Friendships are essential to finding and sharing joy in life. As a mom, this is even more true, since we are on a long and harrowing journey.
C.S. Lewis once said that friendship begins when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”
In the midst of a vulnerable “mom journey”, we need people who are in the same boat (or have been) and can say “I know exactly what you mean.”
Like all other relationships, mom friendships take work– and initiative. I’ve also noticed a few annoying tendencies in myself when it comes to hanging out with other moms; for some reason having a kid can sometimes bring out bad habits in us!
Here are 5 Habits to Practice If You Want to Make (and Keep) “Mom Friends”:
1. Until you know where your friend stands on “mom issues”, keep your mouth shut.
There are a lot of “buzz” issues when it comes to being a mom: sleeptraining, breastfeeding, public school vs. private school, vaccinations. It’s pretty much a landmine everywhere you turn!
It’s okay to have an opinion about those things; in fact, you should! But when getting to know someone new, feel out where they stand before spouting off your preferences.
2. Listen more than you talk.
This one’s rough for me; I love to talk! I get so excited when I find something new: an app, a product that works great or an idea that is bouncing around in my head. I’m learning to be a good listener first and talk second. Let’s just say–it’s been rough!
3. Don’t be a complainer.
No one wants to be around a whiny mom; they already are dealing with their own whiny kid; don’t add to their misery.
I don’t know about you, but my mom friends rock when it comes to advice, hand-me-downs and pretty much anything else within their power to do to help me! Being a mom who shares is essential to being a good friend and being a person who attracts good friends.
5. Don’t let your kid destroy their house.
This one’s tricky. Different ages cause different “acceptable tornado levels”. There’s no way that you can take a 1-year old to a friend’s house and have it look exactly the same when you leave. Don’t freak out about this, but do your best to clean up or (if your kid’s older) make sure they do before they leave the house!
One more thing, I’ve tried to get in the habit of taking our shoes off at other people’s houses, if they have babies or toddlers. Even if they say they don’t care, I figure it’s better for their carpets and I don’t want their babies eating the leaves my shoes dragged in!
What do you like best about your “mom friends?”