I hear it from moms all the time, especially those with the youngins. Some form of "I feel like I have no friends." In most cases, she doesn't. Life is a tornado and most nights the idea of solitude, or sleep, or BOTH sounds much better than grabbing a bite to catch up. Us moms don't mean to be so flaky and we really do want to see you.. but prioritizing a lunch date is nearly impossible when every day is such a toss up.
When we become moms it's no lie friendships change. But it's not just those infant years, it ebbs and flows as the years progress. Just when you think you’re over breastfeeding and ready to happy hour, your kid wants to start an evening sport. Just when you think your sleep will come back… the baby starts having night terrors.
When we’re so busy and so tired, how do we find time to maintain friendships or start new ones? I have some ideas on that. Maybe you could try one or all four of these the next time you feel disconnected from other moms.
- Organize a video call with 5-20 ladies to connect. Take an hour or two to dig into a topic. This would be great if you’re looking for ways to reconnect with people you already know and if you all live far away. You could also invite people you don’t know and create a safe zone for sharing with people who don't know everything about you.
- Ask a friend or three to start a tradition of texting once a day. It could be texting something that made your day, something you’re grateful for, a picture a day, whatever it is you will both look forward to the daily connect and it may open up new doors or break some old walls.
- Send handwritten notes to the people in your life. Say hi to another mom. Tell her how she inspires you. It’s just not the same as a Facebook like. While snail mail still exists take the time to send the love!
- Get involved with or develop a local community thing. There are mom groups and kid play date groups and unique activities for you and your kids. If there isn’t something like this in your neighborhood who’s to stop YOU from starting it?
I like the first three a lot because you don't even have to leave your home. These are things you can fit into your routine pretty easily no matter what stage you're in.
The truth is, most moms desperately want to connect, at least in Western cultures where we’re all so siloed as families. I often think how parenting would be different for me if I grew up in Vietnam, or somewhere in a village in Africa where raising children is a community effort.
Here in America, it's easy to live our own lives and raise our kids in our own bubbles. And I get sad that so many moms feel alone. So let’s do something about it.
Start reaching out..
PS: If you have any ideas or want to share how you stay connected with your friends, please share!
Heatherlee is a fearless mom, designer, artist and community maker in St. Paul, MN. She's a doula-in-training, apprentice energy worker and life long learner interested in wellness, social entrepreneurship and the intersection of culture, consciousness and creativity. More about Heatherlee's entry into women's health and birth work, and her career milestones so far.
Note from the author: I strive to live in a way that empowers people and creates an open space for love and light. We are content being a little bit different, a little off-beat, and all the way happy :)
Mental and spiritual health is extremely important to me as a mom. I believe in preventative wellness and the healing power of meditation. I believe in informed decision making and listening to your body and heart.
I'm not perfect or certified in anything really. So, thanks for accepting me as I grow and learn and write from my perspective. I hope this blog brings me closer to finding and creating the things moms need. And above all that you're inspired to be yourself.
Now go mom like a boss!
(Whatever that means to you).
With love, Heatherlee