality of your friendship can still be just as great. There is more to connect to, more to talk about. Even though you may only talk about your children, you can relate on the same level. Plus being able to talk with another mom about being a mom is kind of a stress reliever. I feel so much more human when I can relate with my friends!

Second of all since time is limited with one another you have to find other methods to let your friends know you are thinking of them.

This is a big reason why I love social media. I can simply "like" a photo of my friend's on Instagram or Facebook and they know that I am somehow involved with them. That may sound silly, but seriously I love when my friends like my photos, or better yet comment on them. It makes me know that they stumbled across me on their computer or their phone and even though it wasn't face to face, we connected. Between Twitter, Instagram and Facebook there really isn't an excuse to not try to connect with your friends through social media. I truly believe it makes them feel like you care about them. I always feel like my friends care when they connect with me through social media. I won't hold it against them if they don't "like" something of mine, but I do know that I feel like my friendships are more valued when I am able to grow my relationships this way. It's simple too and not too time consuming. Not all aspects of friendship need to be time consuming. Which is good for us busy moms who are constantly trying to time manage.

If you don't like social media and don't spend a lot of time there then you can always text your friend a little message to see how they are doing. Text messages are so nice because there are several points during my day that I cannot take a phone call. I just simply can't focus on a phone call at times with the events that are going on within my home with two kids. Text messages allow you send a thoughtful message to a friend and they can read it when they have the chance to pick up their phone. I love messages from my friends.

Third thing I've learned goes back to play dates. Schedule them. Even if you only have two to three a month, at least you were able to connect with your friends during a play date a few times. It's great for the kids and great for you. I'd love to have more play dates with friends but I also understand nap schedules, my friends that have jobs outside of the home, responsibilities my friend's may have at home and even time to stay at home because they are simply exhausted. I totally get that! Sometimes in my free time (what free time?!) I just want to collapse. 

The last thing that I have learned is find something that you love to do that involves other women and do it. I started back up with our local Zumba classes at the beginning of March and I do not like to miss it. It takes a lot of energy to get there but once I do I feel so much better because not only did I get a good workout, but I'm surrounded by friends. Even if we don't get to talk hardly at all I still feel part of a group. It's nice to get out of the house without the kids and enjoy something just for yourself. 

As I previously said, I'm not perfect at my friendships. I'm far from it. I struggle daily, but I do put forth an effort. If you can even pick one method to help build up your relationships with your friends, do it. 

So go. Go "like" a photo. Go send a text message. Schedule a play date.

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