How do you make friends? It’s not as easy as when you were five and you just walked up to some kid and said, “Will you be my friend?” I miss those days of easy friendship. And throw being a military member or spouse in there, and ugh! It is tough!

mom friendsIf I made a “find a mom friend” app…

Did you know there are apps for meeting mom friends? Kind of like Tinder, but for moms? How cool is that?

I checked out the app store on my iPhone and found just a few “find a friend” for moms’ apps, but they’re there! Pretty sure I just need to make my own.

 If I developed a find a mom friend app, I’d want to know things like:

    • How many kids do you have and how old are they?
    • Do you like your kids (frankly, I can’t stand being around someone who hates on her kid)?
    • What are you going through? Like the tough stuff. Tough stuff develops character, and I like some character in my friends.
    • What’s your personality like? Scratch that one. Personality isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
    • Any cool quirks I should know about? Quirks are cool!

But I wouldn’t care anything about politics or religion. I rarely talk about those things with my mom friends.

Everyone has different things they look for in a friend. I value honesty and kindness. I like reciprocal friendships, not lopsided ones where all they do is take and I give.

But outside of an app, making friends when you’re a mom can be tough.

Regardless of whether you made friends easily as a kid and teenager, once you enter the mom world, making friends is a whole new game. And now many women wait to have kids later in life, so there’s this age difference thing going on. Younger moms and older moms; crunchy moms; homeschooling and traditional school moms; working moms and stay at home moms…it’s tough to know where you fit!

Not that I have it all figured out, but here are 5 tips to finding mom friends:

  1. Park in the driveway. I am horrible about driving into the garage and closing the door behind me. I go to my house, go about my life, and then wonder why I don’t meet anyone. Park in the driveway and walk down for the mail. Hang out at the mailbox for a few, especially if someone is walking down the street – maybe you could chat! It’s hard, it’s challenging, but it can be worth it.
  2. Moms of young kiddos, you may find that your friends are their friends’ moms. There’s nothing wrong with that. You probably have similar experiences or the same ages of kids. Invite that mom for coffee or a play date.
  3. Host a playgroup but make it more about the moms. I was part of an amazing playgroup when my kids were younger. We’d swap houses to meet at and play, everyone brought their own kids’ snacks, and the moms were expected to show up and stay. Sure, every now and then someone had to drop and run, but the norm was that we all stayed and chatted. We ended up having some mom night dinners too, and that was such fun!
  4. I’m an older mom and found was that once my kids started driving, I lost contact with a lot of mom friends. It takes an effort to stay connected. Pick one or two that you really like and make that effort. It may be that you’re mostly texting buddies, but that’s OK! One other tip for “seasoned” moms – don’t let age be a factor. I have friends 10 years younger than me and some are more than 10 years older. There is a lot of wisdom to be learned from both groups.
  5. Social media – what a great opportunity for making friends! Because of social media, I “know” people in Europe and Australia now. There are tons of mom groups on Facebook. Find a couple you really enjoy and dig in. You’re not required to share your deepest, darkest secrets; just be willing to open up a little. And if you don’t like the group, then click “leave it” and find another group.
  6. Yes, I said 5 ways, but here’s a bonus tip – be willing to learn about other kinds of people. Once I dropped the idea that my friends should have the same background, interests, and family-style, I enjoyed making friends more. I like the differences, and I’ve learned so much!
two friends embracing
Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

 Take your friends with you

We’re retired military so I’ve started over in several different places. It can be tough and sometimes overwhelming. I’ve made friends along the way that I take with me in my moves whether through phone calls, texts, or social media. It’s not always easy, but it is possible and fun to discover other people and learn about them!

I want to hear how you make friends and any tips for making mom friends in the comment section!

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Jen Dodrill is a Navy brat from a long line of Navy brats. Born in Virginia, she moved to the Florida panhandle in 6th grade. After vowing to never date a Navy guy, she moved to Nashville, TN where she met and fell in love with Eddie who was - you guessed it - in the delayed-entry-program for the Navy. They met in June, married the following February, and over 35 years later are still sweethearts. They moved back to West Tennessee in 2008 after his retirement. Jen stayed home to raise their 5 kids, and she homeschooled the youngest three. The “baby” graduated in 2020, but Jen refuses to bow to empty-nest syndrome! She teaches Oral Communication as an adjunct instructor for Dyersburg State Community College and blogs at Jen Dodrill History at Home. Jen also writes curriculum under History at Home at TeachersPayTeachers and Boom Learning! When she’s not working, she’s spending time with her kids and adorable granddaughters. You can find her on Instagram, Facebook, and her favorite place – Pinterest! You can also visit her site "History at Home" at www.jendodrillhistoryathome.com