I have been loving all the emails of encouragement from you guys telling me how you happy you are us for being settled and making friends. Thank you so much for that. However, I did have several emails and comments from people saying they would love advice on building their own village. A lot of women noted they’ve been mothers for years, and still don’t feel like they have any friends. So, I thought I would share some “advice” on building a community! Hopefully, it is helpful to some of you.
- Find people in a similar season and in a different season. When your kids stay home with you most of the time, it is nice to make friends with kids close in age. The kids can play together while you and the other mom drink coffee and get to know each other. However, I think it is also really nice to have women in varying seasons. Women you can seek counsel from or women you give counsel to.
- Focus on quality over quantity. This has been a big lesson learned for me, not necessarily the hard way, but just accepting that I don’t have time for 6,000 friends right now. So, diligently choosing people in my life that bring out the best in me!
- Put yourself out there. Finding adult friends is so similar to dating, you will have awkward hiccups. However, just like when you were trying to find a great husband (or wife), you have to be willing to put yourself out there. Attend things at your church, the gym, go to mom’s groups meet ups.
- Be the kind of friend you want to have. If you find someone you think you really hit it off with, then nurture that relationship. Ask how you can help them, how you can pray for them, send them a romantic text message (friend edition) bring them a meal when they have a new baby, offer to come hang while they clean their house, or invite them to your house when it is its dirtiest.
But, where do I meet these people?
Great question! I would advise you to meet people where you hang out the most. Especially, if you’re the mom of little kids. Focus on building a village where you will already be, like your neighborhood, gym, or church. Go to that mom’s group, even though you don’t know anyone. It is fellowship at your church and it could change your life (speaking from experience here!) Talk to a lady in your spin class, “Hey girl, you come here often?” If you’re shy or more introverted, push yourself just a little out of your comfort zone. Keep your eye on the prize, family friends to vacation with every year!
Utilize social media.
Local mom groups can be an excellent resource for meeting new people, as long as you are taking your relationship offline over time. Online we only showcase our best self, so I feel like building authentic relationships just isn’t manageable. I need to see your little Timmy lose his shit at Target to fully connect with you, I’m sorry. I think local moms groups can be a great tool for finding people you want to get to know better, but invite that funny meme sharing mama to coffee!
Be the person who makes the plans.
I think a lot of times you make witty banter with someone in the locker room, at the park, or whatever. Then, everyone waits for the other one to invite the other one somewhere. Just cut to the chase and make a plan for and your prospective friend. Maybe its an old friend, just create that invite and get things moving along. Life is too short, and you will have a wonderful time! If you are in need of a mom’s night out, initiate one! Channel your inner first born, and be bold.
I think I’m ready to introduce her to my husband. (Or wife!)
I passionately believe that sharing your life with people in a similar season is one of the best things you can do for your family. Letting your kids see you practice hospitality, laughing, making conversation with your friends is such a gift to them. Invite them over for dinner or go on a kid free double date!
Hebrews 10:24-25 Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.
Take chances, and try to build your community with other like minded friends and families. Treat each other well, laugh a lot, and support each other when things aren’t funny. Find friends who might be lacking a church community or relationship with God and show them how fun and awesome Christians are. Find women who are striving to live healthier lifestyles, and do it together. Find people with kids similar in age, and have play dates. It really does take a village, so good luck as you fill your own village with people in varying seasons of life. May you all love and support each other!