Trying to make new mom friends is maybe the most awkward thing I've ever done (besides, you know, all of adolescence). There are times in life when we as moms find ourselves in a new community, submerged into our kids' social circles, or just in need of some new mom friends. Navigating the whole thing can get a little weird. And I'm an extrovert! In fact, I think I and my fellow extroverts might be the ones making it the most awkward (at least I know I am!). Introverts and in-betweens, I know sometimes you feel like you're the ones being super awkward, but don't worry — we're feeling that way, too.
Just the other day, I tried to make a new mom friend. My daughter and I held hands walking through her preschool hallway. I nodded and smiled at all of the moms while they helped their little ones hook their coats in their lockers. My daughter opened her locker and I leaned up against the wall. A mom I've seen a few times stood next to me. Let's call her Normal Mom. She smiled at me and I at her, so without hesitation, I said, "Hi!" to my potential new mom friend. "How are you?" She said, "I'm good, you?" Then, my awkwardness immediately set in and clung for dear life. I word-vomited all over the hallway of that preschool. "Ugh, I'm so constipated. I haven't pooped in days and I'm going to wring my husband's neck because he won't get a vasectomy."
See, many extroverts, like me, tend to go straight to the TMI — we don't waste time with small talk because why not get right to the good stuff? But after some time, I've realized that many people are taken aback by this. But I can't help it, it's just how I am.
I've found that the response from most Normal Moms is either A) laughter from total relief that I am 100 percent honest, or B) a forced smile because I got way too honest way too fast.
If the chat with Normal Mom goes well (or least I think it does), I then go into full make-a-friend mode. I mean, if I've found someone I can be real with, I want to hang out with you ASAP. So, after our meeting, I settle in at home and then go directly to Facebook and Instagram stalking. I send a friend request. I wait. I linger. I check my phone repeatedly. I hope for a new friend. Is it too much? Of course it's too much! I've completely lost any shred of cool or calm in pursuit of a new mom friend.
After the friend request is accepted, I then latch on the next time I see Normal Mom at preschool drop-off, like a grade-A clinger. Once again, things spew out of my mouth about how I want to drag my children by the ears to get them out the door on time, or maybe about how my periods have been "so heavy lately." You know, typical small talk. From here, if it goes well (and by goes well, I mean that she doesn't run away screaming), I ask for her number. "You know, my daughter chats about your daughter a lot! We should plan a play date," I say. If she obliges, then boom — numbers are exchanged and we have a happily (but still awkwardly) ever-after friendship.
All this to say: introverts, extroverts, and in-betweens, don't worry, we're all a little weird. That's what makes friendships so great. We learn to accept one another for who we really are — sometimes even right away. And for those awkward moments with the mom in the preschool hallway? Well, they paid off. Since then, we've had play dates with the kids, lunch without them, and a lot of texting therapy. Our friendship is slowly blooming all because of those first strange conversations. So, if you're ever feeling like a total weirdo when you're trying to make new mom friends, don't worry, you're definitely not alone. We're in this together, so just smile and chat away when you meet another mom you click with, because in friendships, there's no such thing as too much.