Are you struggling to find time to make your own friends? Here’s how to make friends as a single mom, plus how to strike up conversations with strangers and develop lasting friendships.
Moms in general struggle to find time for themselves or adult relationships. Single moms have it ten times worse, especially if you work long hours, or tend to be more introverted. And if you’re a single mom with no parenting village (like friends or family who can pitch in), your struggle is as real as it gets. So how can you develop meaningful friendships when your life as a single mom revolves around your kids? It’s difficult, but doable. And absolutely necessary (for your well-being, and your kids).
As a single mom, you need to make friends where kids are welcome (in other words, with other moms). Here’s why:
- It’s super inconvenient if you have to find a babysitter every single time you hang out with your new friends
- Other moms are more likely to understand you and your struggles
- You’ll get to spend more time with your friends if your kids have someone to hang out with
Where to Look
So where can you find these mom-friendships? Here are 5 awesome places to start.
Join Neighborhood Groups
Check your favorite social media platform for your neighborhood. You might find a Facebook group specifically for your block. Also try neighborhood specific apps like NextDoor to connect with neighbors.
If you haven’t had any luck searching social media, knock on the doors of your immediate neighbors and ask if they know of any offline gatherings, such as neighborhood watch groups or a neighborhood association.
Friends within your neighborhood are super beneficial. You’ll probably discover friends outside your age bracket or parenting stage. You never know when you might need advice from a seasoned parent (or grandparent). Making friends with folks nearby is also a great idea in case you ever need an emergency babysitter.
Find a Mommy & Me Class or Group
Your local recreation center or library might have a list of mommy and me classes that are available to the public. You might also check with your OBGYN, pediatrician, or nearby daycare centers. You might be surprised at how many places offer these types of gatherings! I’ve come across mommy and me reading groups, fitness groups, art groups, mindfulness groups, and playdate (playground) groups.
Engaging with moms who have kids of similar ages is a great idea so your kids have a friend too! You’ll probably find yourself spending more time with friends when your kids can keep eachother entertained.
If you cannot find a local resource, some larger metropolitan areas also have social media apps specifically for moms.
Visit Kid Friendly Places
Visit playgrounds, trampoline parks, museums, zoos, the local pool, and libraries are all great places to find other moms with kids. You just have to be brave enough to strike up a conversation with potential friends!
Join Online Parenting Communities
We already spend a ton of time in front of screens. If you’re going to scroll anyway, use that time to engage with online parenting communities. You can join free ones on various social media platforms, or you can find a paid parenting community of like-minded moms (often comes with a parenting class). I am personally a part of the Positive Parenting Solutions community, but there are many, many to choose from.
Volunteer at Your Neighborhood School
This is an easy one to overlook, but a great way to find friends is to volunteer at your child’s school. Even if your kids aren’t of school age yet, you can still contact the school and put yourself on the list of willing volunteers! They will welcome all the community support they can get. As a bonus, you’ll probably meet parents with younger kids who will eventually go to school with your little one.
How to Strike Up Conversations
Small talk can be awkward.
Striking up initial conversations with strangers is probably the most difficult part of building your parenting village. So here are a few tips to help you get the ball rolling.
- Start with friendly eye contact and a warm smile.
- Take a chance. Be a little vulnerable. Admit you’re feeling awkward!
- Avoid any controversial topics like religion and politics.
- Practice your introduction. Out loud in front of the mirror is best! Then use your parenting elevator pitch to introduce yourself to potential friends.
- Let your new friend do the talking. Keep asking questions (as long as you feel they are well received)
- If you’re getting a cold response, excuse yourself politely.
- If things go well, offer your phone number. (“It was nice to meet you! I have to run but I’d love to catch up again for a playdate. Here’s my phone number if you’re interested”).
Keep Your Friends Close
Once you’ve done the hard work of making friends, do the work to keep them!
As a busy single mom, this is much harder than it sounds. Here are a few easy ways to continue to grow your new friendships.
- Plan regular cookouts, game nights, wine tastings, book clubs, trivia nights, etc. and invite your friends.
- Set reminders on your phone or calendar to call or text your friend to check-in.
- Schedule regular recurring playdates (i.e. every Monday at 5pm).
- Write down important dates for your new friends (i.e. birthdays, anniversaries) and send texts/cards on those dates.
- Join a class together (fitness, art, scrapbooking etc.).
- Offer help whenever you see an opportunity
- When you need help, actually ask them for help (i.e. a 30 min babysitter, a ride to get an oil change, etc.)
- Make handmade gifts for the holidays (candles, baking mixes, bath bombs, etc)
- Bake holiday cookies and deliver them to your friends!
- Create a Christmas/Holiday Card list and mail out cards in December.
Skip ahead? No problem! Here’s how you can make friends as a single mom.
- Make other mom friends at places like:
- Neighborhood groups
- Mommy & Me classes
- Kid-centric places like parks and zoos
- Online parenting communities
- Local schools
- Use our tips to strike up a conversation with a stranger
- Make the effort to maintain the relationship with your new friends
What You Should Do Next…
Are you ready for more activities to build a rock-solid bond with your kids? Try our Connected Parent Challenge! It’s 15 Days of 15 Minute activities that are sure to improve your connection, diminish bad behavior, and create lasting memories. Plus, I’ll deliver more amazing parenting strategies to your inbox weekly (don’t worry, unsubscribe any time!).
Connect with like-minded moms (and dads!) in our free online community. You’ll find a plethora of resources to help you through your parenting challenges. Plus, you’ll find me there! And I’d love to connect.
Do you need actionable strategies right now? Register for this free 60-minute webinar titled How to Get Kids to Listen, Without Nagging, Yelling or Losing Control. You’ll walk away with parent-tested tactics to get your kids to listen starting today.