The Go-To Conversation:
Mom 1: Oh your boy is so sweet! How old is he?
Mom 2: He just turned 1 1/2! How about yours?
Mom 1: He is 2. What’s his name?
Mom 2: Elijah. Yours?
Mom 1: Samual.
Mom 2: Oh, do you guys live around here?
Mom 1: We do!
Mom 2: Maybe we’ll see you around here again!
Boom. Mom convos. How many of them have you had in the past month?
Here we are, moms, who are often dying for an adult conversation and we leave not even knowing each other’s name. Shit.
If someone says making mom friends is easy, they’re lying and probably don’t have any. Okay, that’s a little harsh but let’s be honest- making friends as adults is awkward. Making friends as adults who are also herding around little humans is even more awkward.
I’m Awkward. You’re Awkward. Wanna be awkward together?
Look, I’m no expert here.
But I’ve been at this “mom” thing for almost 3 years now… and I’ve always been an extrovert… so I spend A LOT of time thinking about how friendships have been lost, changed, or emerged since becoming a mother. I’ve taken two very different approaches and I can say with all honesty and transparency that one approach has gone much better for me than the other.
Approach 1: Look how together I am. You’ll want to be my friend.
So I put my best foot forward. I did the things and said the sayings and talked kindly and properly to other moms out and about.
My social media was all about “inspiration” and how much I “loved” motherhood.
My child’s outfits always matched (and I picked the cutest ones for public).
I was always “fine” or “happy” or “maybe just a little tired” but never really answered “How are you?” with the truth.
It was fine.
I connected with some people.
But I still felt like I had to look and act and be a certain way- I had a facade to keep up.
That facade was even more isolating than feeling lonely in the first place.
So maybe I just got too tired… or maybe I got a bit wiser, but after a while, I realized the curation wasn’t going to do the trick.
Friendships weren’t going deeper.
I was stressing over how things (I) looked.
It was exhausting.
Not sure exactly when it was, but somewhere around leaving my network marketing company, having my world turned upside down by Sage’s medical diagnosis and an overall dark year I said enough is enough.
This is when it started to get realer. And gooder. (I know they aren’t words, just roll with it, okay?)
I stopped cleaning up my house before friends came over and I STOPPED INVITING friends who I felt pressure to clean for.
I started to speak more truthfully about my experience of motherhood and postpartum and all the things affected by that.
I realized my worth wasn’t tied to how many friends I had or if I had a yearly “girls trip” with my “besties (although come on, I do want to plan a mom’s retreat soon. What do you think?!)
I put my time into things that matter- and put aside the rest.
I’m not perfect at it, but it sure has brought me to a better place and to more authentic and connected friendships.
I found that I get along a lot better with people I don’t have to impress.
What’s the Point?
Here’s what I want you to walk away with:
Any friendship worth having allows you to show up with your truest self. Any friend worth keeping will be present in your best days and be present in your mess.
Life’s to short to play games to figure out who these people are… show up in your truth from the start and you’ll see how the pieces come together when they are supposed to.
Shouldn’t this be for everything really? Screw perfection, let’s have more fun and be more present.