How Making Mom Friends Is Just Like Dating

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Once upon a time, I grew up in a small neighborhood where my parents were friends with our neighbors – actual friends, not just acquaintances.

We’d have cookouts and sit on each other’s back porches for hours. I babysat their kids. They told my mom I was shaving my legs and introduced me to pot stickers with soy sauce. I figured that my little brother (who couldn’t have been more than 7 at the time) would marry their daughter, a precocious 5-year-old that made him a bit crazy.

Then they moved away, and things were never really the same. Still though, I have those few years burned into my memory and hold them up as a shining example of what friendships should look like as a parent.

I blame them for giving me unrealistic parent friendship expectations.

As a mother myself now, I realize that making parent friends is really freaking hard. And, even if we remove the husbands from the equation, I think we can all agree that trying to make mom friends is the worst.

So why is that? Why is it so difficult for neighbors to take the next step? Why can’t we move on from waving high to one another as we drive down the street to sharing some Mu Shu Pork around a table?

I believe it starts with the moms and I’ve noticed it’s a lot like dating.

(Side note: I was horrible at dating. Just ask the three mom friends that have known me since I’ve been 12/13. They will all tell you I always picked the worst people, fell too hard and too fast and ended up heartbroken.)

Applying this same approach to making mom friends is the best way to look at it. You both have to be interested in being friends and feel a connection.

It can help if your children are friend’s but sometimes that’s just added pressure too. It’s like when you hung out with a group of people in high school and everyone was expected to pair up. The group is now your children.

You really have to want it to take the next step and go out together without the kids. And when you introduce the husbands, that’s when you know it’s the real deal.

Sometimes I’m really nervous to introduce my husband to people too. He is a solid introvert and has no desire to step outside his comfort zone to meet people. He doesn’t believe he needs friends. He has one friend he used to work with whom he sees once a year, a friend a few towns over that we haven’t seen in 6 years that he used to play soccer with and a friend in Texas who he met while playing video games. Those are the only real relationships he bothers to keep up, if you could even call it that.

I, on the other hand, am in extroverted introvert. I don’t require a lot of people to be happy but I do need “my people,” a group of people I am close to that I can make a fool out of myself in front of without fear of judgement. I can muster a bit of sparkle in a large group but generally I prefer to twinkle from the sidelines. I’m a wallflower at its finest, but I crave having additional wallflowers to spend time with.

With these simple facts in mind, I’m the one that always has to take the leap to find friends. Since I’m not exactly a shining beacon of fun and excitement, I’m not sure I’m the best representative, but I’m all we’ve got.

Just like dating, I don’t really have high standards. I just want to be able to wear no make-up around you, eat food you won’t make me feel guilty about and feel comfortable enough to wear yoga pants that might show an underwear line or two. If you want to do the same, I’m good.

I haven’t really been successful yet in finding my people. I thought when my daughter went to school I would meet some mom friends – and I have made some acquaintances – but we’re still in the text only phase of these relationships.

As I mentioned I have three mom friends in this state that have known me since I before I really hit puberty. We don’t live close enough, or have kids on compatible schedules, to hang out on a regular basis. However, they’ve all seen me naked at various ages throughout my life so I feel comfortable admitting that we’re in long-term, committed friendships. They’re cool with my mom bod, adult acne and decaying sense of style and I’m cool with their’s too.

So, while I had visions of having these perfect, parent friends who live around the corner, maybe I’m just a little too awkward to make a real friend in forced social situations. Maybe I should just be happy with my handful of true, lifetime friends and just stop looking for more.

Or maybe I should just let it happen naturally. That’s what they always say when looking for Mr. Right, right?

For more parenting experiences, click here. 


  1. It is so hard for me to make new friends. I have a fairly bold personality and a lot of times people don’t know how to take me and my sarcasm, so I just keep to myself a lot.

  2. I’ve never thought of it like that before, but it’s so true. There should be an online app for moms to make friends like there are dating apps. Maybe it would make things easier. LOL

  3. I remember those times and I sure miss them. In fact even though I am grown we are still friends with those neighbors and see them when my dad visits. I wish it was that way now as my son needs to see parents interacting with other parents.

