Like so many, I’ve known the struggles of being a working mom and the challenges of being a stay-at-home mom (SAHM). We’ve lived in large cities and small military towns. No matter the label, there was something else with which I identified, something I thought no other mother dealt with. That title was of a lonely mom. I needed mommy friends.
It wasn’t due to being with toddlers all day or about to throw the TV if I watched one more episode of Caillou. Not lonely because I was overwhelmed being at work all day then trying to figure out how to sit down and watch that same episode of Caillou with one of my sons, but dinner and laundry needed to be done. It wasn’t loneliness due to running to therapies and appointments as a special needs mom.
It was having no one to talk to about life outside of these struggles, these challenges. I didn’t have mommy talk. I wanted to go see Black Panther and smirk at Michael B. Jordan as the shirtless villain. I wanted to know if the new nail salon served mimosas. Now, don’t get it twisted; I know we all have some amazing friends from high school or college. But shucks, for me that means checking time zones before calling one of my closest friends who lives back east. Besides, aren’t there moments you want to get out sans children and spouse? For me that struggle was REAL.
This momma needed to get out alone and not talk about poop or how to pump and dump. My girls from back in the day were just too far away. (No offense Gail, Tiff; you know I love ya!)
Thank You, Social Media
The first step was joining almost every local moms group. Some moms are wonderful enough to create and admin these groups. Working moms, SAHMs, crunchy moms, new moms, special needs moms; you name it, there is probably a local group for that. Join and you will see posts by other moms looking to meet friends: “I’m new to the area, three kids, and looking to meet some friends.” Sound familiar? We have all seen them. But how many of us actually make the effort to meet up in person? What’s great about these groups are the planned events. They are not always play dates either. For this momma, that was a win.
The Fort Worth Moms Blog (FWMB) has its own set of Neighbor Groups based on area, where events and activities are planned. These moms live in your area. There are lists of events published by FWMB. Pick one post and summon your inner Jerry Maguire. Ask, “Who is coming with me?” and have an outing. I have honestly met and become friends with at least two pretty awesome moms through a local Facebook group. One momma even introduced me to a mom at the new school my son was going to attend. Turned out our kids were in the same grade!
Then there is Peanut. Yup, an app called Peanut. It’s like a matchmaking app for moms. You can swipe left, right, or whatever, and connect with local moms too. Allergic to peanuts? Check out Social Mom. The moms on there aren’t necessarily local, but you can choose to connect with local moms.
Meetup is another great tool to meet local moms with similar interests. You can search based upon interests and a set distance, an up will appear “meetups” to attend. This is also great for networking. Technology is amazing! No lie; last year, my resolution for the new year was to get out more. I have fulfilled it, and it required way less effort than losing 25 pounds.
You Have Got to Try
Downloading the apps and completing the profile isn’t going to be enough. You actually have to get out there. I know I am not the only person to see one of those “make mommy friends” posts, jump to her profile, and check out the momma. Then the judgement begins: she looks too young, she is slimmer/bigger than me, she has only one kid or five kids. Whatever it is, we judge and often talk ourselves OUT of getting OUT.
Momming today can be so challenging. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a chat over a glass of wine (or pitcher of sangria), laugh, hear the words “girl, me too,” and realize you are FOR REAL not alone. Whether you are new to town or a new mom, it helps. In my case, I was a working mom who because a SAHM and struggled with that change. We know to take others’ Facebook posts with a grain of salt. I mean, who is going to post a picture of the clothes overflowing from the laundry room to the kitchen? But you will share that with your friend. If she is a real friend, she will laugh and ask when you took that picture in her house.
It takes effort, but we can do it. Last year, I made some genuine friendships. They have watched my boys in a pinch, brought over wine, and found a sitter for me when I could not find one. I’m grateful for them. It took a click on the “going” button and then to actually go.
If you are struggling, think about how you can get out there. Let’s help each other out on this one. How did you go about meeting your local mommy friends? Comment below.
The Fort Worth Moms host more than 20 Neighbor Groups via Facebook, including the Moms of Kids with Differences and Disabilities. These groups are free to join and offer online and offline opportunities to build relationships and gain resources from other moms in the area.