• Friendship / Lifestyle

    Making Mom Friends…In the Parking Lot

    Making Mom Friends in the Parking Lot

    Did you happen to read the article that was floating around the interwebs last summer that compared making new mom friends to picking up a guy?! If not, take a quick pause from reading this and click here to read that. But make sure you come back once you’re done, ok?!

    I read that blog post and I found myself actually screaming out loud “YES! YES! YES!” It’s like Lauren (the blogger), had invaded the deepest parts of my soul and was revealing all my secret longings of my park visits with my kids! 

    You see, we had recently moved into our new home, in a brand new city. In fact, it was a brand new neighbourhood that wasn’t even finished being built yet. I was no longer a working woman but rather a stay-at-home mom and was adjusting to that new role. As I would soon discover, I was also struggling with postpartum depression and had no idea about it at the time. 

    I found myself doing playground hops all week long. Checking out all the parks in our area and praying, hoping, LONGING to make just ONE mommy friend. I was always one to scope out the playground for that one person who I thought looked like we might have things in common: similar age as me, similar aged kids, similar style…something, anything, that could make us relate and possibly strike up a new friendship.

    Making Mom Friends in the Parking Lot

    But the struggle is real y’all! Often times I would see mom friends at the park together, laughing and talking away, having a blast, while I jealously sat alone, trying to give the occasional smile if they looked over in hopes that they would want to chat with me. But it never really worked. 

    And then early fall, I read that blog post and I couldn’t believe how bang on it was! Aside from a long summer of desperately trying to friend these park moms with little to no success, I was at least somewhat relieved that there was at least ONE other person on the planet who could relate! But where this post fell short for me was the follow through. As funny and relatable as it was, I knew that it couldn’t just end with these potential friends walking away. I knew, for myself at least, that if I was going to change my situation, I would have to be the one to step up and step out to reach these moms.

    [pullquote width=”200″ float=”left”]At some point, your faith needs to be bigger than your fears…I truly believe that there is so much reward and abundant life on the other side of that fear. [/pullquote]

    At this point, I had just been diagnosed with postpartum depression, which I’ve been sharing my journey here, here and here. A little sneak into Part 4 of that journey where I share all about my diagnosis, was that the first thing my doctor said to me was that I needed family and friends support. Problem was, I didn’t have any family around and very few friends. So with that in mind, I knew, more than ever, I HAD to make friends. This wasn’t just a funny thing to talk and read about, this was a matter of LIFE or continued depression for me. 

    So how do you make friends naturally when you are so desperate for it? I prayed. Simple. It wasn’t some big amazing prayer…it was simple, “God, I need a friend…NOW. Thanks.” 

    A few days later, I decided to visit this mom group at a local church. It wasn’t my church, so I was initially hesitant, wondering if it would be weird that I wasn’t a member there. I also wasn’t the usual social butterfly that I once was. I was sad, lonely, hurting…living with a new diagnosis of PPD and I was completely out of sorts with myself. 

    But I went.

    I pulled into the parking lot and two spots over was a lovely blonde haired momma, getting her daughter out of the car and into a stroller. Spotted. I can remember saying to myself “Be cool, Christine. Don’t POUNCE on her. Just say hi and ask about the group.” 

    “Hi there. I’m Christine.This is my first time here. Are we allowed to bring our strollers inside?” With a big smile she responded, “Hi! I’m Courtney! Welcome! And yes, we can bring them right into the auditorium!” Perfection! She took the bait and now I just had to reel it in! 

    We continued to chat for a few more minutes and she showed me inside and where to drop the kids off and then we went on our separate ways. I had one friend in there (the only friend I had at the time), so I found her and we sat together. It was an enjoyable morning for the most part, but I was still a hot mess from the PPD and so I’m not sure I really took it all in. My wheels were spinning a mile a minute at that time, usually about a thousand miles away from where I currently was. 

    Making Mom Friends in the Parking Lot

    I ended up in the washroom at the end of the group time, changing diapers and feeding the baby. I was sure that once I emerged, everyone would be gone. But to my surprise, as I left the building, guess who was also just leaving? My new bff from the parking lot, Courtney! What were the odds?! She asked me how I enjoyed it and we made small chat as we walked to our vehicles and started loading the kids in.

    [pullquote width=”270″ float=”left”]Sometimes the answer is standing right beside us in a parking lot, just waiting for you to say Hi! [/pullquote]

    I started having flashes of that blog post I had recently read where the mom let’s the other get away as I could feel our conversation coming to an end. Would we just drive off and then just hope to see each other at the next meeting? No way…I liked this mom and I could tell we could be great friends. I wasn’t going to let THIS friendship slip away. 

