What do stay-at-home moms need? Friends

When I first became a mom, under-socialization was my #1 problem.

What do stay-at-home moms need? Friends

When you’re a mom, you need friends. Because you have those days...

When the baby is puking, but has an apparent aversion to bowls and will only vomit into your hands.

When your 3-year-old quietly stuffs his backpack with all his cousin’s toys and a couple of baby monitors and walks out the door like America’s Most Wanted.

When you lose your temper.

When you can’t seem to find your floor anymore because there is so much clutter.

You need friends you can be real with.

Friends who love you as you are and laugh at you when you leave your car running for an entire Costco shopping trip.


Friends you can ugly-cry with.

Friends who gently point out your under-chin hair.

Friends who, when you lose a wardrobe battle with your girls, congratulate you on having ’80s-style children. Having real connections is vital to your soul.

When I first became a mom, under-socialization was my #1 problem.

I used to strap my baby into his car seat and head to the closest coffee stand just to have an adult conversation. “Please, dear barista, let’s be best friends. Would you like me to come in there and hang out with you?”

When my hubby walked through the door I’d attack him with a fireman’s hose of pent-up verbiage.

Three kids later, even one adult-less day is still terrifying. But when you’re a stay-at-home mom you’re not heading to an office or professional adult environment each day, so let’s just say that opportunities for friendship aren’t exactly presenting themselves organically. What’s a girl to do?

The whirlwind of transition between marriage and children left me lonely. To be honest, I wasn’t quite sure how to catch up on the mountains of laundry, much less find some besties.

But somewhere along the line, I realized that in order to survive I needed close friends, and it was up to me to find them.

Here are some tips I learned along the way.

1. Make the first move.

Did you meet someone you’d like to get to know? Don’t wait for them to pursue you. People are busy, and they’re often just as intimidated as you are.

As I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone and taken the risk of friendship, I’m blown away not only by how receptive people are, but also by how grateful they are.

Make a playdate at the park, ask them to go out for drinks, invite their family over for dinner, host a game night, join a club or women’s group.

Make the first move and then keep moving.

2. Be authentic.

Be brave and be real. Invite them over when your house is less than perfect. Be willing to share your true self. Like, “Hey, I accidentally taught my 2-year-old the F word today.”

There is a myth that we have to impress in order to deserve connection. It’s a nasty lie. Worshipping at the altar of perfection does nothing more than isolate us.

We are ALL imperfect! Remember, the goal is to find someone who can connect with you, someone you can be vulnerable with, someone who’s willing to go shopping with you after you’ve had another baby and watch you try to wiggle yourself into “skinny jeans.”

So set the standard. And if they do reject you for being real? It’s fine! Bye!

3. Don’t judge.

Take people as they are. Have a hard time dealing with other moms’ quirks? The problem probably lies in the way you perceive yourself.

If you have huge expectations for yourself and have a hard time accepting certain things about yourself, you’ll inevitably project that onto others as well. Let yourself off the hook!

You are winning and you are failing. This process is beautiful, messy and HARD.

I have found free-spirited friends, calculated friends, researcher friends, health nuts, clean freaks, homeschool geniuses, TV haters, TV fiends, career women, single-mom goddesses, thinkers, feelers and not-yet-having-kids friends.

Make a pledge to be safe for the moms around you. Don’t judge. Connection is better than perfection.

4. Get over awkwardness.

Repeat after me: “It WILL be awkward.” Anticipate it and IGNORE it.

Getting to know anyone can be awkward, and some of the best connections don’t start “easy.” Many of my most valuable relationships now are ones that started in terribly awkward ways.

Those people were the gems who brought things to my life that I don’t carry on my own. We’re naturally attracted to people who are the same as us. I’m an expressive extrovert, but I’m so very thankful for more quiet and reserved friends and so grateful I ignored awkwardness.

Motherhood is beautiful and it is scary as hell. But no matter how alone you feel in this moment, there are others trudging along with you.

Many days, they feel like their screw-ups far outweigh their successes. I know this because I am one of them.

5. Just keep going. Don’t give up. Make the time.

Of course it takes a while to get to the place where friends are willing to be really real with you, but there is so much power in connection at any stage of your friendship.

If you keep taking the risk, keep being bold and authentic, and keep taking the time to pursue connection, you will get there. I believe in you, mama. You are WORTH IT.

Join Motherly

In This Article

    These are only the vitamins I give my children and here's why

    It's hard to say who loves these more—my kids or me.

    When I became a mama five years ago, I didn't put too much thought into whether my son was getting the right vitamins and minerals. From breastfeeding to steaming and pureeing his first bites of solid food, I was confident I was giving him everything to support his growth and development.

