Getting Real with Kira Hazledine
I remember making friends growing up, and it was a lot easier when I was small. Hey, you like this color or that candy? BEST FRIENDS. And it just worked. I have no idea why. Maybe it’s because kids aren’t nearly as judgmental as adults, but as I got older, making friends got significantly harder. Trying to make friends as a mom? Ha. Easier said than done.
As an adult, you don’t have the same opportunities to make friends. There’s no recess or study hall, and there isn’t a college campus or dorm where people collect. You must try to engage with other humans outside of home or work. And it’s so much effort, so ew. Who has time for that? Well, we all really should, because having a support network is important at every age.
The thing about motherhood, though, is that it’s not just about you and me. Now there are other tiny humans in the mix, and they are not predictable at all. Maybe my kid punched yours in the face the other day. Maybe our parenting styles are such opposites that we can’t find common ground. It might just be that we are so focused on preventing our children from killing themselves and being a general terror that we don’t have time for a single conversation. Not easy to develop friendships when every other word is directed at a toddler.
Persistence is important. All moms are different, but we all have our tribes. Just because you do things a little differently doesn’t mean we can’t be friends, if everyone is respectful. So, the key is to keep trying. Maybe you’ll get a moment where the children are coloring nicely at a local parent center and you can talk to other adults. It’s so wonderful to know that your child isn’t the only demon in the room, or that someone else served cereal for dinner last night.
This is why mom friends are the best type of friends. Of course, you can still love and cherish your other friendships. It’s nice to drink wine and talk about anything but motherhood. But it’s also so reassuring to compare parenting war stories and know that you are not alone. That, yup, someone else has made calls to poison control too. And if some other child can keep your child’s attention for even ten minutes, it’s a beautiful thing. Play dates with coffee, please. You might actually get to finish the whole cup before it goes cold.
It’s not easy to find mom friends, but you have to go to the local mom haunts. Playgrounds, libraries, any community events based on children are all good places to start. And you have to go again and again until you find people you are comfortable with. It’s not as easy as comparing favorite colors, but we can all bond over how beautiful and exhausting our children are.