    So I lost my cool and I blurted out “So, what do you all day long? Do you wanna be friends?!”

    Yup. That’s exactly what I said. Thank goodness Courtney is amazing as she is and her response back was an enthusiastic “YES! Let’s totally hangout!” Phew…she was ok with my desperate cry for a friend! Maybe she needs a friend too, I thought. Or maybe, she could read my mind and see the tears in my heart as I had cried out to God asking for ONE dear friend. 

    We exchanged numbers and added each other to all our social accounts and right then and there, a beautiful friendship was born. I can remember driving home that morning, with tears running down my cheeks and a huge smile on my face: God had heard my simple prayer and He had answered. 

    Making Mom Friends in the Parking Lot

    But more than just praying and answering, I really do believe that you have to actually DO something about it. God can answer all the prayers in the world, but sometimes it requires action steps from us. I’ve met so many people over the years that just LOVE to complain about their circumstances: hate their job, too fat, not enough money, no friends, etc., yet they are unwilling to do anything about it! Sometime’s the answer is right in front of their face and yet they still don’t see it. Sometimes the answer is standing right beside us in a parking lot, just waiting for you to say Hi! 

    Making mom friends is hard. That’s why that humorous and yet so truthful post on how hard it really is resonated so deeply with me. And I would bet to guess that it resonates with many of you. But when was the last time you really put yourself out there when you see that mom at the park or parking lot or grocery store? Was I nervous when I blurted out “Do you want to be friends” to Courtney? Of course I was! But at some point, your faith needs to be bigger than your fears. And I truly believe that there is so much reward and abundant life on the other side of that fear. 

    We just need to step out and hollar “Hi! You want to be friends?” 

    Love & Blessings,

    CMartin-Sign

     

     

     

     

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    52 Comments

  • Reply Lauren May 1, 2015 at 8:57 am

    I love this! It’s scary to put yourself out there (especially when you’re a big introvert like me), but sometimes it’s the only way anything will happen. Thanks so much for linking over to my post!

    • Reply Christine May 1, 2015 at 10:29 am

      Absolutely Lauren! It’s hard but necessary for us to live in community with others! Be brave girl! xox

  • Reply Megan May 1, 2015 at 9:23 am

    omg you are so brave for blurting out lets be friends. I cracked up so loud I think my husband actually looked away from the tv lol. PPD is serious, good on your for being the one to initiate

    • Reply Christine May 1, 2015 at 10:29 am

      Ha! Thanks Megan! Glad to make you laugh this Friday morning! Lots of love girl! xox

  • Reply Hannah Diane May 1, 2015 at 9:42 am

    This is great!!

    • Reply Christine May 1, 2015 at 10:30 am

      Thank you Hannah! xox

  • Reply Angelica May 1, 2015 at 9:45 am

    I love this post and I can totally relate! It can be very intimidating making new friends, especially other parents. I actually wrote about this in one of my posts. Ah, the desperation. It makes you feel like a first-grader all over again. And yes, God helps those who help themselves. I strongly believe that!

    • Reply Christine May 1, 2015 at 10:30 am

      Ha! 1st graders! Love it Angelica! I’ll have to check that post out! Thanks for stopping by! xox

  • Reply Scott May 1, 2015 at 9:46 am

    What a cute story! I suffer from the same shyness and would never have the guts to pull off what you did!

    • Reply Christine May 1, 2015 at 10:31 am

      You could do it Scott! I believe in ya! Thanks for stopping by, my friend!

  • Reply Angie In My 30s (@My30sAndItsTime) May 1, 2015 at 9:47 am

    we all definitely need to learn to put ourselves out there a little more don’t we?
    the chances are the other person is feeling the same hesitation we are and is hoping that we take the first step!

    • Reply Christine May 1, 2015 at 10:31 am

      Exactly right Angie! We are all nervous and have that fear of rejection but also that deep longing to be loved and accepted! Just gotta step out and be brave! xox

  • Reply Jessica May 1, 2015 at 10:12 am

    This is such an adorable story. Love how you just blurted out Let’s be friends.. Have a great Friday!

    • Reply Christine May 1, 2015 at 10:32 am

      Thanks Jessica! You as well! xox

  • Reply twitchetts.blogspot.com May 1, 2015 at 10:29 am

    Love your post! I am an Army wife so we move a lot… At our last station I never made a true friend, but we just moved again and I vowed to get out of my shell. Just ask! You are right, Many women are in the same boat. They are just hoping for someone to talk to them! I have already made a few friends here. It is amazing what just spitting out a few words can do!!

