Does making friends ever get easier? Sometimes, I think that it doesn’t. Just because we’re in throes of mommyhood doesn’t mean that finding a friend is any less of a challenge than it was when we were in high school. There aren’t a whole lot of opportunities to connect with other mamas, anyway: We’re always rushing to chauffeur kids to their activities, cruising through the supermarket, and flying back home. So if you want to establish a connection, your best bet might be to find ways to make friends with moms at drop-off.
Every time I have to go to drop-off, it feels like the first day of school — for me. I find myself shuffling my feet and looking down, because I don’t always know what to say. Some moms are glued to their phones, which doesn’t exactly allow for organic conversations. That’s why you’re going to have to put on a brave face and have some conversation starters ready to roll.
I’ve found that asking questions, offering sincere compliments towards the mom and/or the kids, and being self-effacing are surefire ways to strike up an organic chat. After all, in lieu of having any intel on her, you’re going to have to fall back on the tried and true topics any mom can always rely on: crazy kids and the insanity of parenting. Still not sure what to say to a prospective mom friend? A representative from the American Camp Association (who wishes to remain unnamed) tells Romper the ice breakers you can use to strike up some mom-versations that just might lead to a new mom-lationship.
1. “Come here often?”
It’s an old pick-up line, but it can be funny when you ask another mom the question. Especially if said mom shows up to the drop off still sporting fuzzy slippers, bedhead, and a venti coffee. She'll appreciate your sense of humor and it just might spark a friendship.
2. “She’s tall for her age! How old is she?”
Parents love nothing more than to hear that their child appears happy and healthy. Most likely, the mom will ask about your kids, too. By opening up your conversation with a genuine compliment, you’re sure to get a positive response.
3. “What do you think about the school’s new policy on backpacks?”
Parents are opinionated, and they definitely have something to say when it comes to their child’s education. Asking this question will start a discussion that will probably lead to other questions about the curriculum, for example. And if the mom next to you hasn’t heard the latest info, she’ll want to know more.
4. “Do you have an extra baby wipe?”
What parent hasn’t run out of the house with a diaper bag that was missing wipes, hand sanitizer, or, you know, diapers? While she’s rooting around in her own bag, you can find out the name and age of the other mom’s child — and get that baby wipe, too.
5. “Do you know what time drop-off is on Fridays?”
Whether it’s school or camp, schedules can change on a dime. Plus, if you have more than one child, it can be even trickier to keep it all straight. Staying informed keeps you up-to-date on what’s going on, and maybe make a new friend out of the deal.
6. “Your dress is beautiful. Where did you get it?”
In theory, flattery might get you nowhere. But it might start a convo with a fellow mom who’s feeling frazzled. She might even tell you how she scored that dress on sale, too.
7. “Wow, your child is playing so nicely… and mine is eating dirt.”
New mom friends can instantly bond over the craziness that is parenting. Because sometimes it feels like no matter what you do, everything is in an utter state of chaos. Although you want to put your best foot forward, your kid might muck it up by picking a booger, and then wiping it on her shirt.
8. “I swear if my kid loses another one of my good towels, this place could turn their Lost & Found into a Bed, Bath & Beyond!”
Complaining about your kiddo shows that they’re not perfect — and neither are you. That can create a connection with another mom who’s also trying to keep it all together. Or at least, make sure that her kid comes home with her lunchbox... for once.
9. “My son is allergic to peanut butter so I gave him 9 EpiPens in each bag just in case.”
Of course, allergies are a serious issue. But you can always poke fun at it, which might endear you to a fellow allergy mama. And 9 because, you know, you can never be too careful.
10. “My daughter smuggled a bull frog home with her last year from camp. We had to drive 45 minutes to bring it back.”
Moms love hearing about other parenting foibles. This ice breaker can have you swapping some serious "I thought I was the only one" stories. Just remember, you're never the only one.
11. “Did you ever think motherhood would be like this?”
Naturally, you don’t want to come across as a Debbie Downer. But moms will be all-too-willing to empathize with this sentiment that parenting is.just.so.hard. Hopefully you'll forge a bond with a fellow mom who embraces this sentiment, too.
12. “Is it wine time?”
Even though it’s only 11:00 a.m., you know that the mom next to you at drop off is counting down the clock, too. Bonus points if you ask her what type of wine she drinks. So invite her over and drink a toast to motherhood and finding friends in unexpected places.
13. “How are you staying sane?”
While some moms like to appear like they're living an Instagram-worthy life, we all know, deep down, that it's Fakebook all the way. So when we crack through and show our own insecurities, it opens the way to honesty — and new amigas.
14. “Is Target open yet?”
Since drinking so early in the morning is frowned upon, moms go to the one place where we can all escape. And everyone knows that a Target run is just code for moms to get a much-needed break. And drinking.