Orientation for the new school year: scans room for class mom friend potential.
Visiting churches: takes note of how many kids are in the preschool classes because those kids have moms, right?
Driving around our new city: oh look! Chick Fil A with a play place! Mom central!
This is my reality when relocating to a new state. I am an extroverted introvert, so I love being a homebody, having my own schedule, and personal time… but I also desperately need friends and conversation. I try to dive right into meeting new people and hope that my eagerness doesn’t scare them away. But I wasn’t always this way. There have been times where I let the introvert cripple me. I couldn’t move past saying hello or I let excuses hold me back. I would feel lonely, isolated, and miserable. You guys- this is straight from the devil. Nothing pleasures him more than making us feel like we are alone in our struggles so we begin to despair. “To despair is to turn your back on God.” Can anyone name that movie or character?
I recently was reading Ecclesiastes and in chapter 4 verses 9-10 it says, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!” Mom-ing is hard work. It is hard physically, emotionally, psychologically, and socially. Never underestimate the power of having someone come alongside you with encouragement, a helping hand, a listening ear, or a simple “me too”. Motherhood can feel isolating when you’re elbow deep in chicken nuggets and sippy cups with diaper changes every hour. Mom friends can help remind us to turn our eyes to Jesus when all we see is the clutter and chaos.
So how did I change my ways and start making mommy friends? Well, I am a planner so I mapped out a fool-proof plan. When you are a mom, I think the relationship is on a whole new level compared to pre-kid friendships. Let’s call them “momships”. Moms cannot determine their own schedule, but must operate around snack times and nap times. Moms must pack a bag or two full of “just-in-case” items for a morning get together. Moms are perpetually late because all manner of kid explosions happen right before you head out the door. But in momships everyone understands. The children are alive and that is cause for celebration!
So, to secure these momships:
- Scout the potential. I’m not prejudiced, you do not have to be a mom to be my friend. You don’t have to have clean clothes (because is that possible?), perfect hair (NC is huuuuumid!), or a baby or two on your hips (though cute babies always scores brownie points). So look around, find female, approach.
- Make sure to smile! But not too big, that will scare them away thinking you’re a crazy. A nice lady-like smile that hides the panic you’re feeling at talking to a stranger. Maybe practice in the mirror to make sure you’re not straining the smile- don’t want to look like you’re sick!
- Cheesy pick up line. Boymom! You have a boy(s). I also have boys. Everything is always a mess and very loud. Want to embrace the loud together and let our kids teach each other bad habits?
- Dish out the compliments. You just had a baby when? You look amazing! Your child(ren) are so adorable! I love your shoes!
- Remember their name. How else are you going to look them up on social media later to thoroughly stalk before you completely commit to this momship thing?
- Make an invitation. So… I live right across the street. Would you like to come over for a playdate?
Phew! Six whole steps to making new friends? Six steps I have to consciously do to put myself out there? All the while opening myself up for rejection and, let’s be honest, potentially befriending a whacko? Especially that step #6, these people will know where I live! But I have learned that the benefits to taking a chance and connecting with those around you far outweigh the risks.
So go out! Find some kindred spirits (from Anne of Green Gables, where the quote above can also be found) and live in community. Get yourself some momships and tackle this motherhood journey together.