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?