  • Reply Good Enuf Mommy May 1, 2015 at 10:46 am

    Very funny and so true! I too have blurted out “Let’s be friends!” and you know what? It usually works! Glad you found a solid friendship out of the deal!

    • Reply Christine May 1, 2015 at 8:49 pm

      Good for you! It’s all about stepping out and being brave isn’t it?! Thanks for stopping by! xox

  • Reply Jessy @ The Life Jolie May 1, 2015 at 10:58 am

    I’m so glad I found this! I have so many great acquaintances without kids and I love them but I can’t keep up with late nights at the bars. All of my close girl friends have moved away. I am in serious need of some mom friends and have no idea where to begin. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one.

    • Reply Christine May 1, 2015 at 8:50 pm

      It’s hard but at the same time so simple. Just don’t let those moms get away! haha! You can do it girl! xox

  • Reply Momma Vee May 1, 2015 at 11:39 am

    This week Colin made friends with a little boy in the 10 minutes we waited for our turn at the dentist. The little boy’s mother and I marvelled at how quickly that happened and that it was likely due to their lack of inhibitions. They can just be themselves and not worry about rejection. It’s even harder being an older mom. Kids my kids’ age have moms much younger than me.

    • Reply Christine May 1, 2015 at 8:52 pm

      Yup…my two older ones are the same way…making friends everywhere they go! We can learn so much from our children, can’t we?! And that leads to me so say…when are we going to have a playdate?! Let’s set something up! xox

  • Reply Leighann May 1, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    “At some point your faith needs to be bigger than your fear.” Love this! We moved to a new city almost 4 years ago. I can count on one hand the women who consider me a friend. My kids range in age from 10 to 1.5 and it becomes increasingly difficult for women to have time to form friendships during this life stage. Such a great post.

    • Reply Christine May 1, 2015 at 9:06 pm

      I think GREAT mom friends are few and far between, that’s for sure. I still don’t have many, but the few that I do have, I cherish! If you lived closer, I’d hang out with ya!!! Thanks for stopping by love! xox

  • Reply Traci@tracesoffaith May 1, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    An excellent article! Much of my story matches yours and a mom’s group meant so much to me too! I’m still friends with many of the women. Your advice is spot on. God expects effort from you too. Thanks!

    • Reply Christine May 1, 2015 at 9:08 pm

      Thanks Traci for stopping by and for your encouragement! Blessings girl! xox

  • Reply Carrie May 1, 2015 at 12:40 pm

    Great post! Making mommy friends is something you don’t think about until you are off on Mat leave and lonely!

    • Reply Christine May 1, 2015 at 9:08 pm

      Absolutely! That’s why you gotta get out there and just start talking to them! Cause they are everywhere!! Thanks for stopping by Carrie! xox

  • Reply Chelsea May 1, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    I love that you aren’t afraid to actually TALK to people! I love people like you!! lol

    • Reply Christine May 1, 2015 at 9:09 pm

      Thanks babe! I think some people don’t know what to do with people like me though! ha!! xox

  • Reply Amy May 1, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    I cannot say how refreshing it was for me to read your post. I was in the same boat, new city, new kids, stay at home mom, no family, and no friends. However, 6 years later I am still in the same boat. I don’t leave the house except to run errands and play “mom’s Taxi”. Standing in line at the store I have wanted so badly to grab a woman and kidnap her just to have a friend. The need for intellectual conversation beyond potty time can make you think crazy thoughts!! So I commend you for having the courage to find a friend. Sometime family just isn’t enough for a mom!

    • Reply Christine May 1, 2015 at 9:11 pm

      Absolutely! And girl, next time you’re in that grocery line…just start talking to that mom! You honestly never know what could come of it…like with me and my friend! You can do it!! xox

  • Reply Amanda @ Old House to New Homea May 1, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    I actually laughed out loud when you said αΊ…anna be friends! I feel like that all the time though! you are not alone!

    • Reply Christine May 1, 2015 at 9:11 pm

      Ha! Glad to know! Thanks for stopping by Amanda! xox

  • Reply Katrina May 1, 2015 at 7:06 pm

    I’m really happy to read that you made a mommy friend when you needed one most. I met dozens of moms at baby groups but I’d say I count only 3 as friends a year later. I’m much happier to have made a few really solid friendships with moms I really connect with. I’ve learned that just because you have babies doesn’t means you have anything in common. Good luck finding new friendships!

