You scope out the scene and look for interest. Do we have anything in common? Is the feeling mutual? Is age within compatibility? No, I’m not talking finding a mate; I’m talking about the difficulty of finding mom friends and how similar it is to dating!
Looking back, middle school seemed so awkward when trying to pick which clique to sit with, but in reality it wasn’t too difficult. We were all lumped together with kids our own age, usually brought up in the same area, with similar interests and socioeconomic factors.
However, in today’s day and age, the scene can has become quite diverse. Now? You can have a 19-year-old Republican teen mom from Texas with a 1-year-old boy on one side of the park, and a 36-year-old Democrat mom from California with a 3-year-old girl on the other side of the park.
But as scary as it can be to go up to other moms at the playground, or any other place where children congregate, having mom friends is an essential tool in life. When scouting for mom friends, here are some basic things to consider:
- Age—Let’s be honest, our age is a big deal, because it can be an important indicator of interests, which truly is what makes us gravitate towards one woman and not another. Why would two women hang out if they have nothing in common?
- Similar Interests—Would you rather talk about celebrity gossip or world events and politics? Would you rather be active and go on a hike or lounge by the pool? Drink wine? Similar religious background? These are all important components to finding great friends.
- Ages of children— The reason we go places with our children is to make sure they get their energy out and have fun. So it’s safe to say moms look for friends who have kids that are within the same age range. It’s also nice to talk about a struggle one of your kids is having, get advice, and realize they KNOW what you’re going through.
If you aren’t particularly outgoing, striking up a conversation with another mom out of the blue can be extremely intimidating. The good news is the world opened up with the Internet and social media, which made it that much easier to tap into mom groups.
Groups in specific cities and with common interests exist. Locally, there is a “Moms of Castle Rock” group on Facebook; all you need to do is click on “like” and you are immediately connected.
Meetup.com is another option. At one point, I moved to a city where I did not know a soul, and it felt very isolating with small children. I went on meetup.com and found a moms group that had regular playgroups at local parks. Castle Rock has several; you just need to be proactive about it.
In addition, The Town of Castle Rock organizes several family friendly events like the Starlight movies, Splash in the Park, etc. and the Philip S. Miller Library holds daily story times for different age children and parents. There are also several local churches that have mom groups.
MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) is an organization that began as a way for moms to connect with other moms. Sherry Surratt, CEO and President of MOPS International, is a big believer in moms finding a place to connect.
“Moms give so much of themselves…their time, their love, their energy,” Surratt said. “A MOPS group is a place for moms to receive – receive the gifts of other moms’ stories, letting you know that you are not alone; a space to relax and breathe, to laugh, and to enjoy a hot cup of coffee.”
Regardless of what avenue you take, there will be days where your sanity is hanging on by a tiny thread. Connecting with other moms will make life a lot easier. Moms need other moms to help us walk along this mothering journey, so we don’t have to do it alone.