Making Mom Friends And Keeping Them


Making Mom Friends And Keeping Them

Everyone always says how hard it is to make Mom Friends. It’s not just moms. It’s grown-up friends, in general. As kids, it’s pretty black and white. “You like dolphins and the color green and your last name starts with a B? Cool. Me too! Let’s be best friends!” But as grown-ups, there are constant hurdles and responsibilities. There’s work and kids and home things and errands and pets and the occasional sleep. I’ve literally found myself sending texts that say “I have 12:15 – 1:45 free on Tuesday in two weeks. Want to have lunch?” This is how detailed it gets. Who has the luxury of saying “Let’s have lunch sometime?” and just winging it? No. I have these three time slots available this month. Pick one.

And, forget dinner. Because when you’re a single mom and you only have one night a week (sometimes) to yourself, going out for evening things is hard. You know what’s not hard? Laying on your couch with takeout and watching Netflix for 25 minutes before you fall asleep. This is life. In particular, it’s my life. How am I supposed to maintain friendships with this life? How is anyone?

You trust.

My two best friends are the same two best friends I’ve had since college. We’ve lived together. We’ve stood next to each other as we married. We’ve stood by each other as we divorced. We’ve had babies. We’ve had states and even oceans separating us. We’ve had heartbreak. We’ve had love. And, most importantly, we’ve had a group text. A group text that’s been going for years. It contains memes, videos, funny stories, sad stories, “good mornings,” and Bat Signals. That’s what we text when we have real emergencies. You need a call within 90 seconds? You only need to send two words: Bat Signal. I see these women once a year. Maybe twice, if we’re lucky. But, regardless of how often or how long, I trust the process. I trust the friendship. I trust that life keeps us connected. And, above all, without fail, I trust the Bat Signal.

You try.

Last year, I divorced (probably the 493rd time I’ve mentioned that in my writing). And, I moved. I just moved across town. Not that far away, but far enough that I felt incredibly disconnected from the friends in my old neighborhood. My old life. They were good friends. Married friends. Friends that go to cookouts and soccer games as families. Friends that didn’t judge me (I don’t think), but I certainly judged myself. What happens when you’re not a “we” but just a “me?” Do you still fit in? Do you still talk about the same things? Do you feel like a failure? Because I did. Deep down, I did. I pulled away because seeing these women with their husbands and their family lives and their “togetherness” made me secretly sad. But, I should have tried. I didn’t give these wonderful women enough credit. I didn’t give myself enough credit. I should have tried harder. Or even tried at all. First, you trust. And, then you try.

You remember.

I can’t remember the last time I went out with a girlfriend. Wait. No, I can. It was brunch. Months ago. And I wore a baseball hat because my power was out and there was no hot water. Listen, I’m not so vain that I won’t show up to my ONE brunch that I’ve had in forever with a ballcap on (Go Lookouts). And, you know what? I bet if you asked my friend, she wouldn’t remember that. She’d remember the laughing and the confiding and the Eggs Benedict. She’d remember the big hug. She’d remember important things. Why? Because that’s what friends remember. They trust and try and remember.

It’s hard. We all know it’s hard.

But, here’s the thing. Even when it feels hard, it doesn’t have to be hard. Nine miles across town isn’t that far. Three states isn’t even that far. And, a baseball cap doesn’t matter. We can all do better. Trust a little more. Try a little harder. And, remember what’s important. Showing up for your friends with the perfect family or the perfect outfit or the perfect words isn’t important.

It’s the showing up that counts.