Do you find it difficult to maintain friendships as a mom? These super simple tricks will help you make and keep friends forever.
This is part of our 31 Things Every Working Mom Needs series. To read all the posts in order, visit the introduction post to see the outline for the whole series.
We all need girlfriends to celebrate and commiserate with. I don’t have any sisters, so the friends I have are really like sisters to me. We are deeply involved in each other’s lives in each other’s kids lives and have remained friends over a long period of time.
One of my best friends I have known since we were in preschool together at age 3. One of my second closest friends I have known for nearly 20 years after meeting at work.
Although a state may have separated us at one point or another, we really remain close in each other’s lives and I think there are some key ways that we have intentionally made this happen.
How to Make Mom Friends
If you have moved to a new area, your friends don’t have kids, or some other reason has pulled you away from friends, here are a few ideas on how to make some new ones.
Childhood – My childhood friends are the first source of friendship. Not only have we known each other forever, but we’ve experienced motherhood together, too.
Work – You spend 1/3 of your day (or more) at work. If there are people you connect with, let your guard down and enjoy the things you have in common.
Church – When I moved to North Carolina away from my family and childhood friends, nearly all of my friends came from church. We’re still friends 10+ years later.
Activities – Kids make friends easier when going to a new school by participating in sports, scouting, and other extra-curricular activities. Strike up a conversation while waiting or cheering the kids on with other moms.
How to Treat Your Mom Friends (So You Keep Them)
It has been important and invaluable for me to maintain these really close friendships. They’ve helped me through heartache, loss, and more. We’ve also celebrated graduations, marriages, births, promotions, and more. Here are some ways I make sure to stay connected.
1. Set Intentions
The first thing you have to do is to set the intention to stay close. It will not happen coincidentally or by itself. It must be intentional.
When you think of that person you have to let them know you’re thinking about them. Just start there.
I talk to at least one of my close friends a few times each week. It may be a quick call on the way to work, during lunch, or on my way home, but I invest that time in staying in touch with what’s going on in their world and sharing what’s going on in mine.
2. Have Rituals
All of the gatherings, rituals, and routines that you used to have are not going to be in place to keep you close. See what you can do to keep them up or create new ones. For example, one of my girlfriends and I used to talk every Monday night at 10pm, after we put the kids to bed.
3. Visit Often
Visit each other as often as possible. Schedule face to face meetings at least a few times a year. Send each other text messages or emails about things that are going on in your lives so that too much time doesn’t pass. Send each other greeting cards just because.
At least once a month, my husband and I each have a night out with our friends (separately). I might go out dancing at a club, have a nice restaurant meal, or go over for a girls night in. Turn that time into an investment in your friendships.
4. Connect With Kids
My closest friends and I are deeply involved in each other’s lives, in each other’s kids lives, and have remained friends over a long period of time. In addition to visiting each other as often as possible, we also attend each other’s kids’ birthday parties and other celebrations. When kids break limbs, do well in school, or get accepted on a sports team, we share it with each other. When the kids maintain relationships, they will also remind the parents to stay in touch.
5. Schedule Regular Meetings
Once a month, I meet up with a girlfriend (who is a former co-worker). We meet at the same restaurant at the same time on the second Wednesday of the month. I have a reminder for the day before and the day of on my phone, so I don’t forget.
If something comes up, we reschedule or skip it. Either way it’s no big deal. Then, we pick right back up the next month. With our routine scheduled, it makes it easy to remember and follow through with.
You guys will have to make a concerted effort to let each other know what is going on in your life. It’s so easy to stay close to someone when you are physically close to them because you may talk to them on the phone every day. Or, you may see them every day and they know what’s going on in your life and your children’s lives.
But you have to make an effort to still communicate those things once miles are between you.