We need friendships and community, but often struggle to make friends or have time for the ones we have.
Our need for friendships is instinctual and started way back with our ancient ancestors. In early hunter-gatherer societies, the women raised children and gathered nuts and berries as a group. ALL of the women helped raise ALL of the children, and they shared the responsibility of food preparation and domestic chores. It truly took a village to survive.
Why is it so hard to connect?
In the US, many of us raise our families in single-family homes and run from one thing to the next without really connecting. We eat, sleep and carry on the household responsibilities with our immediate families. We commute to work, stare at devices and sit in cubes. Friendships can feel hard to come by and even harder to keep!
Our mom friends are so important. We need each other for support, to bounce things off of, to commiserate when things get tough. We NEED our village, for ourselves even more so than for our kids! Many women say that they don’t have many women friends and don’t know how to make new ones. So how can we take a page from our ancestors and build our own mama village?
5 Ways for Busy Moms to Make Friends
Find your village wherever you are.
For many moms it is difficult to make new friends, especially when there is really no extra time in the day. Talk to the other moms at sports practice, waiting in the bus stop or volunteering at school. Introduce yourself to the neighbors. Open up a conversation with the people who are already in your orbit. It’s amazingly simple (not always easy, especially if you have social anxiety) to reach out your hand to another mom and say “Hi, I’m ___” and ask her name.
Find a group that shares your interests and schedule it like a mandatory meeting.
Some suggestions are a book club, mommy and me yoga, a craft class, church group or meetup group. Ask around and check online to find some options in your neighborhood!
For the friends you treasure but don’t see as often, set a standing date on a regular basis and make it a priority.
I have a friend who I meet every Saturday morning at 7am. Is it ridiculously early? Yes. Is it worth it? Absolutely! We both look forward to our time and not much gets in the way at 7am. I have another dear friend who lives further away and we make it a priority to get together at least 3-4 times a year. Figure out what works for everyone and stick to it.
Introduce yourself to the people you see often in your neighborhood.
This is a simple action that goes a long way toward building a sense of community . The next time you walk into the post office, you’ll be able to say “Hi Mary!” and feel that sense of connection. Not to say that you’ll necessarily become great friends (you might! Who knows!) But you will feel a little more part of the neighborhood and that’s a nice feeling.
Make it a point to get out into nature sometimes or just walk around the block and feel fresh air on your face. Invite another mom to the park for a play date or out on a walk with the kids.
Let me know how you have maintained friendships and community in your busy life by clicking comments, above. ^^^ I would love to hear from you!