I'm into woman-bashing, and I don't think women can't be friends because they're all "two-faced" and catty. I'm not about trying to convince anyone "I'm not, like, a regular mom, I'm a cool mom," either. Honestly, I wish I did have more mom friends, because on some level no one is going to understand you or your life quite like another mom. The reasons I don't have many "mom friends" are largely incidental and/or completely outside of my realm of control.
What's a mom friend? It's a friend who is a mom, for starters, but more specifically it's a friend you made after you were both moms. I think someone you became close to after you were moms counts, too. Generally, this is going to be a result of getting to know each other through your kids, but not always. (My best mom friend is someone I knew for years, but it was motherhood that really kicked the friendship into high gear.) The best mom friends are the ones who, yes, you connect with initially on a mom level but, if you're lucky, eventually the whole "mom" aspect of your friendship becomes secondary.
So why don't I have more of these amazing figures in my life? It's complicated, of course, because life is, but here are some reasons why my mom friends are few and very far between:
Because It's Hard To Have A Social Life With Kids
Doing anything when you're a parent requires a level of planning that drains you of your energy, whether you notice it or not. Because even when you're away from you're kids, you're still at least tangentially responsible for them and making sure they're cared for. And if you do manage to get out and enjoy a social gathering, you have to balance everything you're doing (how much time you're spending away, how much you're drinking if you are, how late you're going to be home) with how that will affect you (and your littles) once you're back in parenting mode. And then there's the option of including kids in your plans which, like, barely counts as having a social outing. So, sometimes, getting out of the routine and having to readjust isn't worth the benefits.
Because Most Of My Friends Haven't Had Kids
You guys, all of my best friends are people I've known since high school which, well, was some time ago. And it's not that we all stayed in one place and our long-lasting friendships are just a matter of convenience. Nope, we've all moved around but we're still BFFs. Clearly, when you attach yourself to people for that long they're meeting a lot of your friendship needs. I have friends, they're just (mostly) not moms.
Because There Are Only So Many Hours In A Day
Like I said, I have friends I like to hang out with, most of whom are kid-free, and I also have two kids, a job, a house, and a close extended family. I'm a busy woman, people! Besides, part of my problem is that I don't have too many mom friends, so a "mom friend" hang out (with a few notable exceptions) would be time spend building a friendship rather than time spent reveling in one... and that's exhausting.
Because It's Hard To Make Friends As An Adult
SO HARD! Who has the time and also how do you even?!
If you're "lucky" you can meet other parents at after-school pick up or the playground or something, but in that case you're occupied with your kids. There are moms I've talked to regularly over the last two years whose names I don't know because it just doesn't come up.
Because The Kids Have To Get Along, Too
Even if you find a mom you really like and get along with and think you could befriend, you have to cross your fingers that your kids at the very least aren't adversarial. Ideally they'll be about the same age and get along well, but there's always the very real possibility that your kid and theirs will just not gel or, worse, loathe each other.
Because Kids Can't Be The Only Thing You Have In Common
I've seen many a mom try to become friends over their children's friendship and I think that's totally understandable. But sometimes you're just sitting there, sipping a cup of coffee while the little ones are playing when a sense of dread washes over you as you realize you have absolutely nothing in common with this other person.
Because It Can Be A Social Minefield
#NotAllMoms but, like, I'd be lying if I pretended there wasn't some sort of weird hierarchy/competition/pettiness going on in some circles. Sometimes you don't know that's what you've gotten into until it's too late. I've been lucky in that the vast majority of mom acquaintances I've come across have been nothing but lovely, but I've had enough brushes with mom remakes of Mean Girls to be wary.
Because I Have Online Mom Friends
I've been friends with a whole mess of incredible women online for almost eight years and I adore them. I may not physically see them every day (except for their profile pictures) but they fill the "mom friend void" for me, as it were.
Because Sometimes It Feels Like I Missed The Boat
I'm sure a lot of people feel this way and it's less true than they imagine, but I often feel like all the moms around me already have mom friends and they're all friends with each other and I just didn't get in on it early enough. I'm almost positive this is my own insecurity (just as I'm positive it's a baseless insecurity other people share) but it's nevertheless powerful and has, indeed, kept me from taking a deeper dive into attempting new friendships.
Because I'm Awkward AF
So, so painfully awkward, you guys. I'm charming sometimes, I think, but also I'm that person who someone will say, "Hello!" and I'll be like, "Good, thanks!"
Because When You Make A Mom Friend Who Fits The Bill In Spite Of All The Difficulties, She Is A Unicorn & Therefore All You Need
I have mom friends, I just don't have that many mom friends. But the ones I do have? Holy crap they are incredible and I seriously don't know how I would live my life without these magical creatures.