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Being a stay at home mom is such a gift that I’m grateful for, but some aspects of it I was not prepared for. For example, I was not prepared for having several hours of it just being me and my child. I was also not prepared for how much harder it is to find mom friends than I tought. The perception of being a stay at home mom I got from years of 90’s sitcom was that moms always have tons of friends to play cards and commiserate with. I was very surprised to find out that television didn’t give me the whole picture. Stay at home mom life can actually be quite lonely.
Everyday I find myself scrolling through social media and finding funny videos of moms joking about how lonely they are, or how socially awkward they’ve become due to isolation. Of course, I usually laugh, but my heart also hurts because of how true they are. Finding friends as a mom often feels like a fruitless, impossible task. But the silver lining is that in the midst of feeling isolated, there’s a slew of moms out there who are eager to make new friends. About 26% of moms in America are stay at home moms. The way I see it, there’s 26% of moms in this country who would love to know you! Now the question is…how do we find these other moms?
Find local mom groups or online communities
Local mom groups are the OG method of finding moms friends. Thanks to the internet, finding local mom groups has become so much easier. Take to the internet and see what groups are out there for you to explore:
- MOMS (Moms Offering Moms Support)
- Local Facebook mom groups
If you’re having a hard time finding a group near you, then maybe you could consider starting a group yourself!
Start a new hobby
Yes, hobbies can be done alone, but the great thing about hobbies is that other people LOVE to talk about their hobbies to other people! So there are tons and tons of opportunities to meet other like minded people. Search Facebook groups for local hobby groups, check your local library, or on Meetup. Even going to the gym can be a great way to make new friends!
Of course, finding a hobby can feel like an impossible task, but maybe a few of these might spark some joy:
- Reading (hello, book clubs!)
- Exercising (hello, fitness classes!)
- TV shows (for real, I have a friend who attends a weekly Real Housewives viewing group.)
- Honestly, you name it, and I’m sure you can find someone whose interested!
Like I stated earlier, if you’re having a hard time finding groups local to you, consider starting your own! I know it can be a bold move, but perhaps there’s another lonely mother with the same idea whose just not ready to make that move. You have no idea how it could go until you give it a shot.
Take a class
Once again, I know being a stay at home mom doesn’t exactly lend itself to having tons of free time. But taking a class of some kind can be a great way to meet new people. Whether that class is in person or online, you can connect with new people and learn something new in the process.
Getting into the world of blogging has been a game changer in my social life, as well as my business life. Through taking classes and various courses, I’ve found wonderful like-minded friends. Most of these friends are from all over the country as well!
You can find a class for just about anything, whether it’s an in person class or online. Here’s some places you can look to find classes in your area:
- Local Facebook groups
- Local universities and colleges
- Classes Near Me
- Local libraries and community centers
Take advantage of parks and libraries
The great things about parks and libraries is that they’re usually free! Obviously taking your kids to your local library or park could be a great way to meet other parents, but also look up activities for adults. Libraries often have book clubs and other hobby group meetups for you! Some exercise groups meet up at local parks, so do some research in your area and see what’s available. If nothing pans out, then maybe that means you can start one!
Get a part-time job or volunteer
Getting a part time job could be a lot to ask for a mom whose probably already strapped for time, but volunteering tends to be more flexible. Plus, you’re not just thinking about your social needs, but the needs of your community when you volunteer.
Depending on the age of your kids, you can have your kids come along for volunteer work as well. Which could also be a wonderful educational opportunity for your family.
For many moms who leave their jobs to be stay at home moms, they find a lot their identity wrapped up in their career. Losing that part of their identity can leave them feeling unfulfilled and lonely. Even if working full time is too much, finding something to do aside from parenting can help with bringing some more fulfillment in your life.
Find something that bring you happiness (besides your children)
Oftentimes loneliness stems from a lack of fulfillment in your day to day life. As much as moms don’t want to talk about it, sometimes staying home all the time can lack fulfillment. Finding something that sparks joy in your life that is separate from your kiddos can be exactly what you need. Go back to the “finding a hobby” tip and see if any of those bring you any good vibes.
Prioritize self care
We are sometimes selfless creatures as mothers. Selfless often to the point that we give up so much of ourselves, and then are left feeling burnt out, and often lonely. This is one of many reasons why practicing self care can be absolutely vital for moms.
Of course, self care can be something we do alone, but it can also be something we do in groups. For example, I make it a point to go to the gym during the week. Sometimes I will work out on my own, but I also enjoy going to group fitness classes. I’ve met some wonderful people at the gym, and I’ve even made professional connections there too!
If self care seems to be a world you don’t understand, I’ve written quite a few blog posts to help you out:
- 7 Ways To Find More Time For Yourself As A Mom
- 10 Ways You Can Prioritize Self Care As A Busy Mom
- 5 Minute Self Care For The Christian Woman
Make an effort to stay connected to those already in your social circle
As an extreme introvert, I will be the first to admit that this tip terrifies me. But before you close the page and write me off, hear me out.
Making friendships is difficult, and very rarely comes naturally. Some are lucky to have a “mom tribe” fall right into their lap, others have to search them out. In order to find friends, you need to first be a friend. Yes, that means sometimes being the one to reach out, as opposed to waiting for someone to reach out to you.
I can admit that I have often groveled that my friends didn’t reach out to me after I had my son, but I didn’t either. I was just as guilty of letting my friendships fall off the tracks as my friends were. You may need to be the one that texts an old friend and invites them out for coffee. You may need to be the one who gets the girls together for a night out. Like I stated so many times already, you may need to be the one who gets all the lonely moms together in your neighborhood!
All of those things take one thing, intentionality. You are more than a mom, and you deserve to have friends. And perhaps the friends you already have just need you to reach out to them.
Loneliness is not forever
You may have just become a stay at home mom, or perhaps you’ve been in it for a long time. You may just not be feeling the stings of loneliness, or you may have been in it for a while. Regardless, I can assure you that it isn’t forever.
My first year staying home was cripplingly lonely (I could also blame the pandemic for that.) As time as gone on, I am grateful to be able to connect with new friends. I’ve made it a point to get myself and my son involved in as many community activities as possible. Through those activities, we’ve both made new friends, and the lonely pangs have eased. It’s taken intentionality on my part, and it’s still a work in progress, but I can say it’s gotten easier with time.
The loneliness is not forever, I promise. Perhaps if it were still 1965 and almost every mom stayed home, it’d be easier. But it’s not. This world moves fast, so fast we don’t often stop and communicate to each other anymore. We could look at this period of isolation in our lives and be bitter about it, or we could take it as an opportunity to slow down. Maybe this is an opportunity to slow down and intentionally build relationships with new (or already known) people. The relationships we build intentionally are often the best ones we find.