Three Ways to Build Relationships (Two Ways Don’t Require Leaving the House!)
by Bethany Jett
Have you ever spent the majority of your day enjoying one-sided conversations with a two-year-old? After a long day of mommy-ing, I’d tend to unload every detail of my day to the first adult who engaged with me.
Sometimes it was the unsuspecting cashier trapped into talking to me while she rang up milk, eggs, and a bag of peanut butter cups that I could stash in the freezer.
Many times, it was my husband, seconds after he walked in the door. “Hey, honey! Glad you’re home—guess what happened today…”
Mom-life can often feel like a lonely adventure, so it’s up to us to power through and make sure we’re taking care of our emotional well-being. Our children need us to have strong friendships and relationships with other adults so that we stay well-rounded.
But it can be scary to make new friends, particularly when the kids are little. There’s a lot that goes into leaving the house. Inevitably, someone will poop, throw up, have to go to the bathroom, or lose their binky seconds before it’s time to be in the car. Thankfully, there are some easy ways to be able to connect with new friends who are dealing with the same level of craziness, and some don’t require leaving the house. Amen.
1. Plan an at-home online “coffee date” with your girlfriends.
I’ve got two girlfriends in other states whom I never get to see, so every once in a while, we’ll set up our own version of “Let’s meet for coffee.” Make sure everyone has time to get the kids tucked into bed, then brew a cup of decaf, hot chocolate, tea…whatever your nighttime beverage of choice is, and pop open Skype or Zoom. This hour-or-so refreshes our spirits and if a baby cries or someone needs to check on a child, the freedom is there to still be mom but also have some precious girlfriend time.
2. Go to the library for reading time or age-based activities for the kids.
It’s great to meet other moms who are in the same age-and-stage you are with your own children. What I found after attending a few of these free events was that a lot of the moms there were regulars. Eventually, they grew to recognize my face and my little one, and we’d strike up casual chitchat in between the stories or we’d rescue rollaway Cheerios from a spilled snack bag for each other.
3. Find a local book club, run club, or Bible study (in-person or online).
Activities don’t always need to be kid-related to find a new friend. What types of things are you interested in? According to author Dr. Karyn D. Hall, it is important to say yes to new opportunities because being part of a group has so many benefits, including an increase in motivation, health, and happiness.
While it’s wonderful to maintain relationships with people “IRL” (in-real-life), online groups and forums provide encouragement and support at the click of a button. You can find a Facebook group dedicated to almost anything you can imagine these days. For me, I absolutely love quiet adventures like reading. I was all-in during the adult coloring phase a few years ago, and I’ve been able to rekindle my once-upon-a-time love of scrapbooking by merging it with functional planning.
The “planner groups” I’m part of allow me to learn new skills, share my interests with likeminded people, and I’ve made some friendships that have moved past the group and into real life.
Whichever way you decide to branch out, just remember that we weren’t created to be alone and there is another soon-to-be friend out there wishing and waiting for you to make her acquaintance.
Hall, K. (2014, March 24). Create a sense of belonging. Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/pieces-mind/201403/create-sense-belonging
Bethany Jett is a military wife, momma-of-boys, award-winning author who loves suspense novels, farmhouse décor, and everything to do with organization and planning. Check out her latest books Platinum Faith (Abingdon Press) and They Call Me Mom (Kregel) and connect with her at MichelleAndBethany.com.
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