I was sitting at the beach with a friend, watching our almost 2-year-old kids play at the edge of the water when we noticed a little boy interacting with our children.
As we watched the kids dig holes and laugh together, I noticed a young mom sitting on her own not far from us. I realized it was the little boy’s mom.
She told us her name was Molly and her family had just moved into the neighborhood. She didn’t know anyone in the area, so she was happy to make new friends. It made me feel sad because I knew how tough it could be to make new friends as an adult and especially as a busy mom.
Thinking back to that day brings happy tears to my eyes as that was the beginning of a beautiful friendship—not only between us but our boys as well.
Fast forward 19 years and we have been through so much—the birth of Molly’s daughter, breakdowns of relationships, the death of her dad, the failure of my business, my breast cancer, moves to different locations and so much more.
Despite, what life threw at us, we always stayed in touch even though at times we lived far apart and didn’t see each other for many months.
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Our boys made new friends in their respective schools and somewhat lost touch over the years. When they were 12 years old, we caught up at Molly’s new home. At first, the boys were a little quiet as they hadn’t seen each other for a long time and didn’t know what to say, but that awkwardness didn’t last long and they picked up where they left off. And since then they have been best friends.
Jordan and Finn were born 10 days apart, and this year we celebrated their 21st birthday at the same spot where we met all those years ago.
Being a (single) mom is not easy, and it can be even harder to make friends. Despite this, friendship and community are important for all moms to have.
Having friends provides support when it comes to parenting-related stress, questions, and struggles. Friends can provide advice on how to navigate through the ups and downs of motherhood.
Friends can help provide distraction and a social outlet during challenging times. Building meaningful relationships with others helps lift your mood and alleviate depression or anxiety that might come along with motherhood. Friends act as sounding boards for ideas, frustrations, and overall feelings about parenting.
But where do you meet new friends if you suddenly find yourself newly single, in a new neighborhood, or if your friends are at different stages of life?
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Here are some suggestions to get you started:
Join a local parent support group—these can provide a great opportunity to meet and connect with other moms who are sharing similar experiences.
Attend community events or join community groups—these can be great places to make new friends and build relationships with people who have similar values.
Visit a playground or park—taking the kids to play in an outdoor area can open up opportunities for conversation while giving you the chance to relax and enjoy some time with your children.
Get involved in activities that interest you—join a book club or take up an exercise class. You’ll get to share something in common with others here and could even find potential friends who are on the same journey as you.
Participate in online forums—there are many online forums dedicated to moms where you can discuss parenting issues, socialize, and make connections with other moms who share your struggles and triumphs.
Friendships are essential to the growth and well-being of moms and single moms. Through meaningful connections, moms can find emotional support, encouragement, and understanding. Not only do these relationships provide comfort and strength during difficult times, but they also help foster self-confidence and appreciation for one’s worth as an individual.