Y’all, I am going to be really honest with you. I don’t make friends easily. I once had a friend tell me that I was “a tough nut to crack”. At the time I had no idea what she meant. It would take me a few years to fully understand her statement. It’s not because I’m not likable, or that I am mean, or unwilling to make friends. It’s fear and rejection. Doubt that I would be accepted, I’m not cool enough, I am not pretty enough. You know all that negative self-talk that as women we subject ourselves to for some insane reason. So I wait, and I watch. I am slow to share myself with new people and to let them know the real me who is actually pretty cool and open. And when I do become your friend, I friend hard.
Making friends in my twenties was a lot easier than in my thirties. Life happens and suddenly you might find yourself in a new city with new people but without friends to do life with. We all crave the connection that friendship provides. Especially as busy moms when it seems like our worlds are all diapers and toddler tantrums and messy buns. If anyone needs refreshment for the soul, it’s moms.
Unfortunately, especially in the early years of motherhood and if you are like me in your thirties, there’s just not a whole lot of opportunity to build and cultivate real friendships. For a lot of us, we can go several days without having much interaction with anyone standing more than three feet tall. It’s a hard time to have friends because our lives just don’t lend to making them. But at the very same time, it’s one of the most important stages in life to have quality friendships!
How do we go about making those real, worthwhile friends as busy moms? Here are some tips for finding some good friends and keeping the friendships for a good long time. As someone who struggles in this area, this list is as much for me as it is for you.
1. Be Intentional
At this stage in our lives, when we’re knee deep in the trenches of motherhood, we simply have to seek out a friend. This could mean that you join a moms group or attend a women’s bible study or take a spin class with the goal of meeting some fellow mamas. Or take notice when you’re out at the library or the park or the grocery store. Moms are out there and most of them would really love a good friend. Strike up a conversation and see where it takes you.
2. Be the Friend You Want for Yourself
Moms are busy. We’re not going to be able to spend every day with a best friend like we did as kids. We’re not going to be able to chat on the phone for hours or take spontaneous girls weekends. But what we can do is reach out and keep in touch. I am so grateful for text messaging as a mom! A quick text to let my girlfriends know that I’m thinking about them is sometimes all I can do. But when I get those texts from them, it fills me up. I’ll send my best friend a video of my daughter being totally adorable, and I’ll ask her how her son is doing in kindergarten.
Quick but meaningful interactions that give her a part of my day and show her that she’s important to me. That’s what I’m looking for in a friend, so that’s the kind of friend I try to be.
3. Be Yourself
If you’re trying to fit a mold that isn’t meant for you, you’re going to make friends that aren’t meant for you. Be yourself! If you begin the pursuit of a friendship and you realize after a couple of interactions that you simply don’t have anything in common, let it go. Don’t try to make it work when it’s just not supposed to. Busy moms don’t have time for that. Be yourself so you can find a friend that is the right fit for you.
4. Be Open and Vulnerable
This is an area where I really struggle. I suspect many of you struggle in this area too. However, you’re never going to know if you’ve found a real friend if you never have a real, open conversation. Be vulnerable. Talk about things that matter. We need an understanding shoulder to cry on and a like-minded mama to laugh away the cares with. Opening up can be scary, but the deep friendship that follows is so rewarding.
5. Be Patient and Flexible
It just might be too much to meet every week for coffee, no matter how badly you wish you could. Playdates will get canceled last minute. Girls night might have to be scheduled months in advance. We’re busy moms! And the beauty of a quality friendship is it can stand the test of motherhood.
So that’s it, ladies. Five pretty simple ways to build a quality friendship. Easier said than done, right?
Comment below with your suggestion for making friends as a busy mom. I would love to hear from you
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