I laughed when I typed in the title of this post.
Making friends is not something I consider myself good at, much less mom friends. It has not been because of lack of common interests, I mean oh my goodness we have children in common if nothing else! No, it wasn’t interests, professions or even age that creates the challenges of mom friends but rather an unspoken intimidation that I don’t think I’m alone in feeling. This seems to apply to every area of my life where friends is a possibility too. That familiar awkward feeling creeps up every single time this opportunity presents itself.
I have found two main ways to make women friends in my adult life. The first being children my son plays with from school, our neighborhood or in things he’s involved in. It is hit or miss if you find women who you connect with on topics past the commonality of our children but it is a good resource for exploring. The other is joining, volunteering or being involved in something where other women are also. The upside is if I don’t make any new friends I am at least involved in something I’m intersted in doing. In both situations I’ve been fortunate to make some new connections and some have turned out to be fun little friendships. The third place is of course the workplace, remote or in person, and while I have found real friends there it is a place I feel like most of us are in forced structures that you develop those connections as allies or foes pretty quickly so I’m not going to talk too much about this one.
In general I think making friends with other women is harder than it is with men. We are all so busy with work and life that it can be hard to make the time to foster a friendship. Then there is the matter of what you do together. Traditionally, this has been shopping, getting a coffee or lunch together and doing something with the children. If you’re lucky you are both in a group that does a regular activity like golfing, crafting or exercising that supports the times when the conversation pauses to make it less awkward. Finding those clubs and groups is also sometimes challenging depending on where you live. I personally hate the idea of walking into a new group those first few times looking around the room to find a seat or see if I know anyone there.
What I find most interesting is in talking with my other women friends, they too would love to have more friends but tell me the same challenges exist for them. It is hard to find groups and it’s scary as hell walking into a group the first few times. The intimidation holds a lot of us back from even looking into what groups may be available in our area or starting a new one. I can’t tell you the times I’ve considered even starting a simple book club only to have the horrifying though no one would show up. So most us turn to our work friends and connections and go about our life.
I once told myself the lie that I didn’t need friends because I was so frustrated with this limitation. I blamed lack of things to do in my area, not having money for them and probably not liking the women that were in that group anyway. It was my own tantrum for feeling like I failed at what should be an easy thing to do. I mean seriously, we can put children together and once they are past their shyness of each other it won’t be any time before they are running around playing at something. As adults that shyness seems to lasts longer and we are not nearly as creative at coming up with something to do. Instead we bury ourselves in the busy of life and put things like friends to the side. Sound familiar to you too?
The lies we tell ourselves because life is too busy is exactly what limits our life and results in it feeling less than it should. Friends are an important part of that life balance between the busy and real. They are what keeps us grounded in the real side of it so the other stuff like our job, kids, husband, housework, laundry and the busy stay in perspective. Friends are the place where we can let go of the busy for a little while to laugh about it too. The sanity part of life comes from the connections we have in our life that remind us we are human and it is perfectly acceptable to tear up the to-do list and have some fun regularly.
Knowing this and realizing my life is often the flurry of busy because of my job, I decided recently to re-engage with searching for women groups to join in person. It was intimidating as hell walking into a new group and I dreaded it but I dreaded more the busy of life stealing away the time I could be living my real life more. That acknowledgement made me realize it was scary but natural and I would get over it. There was also women just like me who were feeling the same walking into a new group to make friends and be part of something and we would never find each other if neither of us kept focusing on the busy.
So armed with a good layer of my doTERRA essential oils to boost confidence and bravery, I did a search of local groups and reached out to some to see what may be of interest. Sometimes the natural path leads us to doing things we feel incredibly awkward at but in the end it can bring about some beautiful friends in our life.
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