Discover What You and Your Mom Friends Have in Common
Friendships are formed based on similar interests. Sure, you're both moms. What else?
The fact that you both have children simply isn't enough for a solid friendship. If you didn't have kids in common, would there be enough chemistry for a friendship? If the answer is no, you may not have the spark needed for friendships that will last through tough times, bad moods and parenting style differences.
Let your children play together to see if that foundation for a good friendship is there for you and the other mom. You don't have to be friends with the parents of your children's playmates but it is a bonus. These friendships can also lead to a babysitting cooperative so you can drop the kids off with moms you know and trust.
Schedule Time Together
Leave the kids at home. Make a play date for just the two of you.
Go to the mall on a Saturday afternoon or have lunch together while the children are in school. Plan a Girls' Night In and invite your SAHM, WAHM and working mom friends.
You need to get to know your mom friends outside of your home life. Like any relationship, you have to make an effort.
Leave the Mommy War Discussions at Home
Some people will always look at SAHMs as unproductive citizens. Others will see working moms as people who choose career over family. WAHMs are often overlooked, even though they're living the life of an at-home parent and a working parent combined.
We don't need to add this stress from society to our friendships. You probably wouldn't cross some of your mom friends off your list because they decide to formula feed instead of breastfeed their babies. Their parenting choice is irrelevant to yours. Same applies to your friend's decision to work versus stay at home.
What matters to real friendships is how you like the person. Save the Mommy War discussions for people who have nothing else better to do than to judge the decision each mom makes for her own family. Moms have plenty of challenges to tackle without the fuel of us vs. them attitudes.
A big complaint working moms have is that stay-at-home moms don't provide intelligent conversation. Of course, we're intelligent. We just have different interactions with people when our daily company is under 48-inches tall and prefers sidewalk scribbles over an art gallery.
A working mom is surrounded by a boss and co-workers. In her day, she usually interacts with more people who are old enough to vote than we do.
That's why it's so important to make time for adults and ourselves as stay-at-home moms. We can only sing so many verses of "Old MacDonald" before we should turn to a good book, news program or grown-up conversation to stimulate our brain cells.
Stop the Gossip
It doesn't matter if you have 20 mom friends or just one, resist the urge to gossip. You know how it feels to have someone talk about you behind your back.
It's simply not important what the lady down the street wears to the mailbox or how another one of your mom friends chooses to spend her time while the kids are at Mom's Day Out. Surely, you and your friends can find more important things to talk about when you're together.
Save the gossip for the Hollywood tabloids. Good friendships are based on more than busybody babble.
Be Conscious of What You Say
A quick slip of the tongue can damage friendships, sometimes permanently. Add moms and their personal choices to the equation and you could end a friendship before it even gets started.
Think of how a working mom friend could take comments like, "I'm so glad I don't have to put my kids in day care" or "I can't imagine being away from my kids 40 hours a week." Put the shoe on the other foot. Anyone who says, "I think my brain would turn to mush if I didn't work" or "I can't imagine being stuck at home with the kids all day" could certainly sting a stay-at-home mom.
Nothing hurts a mom's feelings faster than criticizing her or her children. "She isn't potty trained YET?" or "I can't believe you let him eat gummy bears!" are the types of comments that will only snuff out what could have been a great friendship.
Be conscious of what you say before you blurt out a few words that could be misconstrued or sound judgmental. Hopefully, your mom friends will follow your example and return the favor with kind words about your choices instead of hurtful remarks.