Making friends was never easy as a kid. It doesn’t get any easier as an adult. We recently moved to a new place where we don’t know anyone, and so the process of finding a social circle had to start all over. Add kids to the mix and suddenly you’re responsible for helping them make new friends too. It’s daunting. Here are a few things we try to make it happen.
1. Baking cookies for neighbors
That didn’t go so well. I think I left a tin in front of a door my neighbor never uses and I think it’s been sitting there since December. Oh well. I tried. Your neighbors probably use their front door.
2. Inviting yourself places
That sounds terrible, but I’ve done it a few times and it went well. I’ve been invited back. It’s kinda stalker-ish but sometimes you have to just ask.
3. Invite, invite, invite
It’s hard to put yourself out there and risk rejection from some mom you don’t know, but it must be done. So have a craft night or pizza and movie night and just invite people over. I’m having one tomorrow and surprisingly, almost everyone I invited is coming. I have no food, the house is a mess, and I’m sitting here drinking wine. It’s gonna be great. I’m going to be a monster tomorrow.
4. Hiding political beliefs
This one is tough in our house. I’m a conservative writer. My bookshelves are lined with the worst of the worst of hated pundits like Ann Coulter and reviled authors like Ayn Rand. I can’t throw a sheet over an entire book case, so I usually just pray no one notices. It isn’t that I have embarrassment for what I believe or who I am, but these days it’s more likely that if you are a conservative and you get outed in front of a blue-state, Hillary-loving true believer, someone is going to get slapped (either literally or figuratively) and it’s usually me. I’m always trying to keep the politics on the down low until I know what’s up. If you’re on the left politically, I can still be friends, but there’s a 90% certainty that you will not feel the same warm fuzzies toward me and my shocking and deplorable book collection. Maybe I should build one of these to put my books in.
5. Online dating
This isn’t really a thing for moms but it should be. I find myself wishing there was a Tinder for moms. Couldn’t we have an app that showed us the closest mom looking for some adult conversation at a local park or something and we could swipe if she seems normal and unlikely to freak out over a “Hillary for Prison” t-shirt on my kid? This would be so much easier than trying to strike up a conversation with a stranger at the park while trying not to seem like a Jehovah’s Witness. OMG! I just Googled it. This exists. Downloading now!
6. Asking random people to be friends
We were shopping in Michael’s the other day and I got to talking to a sales girl about crafts and my daughter pipes up, “You should get her number and be friends, Mom.” Awkward. Is it that obvious that I’m starved for girl time? My 11-year-old is trying to fix me up. Sigh.
7. Attending all church functions
It started with the mittens and the hat sorting and has progressed to preschool open houses (which I have no intention of sending my kid to, but I figured maybe I could find someone with a toddler who understands my hellish existence right now). No dice. Unfortunately, everyone with a toddler is focused on whatever terrible thing their two-year-old is doing and has no time or thought for anything else. I get it. Me either. In fact, I have to go. My toddler just climbed out of his crib, scaled a gate, and is scarfing down a box of crayons. Maybe I’ll have friends when he goes to college.