Finding Friends

Dear yayas,

I feel like the other moms I meet at the playground and other places don’t like me. We moved a year ago to a new town and I feel like all the moms groups are established and don’t want anyone else in their clique. I’m an older mom in my late 30s and it just feels weird to suddenly have to make new friends. Maybe it’s me. Maybe I’m reading the situation wrong, but I just don’t feel welcome and I’m not sure how to make more mom friends. It’s been a year since our move and I feel like I should have more mom friends by now. Any insight? 

– Friendless in Franklin

Dear Friendless in Franklin, Moving is a tricky transition and then finding like-minded mommy friends can be difficult. Are you able to plan one weekly happening for yourself? Maybe a yoga class, art class, book club, etc. I suggest getting out of the house for you. Start with just once a week with hopes of adding an hour or two to your routine over the year. Maybe you will find like-minded friends that happen to also have little ones. Play dates with the kiddos are fun, but having an adult conversation with someone outside of your own home can be so refreshing. – Bernie

Dear Friendless in Franklin, Maybe try to plan something fun to do with one mom from the group, rather than be in a big group social setting where you are the “new kid.” It does take a while to have the history and get to know new friends, don’t be discouraged, it will happen! – Taren

Hi Friendless, I’m sorry you are struggling with friendships. It is tough to break into circles when you are the new girl in town and you haven’t had to make new friends in a while. It’s an effort!!! What are your interests, beyond motherhood? I would search out people with those interests. Are you in a neighborhood? Host a game night or a book club. It may take you stepping out of your normal comfort area to bring some acquaintances into friends. – Cortney

I can definitely relate! We have moved several times since being married 10 years ago, and I will say it’s difficult to make new friends whether you have children or not. In a way, having children does make it a bit easier though because there’s the commonality of parenthood. From my experience, it can take a while (over a year even) to find a friend or two that you really get along well with. I’ve joined mom groups, gyms, and just tried to strike up conversations more often when we’re out and about. It is hard to make a close friend in adulthood because people often already have a “best” friend or circle of friends. Though the more you put yourself out there, the greater your chance of finding someone or a group that feels right! – Diana

Moving is challenging. Moving as a parent, even more so. Motherhood definitely requires an increased sense of support—if you already have a support system in place and that gets uprooted, the heartbreak of that can take a while to get through. (hugs) It’s okay to lean on your long distance group of friends you just left for support during the transition. I agree that putting yourself out there is a great idea. Friendships take time. We often go into adulthood with these leftover hang-ups from childhood about what friendship circles look like, but we can break that mold! It really helps to go into interactions with other parents from the mindset of we ALL need support. You are in need of support, but also look at what kind of support you are offering. Rest easy that if you’re not clicking with moms in a certain group or playground, there are others. I highly recommend starting your own moms group. You can reach out to other moms in local FB groups or via word of mouth. I wrote an article about how to start a moms group here: You pick the focus, dates, times, etc. Try to get out of your own way and make room for new friendships and fun. Don’t assume the worst of other moms and they won’t assume the worst of you. You not getting invited to play dates are sometimes as innocent as two moms just want to get together by themselves, and that’s okay. You’re going to have one on one play dates, too, and that’s not you leaving other moms out because you choose to spend time with one person, does that make sense? If seeing other moms get together on social media is giving you a case of FOMO, take a break from it for a little while and just focus on having fun and exploring your new city. Spend a bit of time giving and exuding what you want to attract. Good luck, mama! – Lori Beth

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