    • Reply Christine May 1, 2015 at 9:13 pm

      Absolutely! And you don’t need many, just some really great ones! Luckily, this was just the start to finding a whole slew of moms that I love and connect with! I’m VERY thankful for that! xox

  • Reply Pam May 1, 2015 at 8:12 pm

    I love this post! I met one of my best girlfriends at a park a few summers ago! She had just moved here from out of town and knew no one! She was saying the exact same thing about how hard it can be to make friends in a new city at this stage of life as a stay at home Mom! I am soooo happy now that we got to chatting that day because we’ve enjoyed so many more amazing times together since! Good for you for stepping out and having a moment of courage! πŸ™‚

    • Reply Christine May 1, 2015 at 9:15 pm

      That’s so awesome Pam! And is she ever lucky to have found YOU, of all people there! Wish we lived closer! Love you girl! xox

  • Reply Lauren White May 1, 2015 at 8:45 pm

    As a new mommy, I struggle with this too! I’m a pretty shy person, but I don’t want my baby girl growing up that way, so I’m always looking for another mommy to chat up with! It’s hard though being a working mama because by the time I get to daycare and back home, all I want to do is play with her and then give her a bath, bottle, and bed! I’m looking forward to socializing more this summer once I’m off from work! πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply Christine May 1, 2015 at 9:17 pm

      It’s definitely hard, especially when trying to balance it all. Especially with this blog, I’m finding it hard to stay connected to my local friends rather than just my new online friends. It’s all a balance. I’m cheering you on though! You got this! xox

  • Reply Betsy @ Happily Ever After, Etc. May 1, 2015 at 10:56 pm

    Love this! It’s so hard to make friends at this point in life, I just moved across the country and spend more time hanging out with my hubby and mom then anyone else. We’ve been here a year and I still don’t have one friend outside of friends from work (that I don’t hang out with outside of work)… I have to put myself out there more! I miss friends!

    • Reply Christine May 2, 2015 at 9:16 am

      Awe I’m sorry to hear this Betsy. I’ll keep your situation in my prayers. Friends are life and I’ll pray for one special confidante for you! Thanks for stopping by! xox

  • Reply LiNdsay May 2, 2015 at 9:58 am

    I think as an adult in general it’s tough to meet new people and form friendships. It’s exactly like dating. I always find myself getting used by people and being taken advantage of and the friendships are never reciprocated, so I tend to keep to myself and am a bit guarded because of past experiences. And I have no room for catty, drama, gossip crap. Life is too short for that non sense.

    • Reply Christine May 2, 2015 at 9:49 pm

      Agreed on the no drama part! I’ve found that the older I get, the fewer friends I really need. But what I want is QUALITY friends…like you say, without all the nonsense! xox

  • Reply Jo-Anne May 3, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    Just sitting down for a much needed break and read this post. Brought tears (happy ones). Love the post. And I know what friendship means to you. So, cherish it and allow it to blossom to a type of ‘Linda’ friendship I have. Love you xoxo

    • Reply Christine May 3, 2015 at 5:25 pm

      Thanks Mom! Love you! xox

  • Reply Stephanie @ Casa Watkins May 4, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    Love your post! I think we all know how hard it is to make friends, but its sometimes just as hard to keep them in the midst of all your family/life demands. I want to find mom friends who really know how hectic family life it and can still be okay not hearing from me for days or at least calling me if they don’t hear from me.

    • Reply Christine May 4, 2015 at 11:11 pm

      Thanks for stopping by Stephanie! And I totally hear ya. Finding people who just GET you…that’s huge! Hoping you find that special friend soon! xox

  • Reply Brooke Knipp May 4, 2015 at 6:07 pm

    I wish we lived closer! I would be the one blurting out, “Want to be friends?!” I feel like friendship, particularly at this stage of life, HAS to be so intentional. And then to maintain friendship you both have to be even more intentional! Time is precious and limited when you have kids–it really creates a premium that you don’t want to waste on people who aren’t interested. I love that you just went and ASKED if Courtney wanted to be friends. So true that we have to do something about our complaints sometimes. Good for you! πŸ™‚

  • Reply Irish May 1, 2016 at 10:03 pm

    Posts like this brtghien up my day. Thanks for taking the time.

  • Reply Cassie May 1, 2016 at 10:04 pm

    I apriacpete you taking to time to contribute That’s very helpful.

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