Struggling to make friends and aren’t really sure why? I hate to say it, but the problem could be you. But that’s OK! It means that there’s something you can change. To help you out, I put together some common reasons why you can’t make mom friends.
If you’re doing these things, it might be putting off other moms. Don’t sabotage yourself with these friendship-ruining mistakes!
You might also like: How to Make Friends as a New Mom
You’re Trying to Sell Them Something
Are you trying to make a living selling essential oils, scented candles, skincare, or some other mlm program? That’s all good and well, but it’s so common to see training for those programs that encourages looking for new customers everywhere.
If you’re seeing the other moms at the part as potential customers and not potential friends it’s going to seriously hurt your chances of forming a meaningful connection. Drop the sales pitch and focus on real conversation – your friends may buy from you sometimes, but they’re friends, not customers.
When someone tries to sell me something I run. Fast. If you’re on then other end of that, well, I can see why you can’t make mom friends. But at least it’s an easy one to change!
You Shut Down Conversations
We’re all guilty of this one, myself included. You may not even realize you’re doing this one, especially if you suffer from anxiety or other mental health issues. When someone starts talking to you, do you engage? Or do you pull back and try and end the conversation as quickly as possible?
Even if you don’t mean to, this behaviour will make you come across as uninterested (at best) and cold or snobbish (at worst). Not a good look, especially if you secretly want to make friends!
Try to engage with people as much as you can and keep the conversation going. You never know where it will go!
This Isn’t Your Scene
Maybe you’re doing OK chatting with other moms but you never seem to get that friendship spark going. It could be that you’re hanging out in places that aren’t the right personality match for you.
If you’re an avid read the library story time is great, but if you’d rather scroll TikTok than open a book you may not find many moms there who can relate. You can’t make mom friends with people you don’t fit in with!
Explore your options to see what else there is in your area that might be more fitting.
Your Kids Are a Bit Wild
Please believe me when I say this one is near and dear to me. As a parent of 5 kids, three of which who were absolute nightmares as small children, I know first hand how hard it can be to make friends with kids like that.
First, you’re usually pretty focused on your kid, which means less time to engage in conversation. Second, people are hesitant to make friends because they don’t want to invite a kid like that to their house. Third, they may even be judging your parenting.
None of this is fair, especially if you have a kid with special needs, but it’s still the reality in some cases. So what do you do?
Consider finding groups tailored to spirited or sensory seeking kids. If your child has a specific diagnosis, peer support groups are a great place to meet other parents going through the same thing.
While it will be harder for you than other parents, when you do find those people it’s an amazing feeling to know they aren’t judging you.
That being said, if you’re simply an overly permissible parent you may need to reconsider some aspects of that parenting style if you want to make (and keep) friends.
No Social Opportunities
I think we all wish that a parent friend “dating” app would come out but until then, unfortunately, we’re stuck going out into the world to make friends. Are you a homebody that never gets out? Chances are that’s why you’re not making friends: you never have the chance to!
Try and get out to at least one regular activity in order to make friends. That can be something that’s with the kids (like a playgroup) or for you (like a group class).
If you really can’t get out, go online and find local parents in your area then strike up a conversation on social media.
Thinking You Have Nothing In Common
This can be be a few different things. Some people tend to think of themselves as being unique and special, and for that reason you can’t possibly relate to any of your peers. The truth is, though, even if you’re a bit alternative you can still find something to relate to others with!
I myself have experienced this first hand a lot. First of all, as a guy who’s my kids’ primary caregiver I often find myself surrounded by moms. I’ve embraced it and it’s been great! Second, I’m a huge nerd and work in marketing, but I have parent friends from all walks in life from aestheticians to doctors.
You always have something in common when you have kids!
We can all be judgemental from time to time, even if we don’t mean it, but when you’re deep in parenting it can easily get the better of you. If you find yourself judging others and dismissing them as friends before you even speak that can be a huge self sabotage to making friends.
Take some time to really work on toning down the judgement. Practice reframing with positive messages like”maybe they go to the park in play clothes so their nice outfits last longer” or “aw, that toddler must be having a bad day” rather than judging the parent.
It really does take practice but not only will it make it easier to make friends, you’ll feel better too.
Too Much Negativity
Friends are invaluable for sharing the emotional burden of parenthood, but too much negativity can poison the well. Reflect on your topics of conversation: do you tend to bring up negative things a lot or frame most things from a negative lens?
While some folks don’t mind it, a lot of people find too much negativity stressful. But rather than tell you and hurt your feeling they’ll just engage. After all, they won’t want to add more negativity to your life!
If you can’t make mom friends and it’s never clear why, this might be the reason.
Much like children who are acting up too much, parents who over parent their children also aren’t great friendship material for most moms. If you’re sliding down the slide with your four year old or calling for your toddler every few moments there isn’t any room for friendships to form!
I know parenting is stressful and you want to keep your child safe/help them grow, but for the sake of your own mental health and your child’s it’s not a good idea to helicopter parent a child.
Cancelling Plans or Not Following Through
I once had this one friend who was incredibly flaky. She’d RSVP to birthday parties and no show and cancel play dates at the last minute. After awhile I stopped inviting her to save the hassle.
If this sounds like you it’s time to fix that for the sake of your friendships. Yes, things come up, but if you make a commitment do your best to fulfill it.
Sometimes we’re super busy, and that’s OK. Just explain to people that your schedule is hectic and you can’t commit, and then propose an alternative that you can make work. Friendship takes effort and sometimes you have to really work on finding that balance.
The same goes for ghosting too. Make sure you respond in a timely manner to your friends, especially if they’re genuinely trying to connect.
If you don’t know why you can’t make mom friends after that initial meeting, this is probably the issue.