    But then the toddler years—and the suddenly picky palate that accompanied them—came along. Between that challenge and two additional children in the mix… well, I knew my oldest son's eating plan was falling short in some vitamin and mineral categories.

    I also knew how quickly he was growing, so I wanted to make sure he was getting the nutrients he needed (even on those days when he said "no, thank you" to any veggie I offered).

    So when I discovered the new line of children's supplements from Nature's Way®, it felt like a serious weight off my chest. Thanks to supplements that support my children's musculoskeletal growth, their brain function, their immune systems, their eyes and more, I'm taken back to that simpler time when I was so confident my kids' vitamin needs were met.*

    It wasn't just the variety of supplements offered by Nature's Way that won me over: As a vegetarian mama, I'm the picky one in the family when it comes to scanning labels and making sure they meet our standards. The trick is that most gummy vitamins are made with gelatin, which is not vegetarian friendly.

    But just like the other offerings from Nature's Way that I've already come to know and love, the children's supplement line is held to a high standard. That means there's no high-fructose corn syrup, gelatin or common allergens to be found in the supplements. The best part? My two oldest kids ensure we never miss their daily vitamins—they are so in love with the gummy flavors, which include tropical fruit punch, lemonade and wild berry.

    Nature's Way Kids Mulitvitamin

    Meanwhile, my pharmacist husband has different criteria when evaluating supplements, especially when it comes to those for our kids. He appreciates the variety of options from Nature's Way, which gives us the ability to rotate the vitamins based on our kids' daily needs. By keeping various children's supplements from Nature's Way on hand, I can customize a regimen to suit my kids' individual requirements.

    Of course, high-quality products often come at a higher price point. But (to my immense gratitude!) that isn't the case with Nature's Way, which retails for a competitive value when compared to the other items on the shelf.

    Like all mamas, my chief concern is supporting my children's health in any way I can. While I see evidence of their growth every time I pack away clothes they've outgrown, I know there is much more growth that doesn't meet the eye. That's why, for my oldest son, I like stacking the Brain Builder gummy with the Growing Bones & Muscles gummy and the Happy & Healthy Multi. My 3-year-old also enjoys getting her own mix to include the Healthy Eyes gummy. And both of my older kids are quick to request the Tummy Soothe tablet when something isn't sitting right in their stomachs.* And I'll admit it: I've tried it myself and the berry blast flavor really is tasty!

    Although my current phase of motherhood may not be as "simple" as it once was, there is so much to appreciate about it—like watching my kids play and sing and create with their incredible imaginations. Along the way, I've eased up on some of my need for control, but it does help to have this range of supplements in my motherhood tool kit. So while I may not be able to convince my son to try kale, having the Nature's Way supplements on hand means I do know he's right on track.*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

    This article was sponsored by Nature's Way. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

    Our Partners

    Here are the self-care items you desperately need right now

    Self care is not enough, but with the news, the ongoing pandemic and just life, it can't hurt to self-pamper to make the world feel less heavy.


    This week has felt like a month. Between the debate, Chrissy Teigen's heartbreaking news and now with President Trump tweeting that he and Melania have tested positive for COVID-19 it's hard to not feel overwhelmed. On top of that, we are still in a never ending historical pandemic, people are still losing their jobs and moms, well, we are at the end of our rope.

    Yes, motherhood is political, and no, self care is not enough to fix burn out, but if all you need right now is to turn off your phone and cozy up to a soft blanket because you've had enough, I hear you. Hard same. So we picked some stuff for you to buy and pamper yourself. No regrets, we all deserve some self-love right now.

    Here are things that will make you feel hugged:

    Keep reading Show less

    It's 2020, but for American mothers, it's still the 1950s

    Once a woman in America becomes a mother, our society transports her back in time. In an instant, generations of sexist ideas and structures descend back upon her.

    We like to think that women have come so far.

    We have our educations. Today, our education system not only allows girls to thrive, but it has enabled the first generation in history—Millennials—in which women are more highly educated than men.

    We have choice. Access to family planning has given American women life-changing control over their fertility and the decision to start a family.

    We have basic respect. Today, our marriages are built on the principle that partners are equal regardless of gender.

    We have careers. It's utterly common for a woman to return to work after having a child.


    We have acknowledgment. And our culture even declares that caregiving is essential work for both mothers and fathers.

    We have possibilities. And all of the potential our lives as women hold now gives girls the hope that anything is possible.

    But the truth is that American motherhood has the veneer of being modern, without any of the structures to support our actual lives today.

    Keep reading Show less