Mama Mantra: Get Out of the House
Posted January 8, 2019 by Prairie Wife - 3 comments
Every week over on our Facebook page I do a LIVE Facebook.
Last week’s LIVE Facebook was about the SAHM life and how it can be really really hard. A reader had messaged me saying that she was struggling while staying home with her three young children. She wrote that she was unhappy and that her marriage was suffering.
Oh did I understand that struggle! My heart went out to her, so I created this video to offer support to her…and so many other SAHM that are feeling isolated.
There are a lot of good points in here (if I do say so myself) but one comment I made about making sure you leave the house and interact with other moms resulted in a lot of messages.
Many of our readers wanted to know how exactly do you go about finding like-minded moms?
After you’ve met someone you like how do you ensure you see them again?
So I told them I’d write a post to help them out.
First, you HAVE TO GET OUT OF THE HOUSE!
Social media and private chat groups are OK to a point. But, they are not a substitute for real face to face time with other humans!
You need to find one or two other moms you can hang out with. Notice I said one or two…not six. The phrase “find your tribe” is thrown around a lot lately. And while I wholly support this concept, I think it has backfired a bit. I think it makes women feel like they need a whole lot of friends in order to be happy.
NOPE. FALSE. NOT TRUE.
In my experiance, all you need is one or two good friends.
The kind that come to your house and don’t mind that you have your sweat pants on backwards, that your shoulder is covered in spit up and don’t even flinch when they see that yesterday’s dinner dishes are still on the table.
So how do you find these friends?
Well, ladies, it’s going to take some effort, and you’re going to have to step out of your comfort zone, and there will likely be a few false starts before you find the right fit.
The chances of you opening up your door and the perfect person waiting there with chocolate chip cookies and a smile are slim…not that it can’t happen…
And while some of you may already know how to make new friends, for a lot of us it takes effort. Until I was a SAHM, all my friends were people I worked with. I saw them every day and it was easy to set up fun lunches or dinners.
Then I went from working mom to SAHM I was all alone (all day long) and had no idea where to go to find other people like me. Thank God for Rita the cashier at our local grocery store. My first few months as a new SAHM in a new town she was the only adult I talked to besides The Cowboy!
Step One: Get out of the house!
NOTE: Shower and brush your teeth. Wear whatever you feel good in…and if that means a pair of cute sweats or boyfriend jeans with holes and a baseball hat GO FOR IT!
- One day a week leave your house with the kids.
- Attend a group event
- Storytime at the library
- Church group
- Book study
- La Leche Leauge
- Go where people gather
- Coffee Shop
- Farmers Market
- Rec Center
- Attend a group event
Step Two: Put your phone down and interact with people!
- Smile and make eye contact with three people that intrigue you
- Make conversation with one person and if it goes well…
Step Three: Connect!
- Ask if you can connect with them through social media
NOTE: You’re trying to make friends. This means you need to reach out and try and connect. You have to put in some effort and you have to try and keep the ball rolling. Be thankful we have social media…back when I was the new SAHM I had to ask for a phone number AND no one texted yet so I had to actually call people!
Step Four: Follow Through!
- Interact with them within the first three days
- Like and comment on some of their posts
- Once a day is normal and healthy
- Don’t go overbored and cyber stalk them
- Tag them on a post you think they might enjoy
- If you exchanged numbers shoot them a quick text
Step Five: Try to Meet Again!
- After about a week if they have they have liked and commented on your posts
- PM and ask if they have plans to go back to where you met them and make a playdate
- Invite them to your upcoming weekly outing
- Simply say “Hey I had fun chatting with you the other day, any interest in meeting up again?”
- If they have not responded to any of your interactions
- After two weeks just let it go and search for another person to connect with
NOTE: Don’t take a no or their silence personally. There are a myriad of reasons they may not be looking for a friendship with you. Guaranteed EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM is about THEM and their life and NOT YOU!
Step Six: Further the Friendship!
- Hang out in public a few more times
- Get to know them on a more personal level
- Have some conversations
- Share some of who you really are
- Talk about more than your kids
- Invite them to your house
- Don’t stress if things aren’t perfectly clean
- Keep it casual and short with a set start and end time
- Have a few things in mind to help the kids feel comfortable
Step Seven: Should I Stay or Should I Go?
- You have similar outlooks on life
- Your children get along marginally well
- You leave their company feeling refreshed
- You look forward to interacting with them again
- They put the same amount of effort into the friendship that you do
- They have completely different outlooks on life
- Your children fuss and fight the whole time
- You feel uncomfortable or strained when you meet
- You are drained emotionally at the end of a playdate
- You roll your eyes or clench your jaw when they text or comment on a post
- You feel that the friendship is one sided
NOTE: There are lots of polite and mature ways to back away from a friendship. You can not be available or simply take a bit longer to respond to their messages. Or go back to only seeing them in group settings instead of at your home.
NOTE 2: I have a rule of three. If I invite someone out three times and they can’t meet up, cancel or don’t respond (or any combination of those) three times in a row I stop reaching out. Once again don’t take it personally, it’s about them and where they are in life NOT YOU!
It’s going to take some time and effort to find the right fit. My friendship with TallGirlJ took months if not years to develop (someday we will tell you that story).
A big joke amongst my friends is that I am a stalker…because the reason they became friends with me was that I did what I listed above. I met them and decided I liked them. I connected with them and I reached out to them continuously.
Any other great ideas for how SAHM can meet new people and make friends?
Let us know in the comments!