Written by Dr. LaReina Hingson, Momivate Director of Relationship Dynamics
Being a mother means most of your social circle is already established--you spend time and energy on your children, family members, and people in your circle that you already know. However, social distancing restrictions during COVID reminded us that meeting and interacting with *new* people breathes life into our world, whether it’s the cashier at the market or another mom at your kids’ school. This post offers some ideas about how to increase your sphere of friendship, whether because you need a friend or someone out there needs you! Adding friendship to our world is always a good thing.
Seize the day
Often, making friends is as simple as putting yourself out there. Likely, you interact with people all day long; taking the time to talk to them as a person, even for as little as a single minute, can open the door to the possibility of creating new and meaningful friendships. A friendship you create of a minute is a friendship, even if it doesn’t last beyond that; it brings life to your day-to-day routine. Try asking someone you don’t know one of the following questions:
Apps aren’t just for dating
Maybe your current stage of motherhood means you’re not leaving your house very often -- have no fear! Many apps that are traditionally for dating have expanded their services to a “just looking for friends” option. Some benefits of using an app to find friends include:
If this might be for you, be sure to check which apps have friend options and that your spouse (if you have one) is aware of your intentions with the app!
Service can help you find friends!
Service is touted as one of the best places to meet and make new friendships. Bonus: you know your time is being spent productively, so there’s a built-in useful aspect to your time whether long term friendships result or not. Doing service while meeting others can take the pressure off the interaction as well. For those who aren’t strong social butterflies, this division of mental focus can actually improve your conversation with others by allowing you to relax and giving you a built-in topic. Additionally, you generally get to choose what service you want to give, so chances are higher that the people you serve and serve with have similarities to your own values and interests.
Since COVID, nursing homes and other activities have increased their virtual service options, which means the mother with limited time can pursue opportunities to serve without factoring in the travel time. Look for virtual service options by contacting your local nursing homes, schools for tutoring programs, or by logging on to justserve.org. Here at Momivate, a non-profit, we have a few opportunities to serve listed here!
Moms, there's no need to be lonely! Reach out! Your efforts to befriend someone will not only bless your life but also the person whose friend you become. Plus, your children will benefit from watching your friendship-making situations!!
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