It’s spring time – a time of new beginnings. As moms, we experience all sorts of new things with our kids. And, even as professionals, we probably have our share of new experiences. It seems to me that something we should get better at over time is make new friends. But, that’s not always the case. It can actually be a tough thing to do. So, I ask you…why is it so hard to develop meaningful relationships with other women and moms as we get older?
Don’t we have a similar experience happening every day as moms? Don’t we all know how important the relationships with other women and moms are (I’ve blogged about your tribe previously)? Wouldn’t it be helpful to share our experiences with another mom – to cheer for the good moments and commiserate in the bad ones and even to know we’re not unique in those moments that frustrate us?
When we’re younger – in high-school, college or in our first job – there are many ways we easily connect with other women around us. There are moments during which we naturally bond as we’re all going through similar experiences – boyfriend troubles, stress of exams, dealing with a crazy client or boss, etc. We bond without thinking about being vulnerable or judged.
Why does that change when we get older? I understand that we have less time for friendships as we get older. Our children, jobs, significant other, families, general obligations take up our time. But you have to make time for what’s important to you. Right?
I feel lucky to have a tribe – women from grad school, moms from the pre-school where our boys attend, wonderful neighbors, women from book club, moms from places I’ve worked since grad school. These friendships have usually developed organically, but they also require effort. I’ve set up countless playdates at our house, become involved in the school, scheduled outings with multiple families, signed up for Care calendars (even when I’m slammed), and generally put myself out there. It’s almost like dating sometimes.
I feel like this is a conversation I’ve had many times lately with women, even while on vacation with complete strangers who talked about this struggle as they have aged.
So, I ask you, why is it often so hard to make friends as we get older? Have you found a great way to bond with moms or other women over the years? Is there a specific aspect that is really frustrating or challenging to you? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.