Where do you fit in friendships as a working mom? You are an employee or employer. You are a mother, a wife, a cook, a maid… but where do you find time to be a friend? It’s hard.
I knew that I wanted to have close friends who have children around the same age as mine even before my first son was born. I scoured meetup looking for the perfect group and tried a few out. I made a friendship here and there but no one I really connected with the way I had imagined—kids going to school together, playing at each others homes, etc.
Fast forward a year: I became pregnant with the twins and everything I knew about myself as a mother changed. I was a working mom of three and I was overwhelmed. Any free time I had was long gone, along with my sanity, and leaving the house became a two hour event… and that was just prepping and loading the car. I had to change the way I thought about myself as a mother and about friendships as a whole. They just weren’t as important to me at the time. I truly needed to be selfish for my family’s sake and my own.
I eliminated any added stress from my life. Getting to playdates after work was too much. Our bedtime routine became ingrained out of necessity that it was too overwhelming to change it. Yet I still needed to be around other women who understood me as both a working mother and a mother of more than one child and I wasn’t finding it easy to get the support that I felt I needed—and partially I wasn’t willing to allow it from people who weren’t going through the same things. I felt shut out and shut off out of my own making.
Whiney, I know. But we all need something outside of family and work to keep us going and I was on the brink of losing it. Luckily, I found some sanity.
Enter: Neighborhood playgroup
Our neighborhood playgroup is comprised of women who have kids the same age as mine. While some of them stay home, some do not, and an effort is made to accommodate those of us who work when we can. Playdates are within two minutes of your home so you can walk if you want. Or drink wine and not worry about driving with the kids afterward. And because we are all similarly matched in socioeconomics, we are not constantly trying to keep up with each other or feel guilty about inviting someone into our home who might not have as much as we do. Everyone is accepting and our kids like each other. Finally, I feel at home with other moms!
I know that I have finally found a group of women who would be there for me if I really needed it and who I would be there for without a question.
Tips for making new friendships as a working mom
Are you searching for your group of mom friends? If so, there are tons of them out there or you can start a group yourself. Here are some suggestions:
- Check meetup.com—you are sure to find a playgroup in your area. If not, create one!
- Do you have a neighborhood association or a watch group that you could post a message to? It would be an easy way to find out if there are other families close to you that you could connect with.
- Is there something that makes your family unique? Are you a mother of multiples? Does one of your children have a special need? Are you an allergy family? Google using search terms like “allergy support” and your city name.
- Are you really passionate about something, like homeschooling or family yoga? I’m sure there is something out there for you, too!
Any other suggestions for our readers on where to find friendships as a working mom?
11 thoughts on “Fitting in Friendships as a Working Mom”
Once the kids are school-aged, parent-teacher groups. I have a group of mom friends that started out as post-PTO drinks after one particularly contentious PTO meeting and has become a regular moms night out. Some work, some don’t, but we all have kids around the same age and can lean on each other about school issues as well as everything else.
I had yet to consider PTO/PTA groups. What a great suggestion! And when your kids are that age it’s much easier to get a mothers night out. I’m definitely looking forward to many of the benefits of school aged children.
I’m so glad no one in our neighborhood group is fond of family yoga. That would be a deal breaker for me.
Kidding…sorta;) Yeah- I totally relate to the looking all over meetup.com and other sites to find moms nearby. It never really panned out – mostly because when I went to moms groups there always seemed to already be cliques in motion – and I didnt know how to join a conversation already in progress. I am also SO thankful for our neighborhood ladies – not only did I find peers for my daughter, but friends for myself. Double blessing!
LOL – Love you, Shannon!
Where is your husband in all of this?
I’m confused – do you mean where is he day to day?
Having friends and maintaining friendships really matters. We all need our peeps! I have lucked out with some amazing neighbor friends (also with kids around the same ages) as well as work and non-work friends who either have kids or at least like ’em. Even if you only have a few, I highly recommend nurturing those relationships even when life gets busy. They’re so worth it.
Thank you God! I found this website! Im a full time “corporate america” working mom, living with my hubby and 2 kids ages 5 and 8 in carrollton texas. The guilt has gotten worse since they are both in school now and i am missing out. I am in need if friends who can relate.
Stephanie – Check out some of the resources above for sure! Plus, don’t assume the fact that other moms you run across are completely content. They may need a friend too. Reach out slowly – I met the most lovely woman at gymnastics once and now that her son doesn’t take it anymore, i have no idea how to get ahold of her. I wish 100 times over I would have asked for her phone number or email. I’m definitely going to step out of my comfort zone next time and ask!
cutes thing ever