I've never been the best at making friends. In high school I either relied on my childhood friendships or kept to myself. And as an adult I leaned heavily on my romantic relationships instead of branching out and forging new, platonic ones. But then I became a mom and realized "putting myself out there" was a necessity. And that's when I was forced to acknowledge the ways my social anxiety changed how I made mom friends.
To be clear, I have mom friends now and they're incredible confidants who I absolutely cherish. I just don't have very many mom friends, and I don't have the desire to make anymore because of my anxiety. Trying to appear personable, finding the time to hang out with someone, and then getting to know someone well enough to feel comfortable talking to them about my social anxiety sounds, well, exhausting. I don't want to explain why I sometimes cancel plans last minute. I don't want to describe the fear I can feel when my phone rings. I don't want to let another mom know why I won't answer my front door during the day. The friends I have know me, know my anxiety, and know that, for now, that's good enough for me.
But my children are growing up, as children do, which means I have to put myself out there and expand my social circle. In order to do that, I have to be cognizant of how my social anxiety is changing the way I go about making mom friends, which just so happens to include the following: