One thing that has TRULY surprised me in my adult life is how many people (particularly moms) are aching for friendship. I grew up right here in Des Moines and still found myself feeling “friendless” when we moved back from Minnesota. I remember calling our parents (who are awesome) to hang out on the weekends! But we were still eager to find a group of friends! Fast forward eight years and I think I have learned a thing or two about making friends as a mom. So, here is my advice!
Fill in the blank with Bible study, cooking club, book club, workout class, neighborhood Bunco, running club, etc. Whatever you might be interested in, join up with those people! This is the easiest way to make friends because you are already bonded by a similar interest! Don’t be afraid to ask the people you meet at these functions to hang out beyond the time you spend together there. For example, I have done lunch with several other moms after our Bible study. Most moms will NOT turn you down for an hour of conversation at McDonalds while the kids run around in the play area. OR, if you can’t stand McDonalds or a germ invested play area, invite them to your home for lunch after… nothing fancy!
I know this might be hard for the introverted soul, but I know several introverts who do this beautifully! My deepest, most comfortable friendships are the friendships where I can be totally Katie — not some refined version of myself, just 100 percent Katie. Is this hard? Yes! But, truthfully, I have found that the more open I am with my struggles, feelings, and opinions, the more people are willing to accept and love me. Recently I shared with a friend a feeling I had been having about life (mid-life crisis type feeling — LOL) and I almost couldn’t believe I said it out loud, BUT GUESS WHAT?! She had experienced a similar feeling! And once again, I found myself feeling more bonded to this friend!
If you are not currently volunteering, you have to change this! Seriously! I have made some of my best friendships and made some awesome memories by volunteering! I volunteer primarily in my church but hope to get more involved in my kiddos’ schools when Bowen goes to Kindergarten. There are tons of different community organizations to get involved with, too!
2. INTRODUCE YOURSELF.
I’m not kidding. People have totally lost this common courtesy these days. How do you make friends if you aren’t even willing to introduce yourself? If you are “OLD” in your group or club, you should definitely be doing this to the new people! It’s super intimidating to ANYONE to join a new group, so be friendly and introduce yourself to the newbies! OR, introduce yourself to other moms at preschool drop-off or dance/gymnastics drop-off. I recently sat on a ride at Adventureland and the little girl next to me (7 or 8) looked at me, said hello, and introduced herself. We talked about the ride and school starting, but WOW was I impressed and I totally wanted to be friends with her. LOL! Or at least have my 7-year-old be friends with her!
I really, really miss having work friends. Work is such an easy place to make friends. Schedule a dinner or a double date with your co-worker and her husband. OR ask someone out to lunch or coffee. Being friendly goes a LONG way in the workplace, so reach out to people!