10 Easy Ways to Overcome Your Fears and Make Mom Friends

Melanie Dale

Updated Mar 25, 2015
10 Easy Ways to Overcome Your Fears and Make Mom Friends
As if having an actual baby isn’t hard enough, you’re thrust into this whole new world of finding mom friends. Here are 10 easy ways to make a new friend without all the awkward and scary.

As if having an actual baby isn’t hard enough, you’re thrust into this whole new world of finding mom friends. It’s the same as finding friends before, except now you have these extra little people with their own personalities and not only do you have to figure out if the other woman likes the same movies or shares your sense of humor, but you also have to navigate the world of Different Parenting Choices. I mean, say the word vaccine around moms and watch all the cheeks pucker. It’s a dicey world out there. Cower in fear.

I’m used to being really, really awkward and coming away from conversations feeling like I probably botched the whole thing, but when I started blogging about it, I found out that I wasn’t alone. There’s a whole group of us pretending to look at our phones while all the other moms laugh about The Bachelor and push their kids on the swings.

Finding mom friends is kind of like dating. And just like the other kind of dating, there are bases. On first base, you make small talk during your children’s shared activity, like music class or swimming lessons. Second is a playdate on neutral territory, like the park. Third is a little more intimate, a playdate at your house. There could be dirty dishes and random pee-pee jammies lying in a corner. Fourth base, the homer, is magic, when you ditch the kids and go out with your friend just because you like each other.

Sounds great, but how do you get there? Here are 10 non-scary ways to make a mom friend:

1. Piggyback off a first-base date right into second base. So you’re at music class with your littles and they seem to be hitting it off. The mom seems nice and has actually made eye contact and smiled back at you as you’ve chatted her up about footie jammies: zippered versus snaps. See if she wants to grab some chicken nuggets after class. You’re already together; your kids are hungry. It doesn’t hurt to ask.

2. Don’t be afraid to be annoying. Sometimes we’re afraid to ask a mama out because we don’t want to be annoying. Frankly, I don’t find it annoying when another mom wants to hang out with me. Even if it doesn’t work with our schedule this time, it’s never annoying.

3. Lock it down. How many times have you met a mom and fallen prey to the “oh yeah we should so totally get together” cycle that never ends? Get it on the calendar.

4. Location is critical. When choosing a second-base venue, you want one with several options, plenty of space, the ability to get loud, and escape routes. I’m a hopeless case, but I try to give my mini-weirdos the chance to make the best impression they possibly can.

5. Don’t bother putting on airs, because your kids or your pets will out you as the faker you are. On third base, when you’re at home, don’t pretend to be fancy. One time I tried and my dog pooped on the floor. Just whatever.

6. “Wow that’s so awesome.” Inevitably you will encounter opinions on everything from religion to food allergies to what you should or should not watch on Netflix. When this happens and I’m faced with a particularly fervent opinion, I use the “wow that’s so awesome” approach. Seek to listen and learn, even if it’s totally different than what you do.

7. Say something encouraging. If you don’t know what to say, tell her that nice thing you were thinking in your head. We mamas need all the encouragement we can get.

8. Fit it into your schedule. We’re all busy and maintaining friendships can be difficult, so find ways to do life together. Grab coffee and run errands together.

9. Say you’re sorry. We teach our kids this, and we need to practice it, too. Get humble, be honest with yourself and her, and learn to recognize when you’re wrong.

10. Start with your kids and transition to…whatever you want. As you develop your momlationship, talk about books you’re reading, dreams and ideas you have, and don’t be afraid to be your weird self. You’ll attract two types of people, moms who are like you and moms who like you.

 I love relationships, the ones with my kids, my husband, my God, and my friends, those other mamas with whom I do life. I love my friends so much that I wrote a book about them: Women Are Scary: The Totally Awkward Adventure of Finding Mom Friends. And come be my friend over at Unexpected.org.