Like most people, I don’t like dieting.
But there are several diets that actually make me feel better because they force me to put the right foods into my body instead of all the chocolate muffins like I want to.
And like dieting, exercise is good for my body, and I hate doing it. I hate the struggle of putting on exercise clothes, going out to do the exercise, getting sweaty, needing a shower.
It’s so time-consuming.
But it too is worth it.
I feel great after I exercise. I’ve got all those endorphins flowing and even though I’m sore, I actually feel stronger and good.
Much like diet and exercise, human interaction is a necessary inconvenience.
For those of you that are natural extroverts, this will probably not apply so you should check out our article about Five Free Mom Splurges You’ve Got to Try.
For the rest of us, mustering up the energy to spend time with friends can be super hard.
Because here’s what’s easy: eating delivery pizza in bed watching TV.
Even if you are just having a low key girl’s night at your own house, you still have to wear non-pajama clothes and clean up a bit (or a lot depending on your housekeeping style).
But ya’ll, it’s so worth it.
Because here’s the sad truth of life as a parent.
Someday our kids will grow up.
They will no longer be small children who wake us up numerous times through the night.
They won’t be young children who are learning to navigate the world and need help with every. single. thing.
They will not be pre-teens who have a weird smell all the time and don’t need our help for anything.
They won’t be teenagers desperate for independence.
They’ll be adults who are out living life on their own.
Where will that leave you?
If you build your entire life around your kids, it will feel incredibly safe and full for many years.
But there will come a day that it is completely empty.
Personally, I want to be an empty nester who has awesome lady friends who do fun girly trips together.
I want to be busy and fulfilled because I spent my children’s childhood being a good mom AND taking care of me.
Because I believe you can do both.
I want to have people that I can call when my son sets the kitchen drawer on fire who will vow to pray for me and laugh at me until I’m able to laugh through my tears.
Those relationships don’t start at 55 years old when all your kids finally move out.
They are built over a lifetime of playdates where you drink lukewarm coffee together and have conversations six words at a time because you are interrupted every four seconds by a child.
And yes, it’s work.
It’s work during a time in your life when you feel drained and like there’s not possibly room for another thing in your life. Never in my life have I felt so very loved and lonely than right now.
I am alone for about twelve minutes of each day, yet I still feel lonely.
I feel lonely because loneliness isn’t solved by the presence of another person. It’s solved by the complete acceptance of another person. The sort of acceptance that says, I understand exactly what you are going through. I share your regrets and fears and scars and I love you still.
My kids and my husband love me deeply, but they can’t understand like a friend who is walking the same path, wrestling the same doubts.
And that’s why it’s so important to make mom friends.
If you need help finding mom friends, here are three things that help.
1. Find a Church Home
I know. So cliche. The pastor’s wife telling you to go to church.
But having a relationship with Jesus is the most important thing to me.
Any friend that doesn’t have the same priority won’t be able to really support me when things get tough. I need people who will pray for me and with me.
In my experience, the best place to find large groups of Christian women is at church.
And while finding the perfect church home can be tough, it is possible.
I strongly recommend finding a church with a good children’s ministry and a women’s ministry.
You want a church that is going to pour into your children so that they love going to church. Because if they love it and want to go, it will be much easier to convince yourself to go.
And a church with a great women’s ministry is icing on the cake. This is the place to do Bible studies and meet other ladies who love Jesus because they make the best mom friends.
If your kids are young and you’re worried about them being disruptive, stop worrying.
Nobody that matters minds a wiggly child in church.
2. Make an Effort
When you are in the places with the other moms, put your phone away and interact. Talk to the other moms at practice or the park or ballet or whatever.
It’s awkward and tough, but that’s how you make mom friends.
So the next time you’re sitting in the Chick-fil-A play place with the other moms, talk to the one that you feel a connection with. Don’t question why you’re choosing her. It’s probably something subconscious like her kid is also wearing mismatched shoes or she has the same taste in athleisure wear as you do or you like her coffee mug.
Just go up and introduce yourself and ask her a question. “Where did you get your leggings/shoes/fannypack?” Even if you know everything about her at a glance, ask her a question anyway.
Most people don’t mind answering questions like that, and it is an easy way to break the ice. If it goes well, plan to do something together on purpose instead of just being at the same thing at the same time. Or give it a few weeks and ease into it.
But do yourself a favor, and make an effort to make mom friends.
3. Stop Trying to Be Perfect
We all know at least one lady that seems like she has it all together.
And let’s be honest, we don’t really like her.
We try to do the same thing.
For some reason, we women want to project this togetherness and perfection to other women which only alienates us!
I’m not saying to let it all hang out and be that hot mess mom, but try to be real.
Find a balance between the two that allows you to be honest about your shortcomings.
All people like authenticity.
We like it when things are real.
So be a real person.
It’s okay to buy boxed Valentine’s from Target because you detest crafting.
It’s okay that the only cardio you did this week was running your toddler to the toilet 864 times.
It’s fine that your kid eats a Lunchable every single day and that it’s not organic.
By being you, you will find your people.
You probably don’t want to be friends with the lady who makes a gourmet, organic lunch for her kids every day. Not because there’s anything wrong with her, but because she’s likely not your people.
Or maybe eating organically is super important you and she is exactly who you are looking for. That’s cool, too.
Find your people by being you.
While it is hard to make friends with other women, it is also good. When you have great friends, life is better.
And please remember this, that lady wearing Lululemon sipping an iced mocha on the playground may be desperate for a friend.
The woman who never has a hair out of place needs a woman in her life who she can trust and let her guard down.
That woman may be you.