As a mom, trying to build community and finding friends might be one of the hardest pieces to fit in the motherhood puzzle. It’s not to say that your childless friends aren’t still worthy of your presence – but when you’re up at 2am with a sick child you need some support from those in the trenches with you. People who get why you have to cancel plans at the last minute, why you have a hard time staying awake past 10pm, why your car has crumbs, spilled milk, extra diapers, and a rubber duck at all times!
It’s comforting at times to know that others are in the same place as you, so go out and find some mamas to expand your tribe – they are invaluable. There are two things to remember if you’re looking for a tribe and working to build community:
Start in places where you frequent and you’ll have something in common for sure
You have to just start a conversation – don’t be afraid to speak up!
This is definitely something that shouldn’t be forced. Be your natural self and let things unfold as they do naturally.
Here are the 5 unexpected places you may not have thought of to spark up a friendship and build community.
We typically put our son in the church daycare when we’re in service so we can actually concentrate. When we pick him up there are always at least 3-4 other boys his age in the daycare too. Every once in a while I linger outside of the daycare and catch one of the moms to ask about playdates, exchange invites for birthday parties, and just talk general mom life. I know that we have similar
morals and values and our sons already have a connection – so this is a win, win.
Neighborhood Playground or Pool
Neighbors who go to the playground live close to you, how convenient is that! Speak up and go for it, she might be looking for a close mom to share pick up and drop off, or a quick Saturday breakfast.
As a regular gym attendee, I pretty much know who’s got children in the child room at the gym, or I see pregnant women working out one week and then three months later she’s back without a belly. Sparking up a conversation with them have proven to be efficient in starting a friendship.
There’s a trend going around of brands and influencers hosting brunches in big cities. If you are close to one you can use that unlimited mimosa bar to strike up a conversation about how the brunch is going.
If you search for “moms in ___” and list your city, you can find at least one Facebook group of moms in your area. In my local group there are constant requests for playdates and chances to meet each other.
While you are out and about
Remember, if you see a dope mom wrangling her kids – reach out to her. She might be looking for a tribe too! I like to start by asking how old the kids are, or if she knows of a good ice cream place nearby – just start with a general question and keep asking (as long as she’s open to it) the conversation usually flows from there.
Other ways you could start this difficult conversation is by doing something for her – hold the door open, pick up the blanket she dropped, or smile at her. Open with a friendly gesture so that she knows you understand the difficulty of being out with kids.
This is a difficult journey when you are trying to build community and you aren’t the first and won’t be the last mom who needs some new friends or to extend her community. Please keep in mind that every reach out is not going to yield results. Sometimes women are turned off by strangers, but that’s ok – she’s just not your person. Don’t take it as a sign to stop what you’re doing.
There will be no growth without the risk of putting yourself out there. However, this should get easier with time and you’ll find that it’s no big deal if you don’t hit it off right away. You can just move on to the next person.