I write a lot about mum friends because I just adore mine. I honestly don’t know how I would do this motherhood thing without their support.
They get me through the hard days, make me laugh at everything that is crazy about life with kids and remind me that I’ve got this, even when I really question if I do. I know I give them the same support back.
But I’m also aware that not everyone has this kind of village around them. Not everyone has kids at the same time as their friends, and has a circle of ready-made mum friends already standing by.
Some of us also move away from our network and have to start afresh at making buddies. Others suffer from social anxiety and don’t have the confidence to forge new relationships. It’s hard.
But here’s the thing! Most mums crave mum friends. So chances are if you put yourself out there, you will have some very willing takers. Here are a few things you can do to build up your mum-friend village.
1. Join a mother’s group
If you have a baby, then join a parent’s group. Even if it feels weird at first to hang out with a bunch of strangers where the only thing you have in common is the fact that you had a baby at the same time as them. A mother’s group is a goldmine of potential mum friends. You may need to stick with it for a few weeks, but I promise if you do, you will find at least one like-minded mama who you bond with. Give it time.
2. Use your kids to bridge the gap
Our little loves are a great excuse to get talking to another mum. Be it the mum at the park who happens to have a toddler as obsessed with garbage trucks as yours, or the mum at the mall play centre who also has a teething baby. Get chatting to her about your kids and use this as a bridge to get to know her. Ask her about her little ones, her life and tell her about yours. She’s probably as tired and bored as you are and will appreciate the conversation and camaraderie.
3. Have a coffee date
It can be as daunting as asking a guy out for the first time on a date, but if you feel a connection with a mum who you get talking too, then why not ask her if she’d like to join you and your little one for a coffee?
Taking this step shows her that you’d like to get to know her better. If she turns you down, don’t worry! It may be that she really does need to get her bubba home for a day sleep. Don’t jump to conclusions that she doesn’t like you.
More on mum friends:
- 9 things all great mum friends say to each other
- An open love letter to my mother’s group: “You’ve kept me sane all these years”
- The different types of mum friends all of us REALLY need
4. Arrange a playdate
If your child has made a friend at daycare, then why not have them over for a playdate? You could pop a note in their kindy artwork pocket inviting them and their mum over – something like “Hi Mia’s Mum, Mia and my Sam have become good friends. Please call or text me on … (add phone number) if you guys would like to come to ours for a playdate. Sam would love it! Lana”.
A playdate is great for the kids but they are also a really nice and relaxed way for you to hang out with another mum, in the comfort of your own home. Just don’t put pressure on yourself to clean up for her, because chances are your new mum friend will find solace in your messy house, because her house is chaotic too.
5. Start being a good friend
If you strike up a new mum friend, make sure you foster the relationship. Text her to see how she is, make her a lasagne when you know she’s having a tough time and offer to babysit her kids when she needs a break. Also ask her for help when you need it, too. She will feel more able to accept your kind offers if you have accepted hers.
6. Don’t discredit online friendships
When you have a baby, your world can shrink to the size of them! Thankfully we live in a day and age where we can still feel connected to the ‘outside’, thanks to social media. If you feeling isolated at home, then why not reach out to the sea of mums online?
There are heaps of groups for mums on Facebook, for instance, and if you do a search, you may find a mums group such as the “Inner West mums” or “Northern Beaches mums” in your local area. Start commenting on their posts, sharing and before you know it, an online stranger can become a friend.
7. Don’t give up!
If your attempts at making a new mum friend hit a standstill (“why won’t she respond to my texts?!”), please don’t give up. You are a worthy person with so much to give and there are plenty of other mum-friend fish in the sea – just visit your local park and you’ll see.
It can be scary to put yourself out there, but like anything in life, doing something that takes us out of our comfort zone helps us to grow as people and prove to ourselves that we can do the things we think we can’t. And just remember, as nervy as you may feel about approaching another mum for friendship, she might feel it too. Who knows, one day you might both laugh about how silly it was when you first met that you thought the other person may not want to be your friend.