So you become a mom and BAM, you’re thinking: I guess I should meet local moms. And while experts tend to agree that social stimulation can be the root of mental stability – especially for busy moms – socializing for the sake of being social won’t get you very far. To get the most out of “mom dating,” you want to find and scoop up a few good mom pals. Preferably moms nearby. And to keep them, well, you have to be a good friend. So we threw together a few tips to help you be the best mom friend you can be!
OK, I’ll admit it. I’m a talker and a loud one at times. Doesn’t it just feel soooo good to let it all out and express yourself? Maybe for you (and me), but for a lot of people it’s just easier to listen. It’s important to share the mic with our quiet friends and ask a lot of questions so you really are able to get to know them. It will make for a much stronger friendship.
2. Be Yourself.
Remember who you were before you were a mom? It’s ok to let that person come out to play. Sometimes meeting local moms can feel stressful – like you’re dating or trapped among the Stepford Wives. Everyone (including you) seems to be putting on a show and it’s so much easier than just being yourself. But actually it’s a lot easier to just be yourself once you get used to it. When you put yourself out there and let your hair down, there’s a really good chance your new mom friends join you.
3. Don’t Judge.
And just about every mom reading this immediately thinks Mommy Wars. Good, you’re with me. So you bottle feed and I breastfeed and you let your kid eat candy and I don’t. Everyone seems to have an opinion about everything, especially in this new and exciting world of high visibility online parenting. When a new topic is brought to the table, our initial reaction is to react because chances are, we feel strongly about it one way or another. And when there are so many new things, it’s easy to get caught up in the politics of them. Unless it’s truly worth it (think hard about that) let’s make this friendship about us and not our egos. We are a hell of a lot stronger when we empower one another. Go out and watch “The Other Woman” for inspiration.
4. Support Your Friends.
Every mom needs it – even the ones who look soooo “perfect”. Don’t judge a book by its cover and don’t assume you know everything about your local mom friends. Let your conversations stray beyond small talk. When she’s having a really tough week, drop some cookies off or offer to watch her kiddos for a bit so she can have a break. And don’t be afraid to do something similar on occasion when things aren’t so bad. Your small token of kindness will go along way, and so will your friendship.
That’s right, LAUGH. IT. OFF. As much as you want to freak out when your mom friend’s child pees on your new sofa, don’t. When you want to scream as your own kid drops on the floor and throws a puke inducing tantrum, don’t. Save the stress for another time. Let your new mom friend join you in laughing at the ridiculousness that is parenting. There is something about sharing the humor with another mom who SO gets what you’re going through.
While all of these tips seem pretty simple, you may find that your new mom friend isn’t exactly compatible in all areas. That’s ok. If you can make it work, awesome. If you can’t make it work, it might be time to look for some new mom friends.