Inside: Finding friends as a single mom takes work, intention, and patience. But knowing where to look helps too. Here are 7 ways to find friends as a single mother.
single moms & friends: the struggle & how to overcome it
“I don’t have any friends.”
Although we don’t say it aloud, this is a common exclamation single moms.
Maybe you poured yourself into your children and marriage (and who doesn’t say this a good thing) and felt wholly fulfilled. Not even realizing you didn’t have a friend outside of your family.
Then you woke up one day to a marriage falling apart and suddenly it was just you and the kids.
Maybe you had lots of couple friends before your divorce, and afterward, your friends either took sides (not yours) or everyone felt awkward inviting you, the single parent, to couples and family get-togethers.
Or maybe you’re finding yourself to be the only single mom amongst your friends and you see no one relates to you or vice versa anymore.
Regardless of how you found yourself without friends in this stage of your life, even married moms recognize finding new friends as an adult is just plain hard.
Mainly because making new friends takes work and intentionality from both sides.
And in the fact that you rarely get a break. If you’re the sole support for your children all the time, little to no extended network to reach out to, have to take your children with you whenever you go somewhere outside of work, then making friends as a single mom becomes more difficult.
But not impossible.
But before you read further know this: it takes work, intention, and patience. You must be the friend you want.
Making friends as a single mom means: show up consistently, do what you say you’ll do, respond to every text and email (especially in the beginning) and be vulnerable.
If you go looking for a friend, you’re going to find they’re very scarce. If you go out to be a friend, you’ll find them everywhere. – Zig Ziglar
How to Make New Friends as a Single Mom
Join a small group at your local church.
Depending on the size of the church, they may be able to match you up with other women in similar life stages as you.
Don’t despair if you don’t find the group that’s for you. I was involved in three small groups until I discovered I struck gold.
At the same time, give God plenty of time to work on your heart and the others in your group. It takes time to get to know other people.
Join an exercise class.
Whether it’s yoga, a cycle class, or just going to the gym at the same time every day, consistency is key here.
Be open to the others you see around you and go at the same time every day. You’ll begin to see the same people each time.
After you’ve exchanged a few smiles, you can gradually start a conversation. Bonus: some gyms like the “Y” have child care available.
If you have a baby and are breastfeeding, attend a Le Leche League meeting. These are super casual, and everyone is so inviting. You can bring your older children and no one even bats an eye. You should be able to find evening meetings and weekend events.
Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one. – C.S. Lewis
Attending events aimed at your children to allow you to talk to other mothers.
Go to these events regularly so you can see the same faces, and it doesn’t feel awkward to strike up a conversation.
Try your library or zoo or child’s school. All of which will bring the same people back and allow your child to be a child and they will expect you to bring your other children.
MOPS Groups: Mothers of Preschoolers. These are groups of moms that get together 1-2 times per month, and either do a craft or learn something fun while having meaningful conversations. MOPS groups are often at churches all around the United States.
Most churches have an evening offering and offer childcare at the same time. If you’re a single mom who works and cannot afford childcare, keep looking until you find a church that offers both of these things.
I’m not an outgoing person, but I looked forward to these meetings starting when my daughter was a newborn, and I met a lifelong friend there.
New Social Media
Try a new Social Media channel. Facebook groups can sometimes leave you feeling a little empty.
Girlfriend Circles allows you to connect with other women who are also working on making new friends, including single moms. While you aren’t guaranteed to find your next BFF, what you will find are other like-minded women who all want to learn how to make real friends now that we aren’t in high school anymore.
A friend is one who knows you and loves you just the same. ― Elbert Hubbard
Outside of the Mom Box
Don’t restrict yourself to other moms. Think outside of the box.
I “traded kids” regularly with another single dad for years. My neighbor was a single grandpa that became like a grandpa to my children. We had neighbors across the street that although they were the typical “nuclear family,” we still traded kids back and forth so much I never knew if I had 4 or 2 children.
This is hard, but we were never called to a life of ease
I know how tempting it can be to read through this list and decide to stay at home instead. I tried that approach.
Honestly, the only way to make friends is to get up, get out of your house and put yourself out there.
For me that looked like logging onto my church’s website and signed up for every activity I could: volunteering my community, a small group, a women’s bible study, even a women’s retreat by myself. I hit “submit” on each one before I could talk myself out of it and prayed for courage.
May your new mantra be, “Thank you, God, for my friends.”