Before I had kids, I was incredibly social and had something going on with my friends every single day. I absolutely loved going out, having a few drinks, or planning activities with all of them! I had kids at a younger age than most nowadays and none of my friends were at the same levels in their lives, which is totally fine! It’s not for everyone in their early 20’s and I knew that was to be expected. What I did not expect was to lose almost every single one of them.
Losing my friends was a harsh reality that took me over a year to get over. My “friends” would literally be in town after I had not seen them for a very long time and not invite me to any outing. I knew they all got together because they had to audacity to Snapchat me pictures. I was heartbroken and could not understand. I realized that I needed and wanted to venture out and find mommy friends. Finding friends as an adult is hard in and of itself, let alone when you are a mom and starting from the very bottom.
I decided to put myself out there and reach out in some local Facebook mom pages and get-together apps. The first group I met up with made me not reach out to other moms for months because I was so upset and scarred from the experience I had.
The meet up was at a zoo so I thought it would be nice and casual and we could all talk and vent about how awful our husbands were! (I love you, Dan.) Unfortunately, it was a group of women who did nothing but judge me and other moms who were there. I got judged for bottle feeding (even though it was breast milk!), not cloth diapering, the diaper bag I had, the kind of stroller I brought with me, and even the clothes my daughter was wearing. If this was what mommy friends were all about, I wanted out! Not a single one of them were accepting of me since I was the new girl and did not know any of them. The cliques were like high school all over again! I was in completely shock. It brought me back to a time that I would rather forget!
All I wanted were some friends who could understand what I was going through as a stay at home mom. We all did the same thing yet it was so easy to point fingers at each other for who was doing what the wrong way.
It took me almost a year before giving it another shot. Why are moms so judgmental? I realized I had been judging other women as well and that needed to stop immediately. From that day on, I promised myself that I would not judge another mother because it is the worst feeling ever! I still hold myself to that and I promise you that I DO NOT CARE how you parent as long as the child is in good hands and safe, obviously. This was a huge wake-up call and I needed to be part of the solution instead of the problem. I am convinced that this is the reason why it is so hard making friends as a mother. It is so hard doing our job and so easy to watch others and judge. There is no right way to do this job so no one has the right to say what we should and should not do with our children. We put enough pressure and judge ourselves just fine all on our own.
It took an extremely long time, but I finally found a group of women who are fantastic! I knew they were alright when they saw me give my 2 year old a doughnut for breakfast since it is literally all she wanted (and I did not want to fight that battle that day) and they all understood and smiled. I was not being judged!
Another reason why it is so hard to have mom friends is one that sounds obvious but I did not realize how much it would come into play. Every schedule is different when you have young kids! For the longest time, my daughter had her nap time at 11 am but now it is at 1 pm. I have to have play dates around that schedule because if she doesn’t get her nap, she is not my sweet Adalina; she is a literal monster. I have some mom friends that I speak with on a regular basis on social media whom I have never even met! We have been “friends” for 2 years or more yet we have never seen each other face to face because our kids’ schedules are so opposite. When you factor in driving time, nap schedule, eating schedules, and household duties as a stay at home mom, it is really hard to make time. Let’s be honest too…sometimes we just do not want to put in the time and effort it takes to find a new friend and build a relationship. We are busy and that makes sense! But it is so incredibly important to do it and SO worth it!
Being a mom is the hardest thing and it really does take a village. If you have not found your village, don’t give up! There really are good moms out there! If you have lost your friends because you became a mom, don’t get down on yourself or on them. We all walk different strides in life and I cannot fault them for that. I like to think that one day, when they all start having children, I will be the one they come to for advice.