HOW TO MAKE NEW FRIENDS AS AN ADULT - TIPS FOR ALL MOMS.
Becoming a mom is a life changing experience and with it comes a whole new life you are just beginning to carve out for yourself. You could almost define it as having a bit of an identity crisis, because all of a sudden you may not even recognize who you are anymore. Many moms face a great deal of isolation especially stay at home moms, and in the pandemic era loneliness is a commonplace we all share. Its common to look around your life and wonder what happened to your existing relationships... its just the natural order of things, so if your old friends are still in their old routines you may naturally want to find new friends to connect with in this new phase of life.
It can be hard to find new friends as an adult, especially if we've become comfortable in our pre-baby social circles . According to How Stuff Works it takes over 90 hours of face time with a new person to really consider a person a friend... and this makes sense because friendship is about knowing the other person, having mutual respect, and gaining a certain level of trust with that person. To start this journey you need to just get out there, meet new people and start spending time socializing and seeing if you connect with someone to continue building that relationship. Does this sound like a little too much right off the bat? Well don't worry, you don't need to be pushing 90 hours onto every new person you meet - in fact that would probably turn people off completely ha ha... start with building casual acquaintances at your next baby Gymboree group or another social club you may want to join- things will most certainly build up from there.
A tip for finding friends
Find friends you can connect with on a positive level. I think too often we connect with others based on need for support and want to find others that can understand the trials of motherhood, or to vent about what we are going through but finding new friends that connect with you based on positive aspects rather than people to off-load the negative will help you grow friendships that can strengthen over time. Sharing things that you have in common make those relationships that much more enjoyable. Good friends are those that we can have fun with and that can still be understanding and supportive when we are going through the tough times.
Try thinking outside the box
Consider for a moment that you don't need friends that are just moms because you are now a mom- you need friends that can fill some kind of void that you may be feeling right now and if they just so happen to have kids of their own then that's a win win. Take the pre-requisite of being a mom - or mommy friends out of the equation, you may find that you connect better when you have friends that share some other type of interest or hobby, and welcome the much needed break and escape the world of diapers, potty training and temper tantrums. So find some time to get out there and get social around the things you are interested (an outdoor jogging group? a craft class that meets regularly?) in it may just lead you to your next friendship :)
Find supplement support
I've seen this advice in many positive productivity and business outlets and it applies here as well- supplement what you need through other resources such as mommy groups, lifestyle blogs or podcasts until you have built the new friend tribe you want. What do you want to focus on everyday? Get positivity in your life... negative relationships won't serve you well in the long run, and don't keep people in your inner circle that will make things harder for you. If the current friends you have no longer add the value and support then it may be time to put those relationships aside for a while until you identify what you need moving forward.
Now I'm not saying to completely toss your old friends aside for good, but if your life is filled with bar hopping party goers and now you are left sitting home with FOMO then your friend circle should include people who fit into your new family focused life. Get out once a month with those older friends to grab martinis and apps - this will create balance in your life and help you feel like your old self again.
It's also important to remind ourselves that life ebbs and flows and really doesn't naturally stay stagnant... and many times in relationships we don't all grow together. It's okay to keep growing your friend circles, and even more okay if people naturally drop off for a while. So tell me in the comments, have you had any luck finding new friends at different phases in life?