Friendships In Motherhood Are Hard

Abbey Williams

Motherhood creates many new challenges for women. The balance between a career and home life can be a difficult one to navigate. Add in all the other things that fills your cup or that were once important to you and it can feel like an impossible task at times. The mother who is still an individual person aside from her motherhood duties still needs time for her personal self-care, her other relationships, and for the things that make her who she is. With the new demands of raising children and caring for a family it can be easy to put some of these things on the back burner.

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Friends are one of these challenging areas. There are so many important positive impacts of friendships, especially while raising children, and yet our friendships become harder as we transition into this motherhood role. You may even find yourself wonder, how in the world do I make mom friends? Why is making and maintaining friendships so difficult during this season of my life?

There are multiple reasons why friendships are hard during the transition into motherhood. You are not alone in feeling this way or struggling in this area. So, let’s talk about some of the reasons friendships in motherhood may be difficult, shall we?

1. Change

As we transition into this new role in our lives, we may find that the things that we once important to us… change. We are met with a new version of ourselves with new priorities and perspective on the world around us. This can create changes in the relationships around us. We may find that we no longer have things in common with friends or that we are just in very different stages of life than some of our friends.

This change does not mean that we cannot maintain our friendships. We can make space for these past versions of ourselves or we may still value these relationships even though we are going through different life stages. We can connect by remembering what connected us to begin with. We can make time to build new memories or new traditions that align with our evolved priorities.

If you are finding some of your friendships to be different as you transitioned into motherhood and have changed, you are not alone. This is hard for many. Allow space to grieve the loss of friendships as well.

2. Making new friends

Making new friends as an adult is so challenging for a variety of reasons. Life as an adult is not structured in a way that creates opportunities to establish new friendships. As a child our entire world is surrounded with opportunities to find friendships. Children go to school, sports, they play out in the neighborhood, and they plug in with peers at every turn. Once we transition into adulthood it feels as though those opportunities to create new friendships fades and becomes more difficult. The shuffle between working and raising a family creates less time and space to find and foster new friendships.

New friendships take time and effort. It can be a lot like dating. When you meet someone new on the playground while you are letting the kids run, maybe ask them for their phone number or let them know you come to this park every Tuesday if they want to join you next week. Checking in, following up, and appearing genuinely interested in establishing a friendship is important in making new friends. This can also be achieved by sharing something you have in common, thoughtfully complimenting, actively listen, and being up front in being interested in making friends.

Some places we can make new friendships are through our children’s peer interactions. When you are at their sporting events talk with the other parents. When you are at the school functions introduce yourself to the other moms. Maybe your children are younger and are not engaged in these activities yet. The park, mommy and me classes, MOPs, and other mom groups can be a nice way to plug in with other moms in your area.

3. Honoring your needs

When it comes to our friendships it can be easy to put them on the bottom of the list as we transition into motherhood. The to-do list feels overwhelming and never-ending without one more relationship that you need to pour into you.

However, friendships are an excellent source of support and community throughout motherhood and have proven positive impacts on your mental, emotional, and physical well-being. You may even find connecting with friends to be a form of self-care for you.

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In motherhood it is important to be intentional in honoring your needs. These needs include your personal self-care, your need for rest, your need for alone time, and your need for friendships. Investing in our friendships meets those needs, allows us to feel connected and less isolated, and is a positive model for our young people who are learning more by watching us than by listening.

4. Time

Going back to the never-ending to-do list, the kids have to get to sports, you are on a work deadline, what are you making for dinner, and the various other things on your plate today, it can often feel impossible to make the time to maintain these friendships. These friendships may be good for your well-being and you may genuinely value these relationships, but that does not mean it’s always going to be easy to connect during this season.

So, what are some easy ways to connect with our friends when it feels like time is working against us?

  • Send them an article, a funny meme, or a thoughtful post that reminds you of them or that you think they may enjoy as well.
  • Support their work if they have a small business or maybe they are a writer.
  • Send them a recommendation for the latest show you are binging or podcast you are listening to.
  • Drop a coffee off at their doorstep.
  • Send them a thinking of you note in the mail.
  • Remember their birthday. Send a card, give them a call, or celebrate them.
  • Prioritize a time when you can connect and see one another, even if it is just once a month.
  • Send them a text that you are thinking about them and miss them.
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Friendships are hard during this season of life. If you are feeling this, you are not alone. Make small steps to prioritize your friendships, find a new friend, and maintain your friendships. The connection that comes from friends is something special.

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Abbey Williams is the producer and host of the Mimosas with Moms Podcast, content creator of the social media platforms @mimosaswithmoms, and mother of 4. She is committed to supporting, empowering, and connecting with mothers in all seasons of motherhood. She navigates her blended family/coparenting life with her husband, four kids, and two sister labs.

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