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Mom Life: Friendships and Support Systems

As I’m sure you’ve heard before, friendships change once you become a mom. Your goals, motivation and entire lifestyle become different. Old friendships, with those who don’t have children, suddenly begin to die out. You start to feel all alone. At least that’s how it was for me. I realized though, that friendships and support systems are as important during this stage of life as they are in any other stage.

How Friendships Change

Like I said, when you become a mom, from the moment you find out you’re pregnant, your life changes. You have new goals like having money for college funds or planning family vacations. You’re motivated in a completely different way than your friends without kids. Everything you do is with your children in mind. They become your motivation. And then your lifestyle changes. During pregnancy you slowly transition to mom life. You’re tired often. You can barely make it out and you can’t do so many things you had the freedom to do before.

So let me break down for you exactly how things went for me:

  • I got pregnant.
  • My friends were super excited for me and talking about being baby sitters and visiting my child all the time.
  • I started turning down invitations to hang out because I couldn’t drink or was just way too exhausted.
  • I had my baby.
  • Everyone wanted to visit and see the little cutie.
  • The excitement died down.
  • I started going to bed really early and couldn’t leave the house without my baby attached to me
  • My friends stopped asking me to hang out.
  • They stopped messaging me to check in.
  • I haven’t heard from them in a very long time.

This whole situation left me feeling extremely alone. Of course, I do have some amazing friends who stuck by me through everything, regardless of them living different lives. For those people, I am so appreciative, but I began longing for a connection with someone who could relate to me. Someone who could truly understand my struggles. People who just get it and have been through it all. But I didn’t know where to start.

How To Make Mom Friends

For a while, I sat around home allowing myself to feel lonely. I was sad that I was missing out on friendships I had before. Never really allowing myself to be okay with making new friends. I didn’t allow myself any support. It wasn’t until Atlas started to get a bit older and I realized that he needed some friends too. After realizing that, I decided to really pursue finding mom friends with children who were the same age as my own.

Here are some ideas on where to meet other mom’s:

Online

This sounds silly to some, but I have made some of my best friendship online! When I decided to start a blog, I took to Instagram to search for a community and ended up finding some amazing people. There are so many people in the world facing similar issues to us and it feels nice to know I didn’t rule someone out as a friend because they live so far away! Online is probably one of the easier ways to meet new mamas. If you long for a connection it is a great place to start. Who knows, maybe one day you’d meet these people in person!

Play Groups

I started taking Atlas & Axel to the park this year as the weather started getting nicer and we soon realized that there were other people who came to the park regularly as well. As time went on, I began to meet more and more mom’s with children the same age as my boys. Play groups are wonderful because they are free and can be totally spontaneous but with a little effort friendships flourish for both the children and the moms.

Mommy & Me Classes

These classes usually come at a cost but will ensure that you meet other mama’s with children the same age as your own. Personally I have yet to attend one because it feels too hectic with two young children, but I’d love to try it out in the future! All you have to do is Google search for Mommy & Me classes in your area and there are bound to be some!

Children’s Events

Carnivals, easter egg hunts, exhibits, library hosted events. Any place that there are lots of children you can count on there being lots of moms. If you’re a confident person and attend any of these events, why not introduce yourself to other mom’s there? Like you, I’m sure many of them are looking to make connections but don’t know where to start!

Sports

Depending on the age of your children, they can be enrolled on community sports teams like soccer, basketball, baseball, etc. When you bring your child to their practices or games, there will be many other parents doing the same. Go and talk to them! It’s okay to get out of your comfort zone. Atlas & Axel aren’t old enough to be on sports teams yet but I am super excited for when that day comes! Not only for them, but for some of the connections that I will get to make as well.

Daycare / School

One of the easiest places to make mom friends is through your child’s school. You can meet mom’s while waiting to pick up your children after school or even through your child wanting to set up play dates with their best friends. I haven’t experienced this either yet but I know that you’re definitely guaranteed to meet a variety of parents who are experiencing similar problems as you through this.

Importance of Support

Through this whole experience, I learned that it is extremely important to have support outside of family. Someone who is currently going through the same things as you so you can lean on each other, co-depend, for support. I found it so helpful to gain new perspectives outside of what I grew up learning. My mom will forever be my go-to person for parenting advice, but having a social circle of mom’s my own age where we support one another is nice as well.

The reality is, it happens. We all lose friends when we move onto different stages in our lives and it’s okay!. It’s a part of life. People come and go for different reasons. All we can really do is get back out there and find the people who were meant to be in our lives for this season. Some of them may stay and some may end up fading away as well.

Read More: Self-Care Basics: How To Be A Better Mom

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