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Why Trying To Make Mom Friends Sucks

By Katherine Stone |


Has a potential mom friend ever given you the “Heisman”?

Why is it so hard to make adult friends?  That’s the question posed recently by Kara Baskin at, in a hilarious take on how hard it is for moms to make other mom friends.

I often meet moms that I really like and with whom I think I could have a great friendship. I try to give enough hints, without seeming overeager, that I want to “take things to the next level” — meaning “be actual friends, not just people who say hello to each other in passing” — and either my hints are not hinty enough or I’m completely unlikeable. I’m not sure which.

If I could, I would copy and re-paste Baskin’s entire article because it cracked me up. Here, she describes what happens when you try to make a friend with someone who isn’t quite as eager: “An adult won’t shun you in the cafeteria. Instead, she’ll concoct repeated excuses to keep you at bay. ‘I wish we could get together, but I’m booked til July! Work is crazy!’ (Meanwhile, she doesn’t work.) ‘I would LOVE to meet up, but poor Madison/Hector/Fauntleroy has such an insane nap schedule because of his new vegan diet! Never know if we can meet ‘til day of! Can we let you know?’ (Inevitably, Madison/Hector/Fauntleroy will be in a coma the day of your rendezvous.)”

Arguments about working in or outside the home and veganism aside, Baskin has a great point. I’ve tried to make mom friends in my own neighborhood. In rare cases it has worked. In most cases, it has failed miserably. I’ve attempted to analyze where I’ve gone wrong, and I think my problems include the following:

1) I have almost zero time to do anything fun. I’m practically a shut-in, tethered to my laptop, writing about postpartum depression and also for Babble, answering emails, building my nonprofit. Either that or I’m off traveling, giving speeches and attending conferences. My leisure time is spent almost entirely with my husband and two kids. A new story from ABC News says working moms often suffer social isolation. While I’m glad to hear it’s not just me, I’m not sure that makes me feel any better.

2) I’m never at the place where the other moms are.  My kids go to private school so I’m not at the neighborhood bus stop every morning and afternoon. I don’t play tennis. I’m not at the gym. There just aren’t many places where I can interact and build a friendship.

3) I work in a field that makes most people cock their heads to the side and say, “You do what? A blog? That’s, uh … interesting.”

4) I’m not particularly gregarious so I’m not likely to wade into the middle of a group and make myself part of it. It takes me a long time to get to know someone and feel comfortable. Being introverted and suffering from anxiety does not help in the friend-making department.

There are some moms (hi Jennifer!) who are lovely, open and welcoming to me. Others obviously aren’t much interested, and they’ve made it clear. All too clear. Ouch.

Baskin explains the stages of grief for moms like me who either have been dumped or given the Heisman by women who just aren’t that into you:  ”There is denial (you reply to the email with some convoluted plan of meeting up ‘soon!’, even though it will never happen); anger (‘What!? This bored, vegetable-obsessed mother of Fauntleroy doesn’t want to be my friend? Is it because I don’t feed my kid vegan cardboard? $%^ you, Vegan Mom of Fauntleroy!’); and paranoia (‘Is there something wrong with me? Do I give off a desperate odor?’) until you finally just let it go with a breezy, passive ‘No worries; hope to see you soon!’ email.”

I’ve spent more than my fair share of time in the paranoia stage, but I think I am now moving toward acceptance. My life rocks. (Yes, I’m from the 80s. What’s it to you?) I adore my zany family. I love the work I do. I love the places I get to go, the amazing and accomplished women who’ve become my friends (though it would be nice if they lived in the same state). The things I have achieved. I have got to stop wasting energy on people who have no energy for me.

As Baskin says, “Do not chase these people. They’re not worth your time.” Say it with me now, ladies: No more chasing.

For more on this topic, you might like:

Why Is Making Mom Friends So Hard?

Making New Mommy Friends: Finding A Community When You’ve Got A Toddler

Momance: Befreinding Other Moms — Why Is It So Hard?

Read more from Katherine on Strollerderby or at her blog on postpartum depression!
Follow Katherine on Twitter for updates!

More on Babble

About Katherine Stone


Katherine Stone

Katherine Stone is the founder of the most widely-read blog in the world on postpartum depression, Postpartum Progress. She writes about parenting and maternal child health on Babble Voices and Babble Cares, as well as at Huffington Post Parents. Katherine is a mom of two and lives in Atlanta. Follow her on Twitter at @postpartumprog. Read bio and latest posts → Read Katherine's latest posts →

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12 thoughts on “Why Trying To Make Mom Friends Sucks

  1. Mamma Rose says:

    SO TRUE!!!

  2. erin says:

    ugh, i totally relate! i have one friend (and i am not nearly this brave/self-confident) who literally badgered here now-best-friend into becoming friends. she just wouldn’t leave her alone until she relented, saying things like “i’m awesome! you totally cannot resist me!” of course, they’re both hollywood actresses which doesn’t hurt… katherine, how i wish for the good old days of living in the same city with you! i i know we’d pick up right where we left off, maybe without the 90′s jeans.

  3. Candilnm says:

    yup….I have single friends that always complain about not being able to meet a good guy, and I have the same complaint about not being able to meet other moms!

  4. Ivy says:

    Love this article! I so hear you….though in your case maybe some may feel intimidated by you? After all, you are beautiful and look so ” with it” all the time ( this is from having met you a few times).

    As for me, I never see anyone in the neighborhood except in passing and I find myself not bring able to participate in PTA activities due to conflicts and/or because they take place during the day when I’m at work. I did try to make friends with the moms in my neighborhood but I find myself not being able to relate. We’re on completely different wavelengths. In terms of my daughter’s friends, I have slightly better luck with them because they work full time like I do. I’ve learned from plenty of experiences of trying to make friends with everyone that I shouldn’t waste my time chasing after those who are of a different wavelength/mindset. It will just be a lot of wasted effort that makes me feel bad. Not worth it. Friendships are 2-way streets. If never the twain shall meet, no point in trying to force it to work!

  5. Linda, T.O.O. says:

    “I’m not particularly gregarious so I’m not likely to wade into the middle of a group and make myself part of it. It takes me a long time to get to know someone and feel comfortable. Being introverted and suffering from anxiety does not help in the friend-making department.” I think you just answered your own question. You don’t want to have to make the effort to pursue friendships, so what? People should pursue you? Who has the time? I barely have time to hang out with the people I already know and socialize with.

  6. The Mommy Psychologist says:

    It’s called mompeition and it is fierce. Although, I’m not sure what you get if you win the prize because I’m never nominated:) This odd competiton was something I was completely unprepared for when I became a mother. I talk about it here:

  7. Linda, T.O.O. says:

    “Mompetition”? Just… no.

  8. Manjari says:

    Can we please stop mixing “mom” with words to make annoying, fake words? Thanks.

  9. Susie says:

    This is so true. I am the same way, an introvert. I used to have a lot of friends, but then when I got married and had kids they all evaporated. If you lived near me, I would be your friend!

  10. Janet says:

    I can totally relate. I’ve always had a difficult time making new friends because I’ve always been shy. Since becoming a mom, I find it even harder. And, now that I’m a single mom, it’s harder still. It’s nice to know that other moms feel the same way. I always got the feeling that every other mom was friends with all moms and I was the only one left out. I really would like to make new friends, but time constrictions play a big part in not finding any. I could go on, but it’s depressing just thinking about it.

  11. heather says:

    yes its very sad :( im the only one who puts any effort into hanging out.

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