A writer that I love wrote a piece called “Are You Lonely, Mama?” and it went crazy viral. It’s not surprising. The path for stay at home moms (SAHM’s if you haven’t heard it before) can be a dark one in our culture. Friends without kids often assume you’re busy and stop calling. It’s likely that you have a partner who works a lot to compensate for a one-income family. In days of yore, when women washed their clothes in the river, I imagine everyone nursing babies, wiping butts, and corralling whiny toddlers together, but in our hyper-independent society, you’re now only supposed to emerge from the house if you’ve got it totally together. And heaven help you if your kid has a melt down because you forgot the fruit snacks, or your baby has a blowout.
So everyone stays in their house, crying into their coffee and yelling at their kids to eat their peas and feeling like the last woman on earth - basically starving for some solid mama friendship. But what if I told you that it’s likely that most of the SAHM's around you feel the exact same way? Because you know what? THEY DO.
Are you ready to make a change? Here’s a super simple, no-nonsense action plan that you can start TODAY to start creating your village and making some friends to wipe butts with.
1. Pick something and do it at a regular time and place every week – or more.
This is so important! In order to establish relationships, you need to see people a LOT! As a SAHM, you have so many options here! It may be hard to get yourself and your kids out of the house, and you may feel too tired to think about potentially meeting new people, but the reward is worth it - you can do this. If you think of your SAHM life as a job, picture these outings as your morning assignment. Write it down on your calendar and do as many as you can handle.
- Library storytime
- MOPS or moms group
- Toddler gym time
- Chick Fil A play area
2. Small talk with the women around you.
Though many of the events you attend may appear to be for the kids, they’re actually more for you! By showing up to these places, you are guaranteeing that you will see women who live near you, who have kids the same age, and are also looking to get out of the house and meet people – the winning combo! Don’t be shy to talk!
- Where do you live?
- Tell me about your kids.
- What else do you guys do for fun?
- What does your SO do?
- Are you home full time? Part time? Working full time?
- Where are you from?
3. Extend the event.
After you’ve seen and chatted with another mom at least two or three times, it’s time to make a bold move! Ask to extend the event and involve food to keep the kids happy – go for lunch afterwards, bring a picnic with you, grab free Chick Fil A breakfast before the library, etc. This is a great way to start connecting outside of the “events” but still keep it comfortable. This is a good time to exchange phone numbers, as well.
4. Friend her on social media and give her posts some love.
In the Facebook age, this is an important step! Friending or following someone is a signal that you are interested in building a friendship with them. Liking or commenting on their post shows that you’re supportive, that you’re interested, and that you’re working to build something with her.
5. Invite her over.
Bringing someone into your home is a HUGE step in the friend building phase! Don’t worry if your house is messy – concentrate on making her and her kids feel loved and welcome. Include lunch to make things even more warm and intimate – and even make that the focus! Having a project like making your own PBJ shapes or personal pizzas is adventurous but can have a huge payoff. Or – if you have a few acquaintances that you’d like to get closer with – try a Craft Kit. Gathering a small group of women together to deepen friendships and making something with their hands is a FANTASTIC way to start creating a community that loves, supports, and sometimes even does each other’s laundry.