  4. Most of my friends are longtime friends that don’t live in the same state. My three daughters are grown and we all tend to hang out together and I’ve known my very best friend since I was 5 and we talk and text often. So no, no neighbor friends – just smiles and waves. It’s kinda sad, right?

  5. I know and interact with many women all the time. Many of them I call friends. A select few I call close friends. Takes work and time to find a really close friend.

  6. This is definitely right on! When I was a kid we knew all of our neighbors. To this day I can still name each neighbor that lived right down the street for me. Nowadays it’s very difficult to find anything like that. I wish I had close friends like I did when I was a kid.

  7. I am with you. Making mom friends is just so very hard. It is like dating and it always feels forced in some ways. My closest friendships happened organically but they don’t always work out that way.

  8. Having recently lost two of my best friends – lifelong friends – I can relate to this perspective. Some of us just click while others notsomuch. You have to hang out a few times to really see if it’s a match. So yep, it’s kinda like dating.

  9. Having recently lost two of my best friends – lifelong friends – I can relate to this perspective. Some of us just click while others notsomuch. You have to hang out a few times to really see if it’s a perfect match. So yep, it’s kinda like dating.

  10. I couldn’t agree with you more that it is so difficult to make new friends. There are circles of gals that don’t want to let you in, there are circles of gals who want to hear all about the new gal and then they still won’t let you in. ☺

  11. It’s so funny, my hubby and I are the opposite of you and your husband. I’m very introverted and feel zero need to make friends, whereas he’s Mr. popularity. It does help to be with friends with other moms from my kids’ school though… better to be in good graces!

  12. Finding the right tribe, in any niche resembles dating, these are some great tips. I find the older I get the harder it is to push myself to build new connections. My bowling league has been great for that.

  13. As a military spouse, I feel like this is a battle I fight every couple of years. We fall hard and fast because we know we’re going to move in two or three years. The heartbreak of saying goodbye to those you’ve done life with begins to cripple you…that is, until you realize you’re moving to a new post with a friend you left two tours ago. It’s an emotional cycle, for sure.

  14. I am an introvert when it comes to social occasions and find mom chit chats very draining so I have never bothered to make mom friends even though their kids and mine, do sleepovers, parties and other socials.

  15. Really cute post! I think society has changed and there’s less civic engagement and personal interactions as well as more commuting and technology. It seems that everyone is busy, so finding the time to befriend your kids’ Moms does seem like something that requires extra effort. I think you should continue exploring this topic!

  16. It is so hard to find mom friends these days. I swear, I feel like I am in school all over again trying to choose who I want to associate with. It is tough!

  17. oh my goodness you just described me, love this line: “I can muster a bit of sparkle in a large group but generally I prefer to twinkle from the sidelines. I’m a wallflower at its finest, but I crave having additional wallflowers to spend time with.”

    Yaaaass! Same girl, same. I don’t have any kiddos yet, but I recently moved and I’m missing my wallflower squad:(

  18. Making mom friends is definitely hard. I’m not sure why, but it really is hard to break into groups. It seems like everyone is already friends with everyone else.

  19. It was SO hard for me to make new friends as a MOm, but I definitely found my people. It just took a few years and I think is ever-evolving.

  20. I’m so glad I found this. I am such an introvert and we just moved. I don’t have kids, but I am struggling to find friends. I don’t know really how, so this is great.

  21. Having moms friends is important because you have a group of people who understand what you’re going through on a daily basis. It’s not easy to find those people that you’ll get along with but I do hope you find them someday!

  22. I totally have a hard time opening up to people and making friends. It certainly is a lot like dating to find those friends that last a long time.

  23. I have been the sole parent of my daughter since she was 5 (now 13). I started coaching soccer when she was 7. In doing so, I had the opportunity to meet hundreds of parents. I am one of the few men with a large group of mom friends. It is exactly like dating. We all tend to live in our bubbles but, believe me, there are many moms who feel like you and struggle to make new friends. In fact, next week, I am introducing two of my mom friends who (I believe) will be great friends. They are very excited. Put yourself out there just a little….it is worth the effort


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