I hate not being able to solve the problems of my Readers. One of the primary purposes of a blog is to offer a solution to the problems that lead a person to a blog post.
As a blogger, I share and read other blogs. It’s part of my job. Sometimes keeping my hands away from the keyboard is hard. Because what I read is making me want to speak out. However, netiquette and professionalism taught me not to.
One post seen weekly is about Mom’s finding their tribe or making mom friends. It is to the point now where I cannot stand these types of posts. While they are well-intentioned for a lot of moms; they are not helpful at all.
Sometimes these posts suggest why you lack mom friends. Claiming you are a soft touch or not trying hard enough. Sometimes these reasons are valid. Many overlook one significant barrier with friendship, and that is money. What’s left unsaid is sometimes you will never find your tribe or make mom friends. To suggest that someone put herself out there will earn you an eye roll. If someone is looking for help to make mom friends online then she did and it didn’t work. How is this helpful? Sometimes we are not what the other mom wants. Much like romantic attraction we seek desirable qualities in our friends. We need common interests.
Poor moms live a different lifestyle than others. Some mom cliques live in a cul-de-sac or on the same street. Where almost every family has stay at-home parent or the other parent works one good job. Money is not an issue. They can take a vacation every year. Each parent has a nice newer model car. Mom can afford to get her hair nails done. She has a gym membership. A quick trip to Target for diapers and Windex, does not result in a silent prayer that her card works. What I am saying is they are middle class or upper middle class and don’t struggle like many of us do.
She can go to Starbucks or wine and art classes with the girls because she can afford it. Money makes it easier to go out with friends. There are moms that pay for one haircut a year. Plenty of women donate hair for a free haircut because most of the time even Great Clips is too expensive.
She rents a two-bedroom apartment she can’t afford even though what they need is a three bedroom. Their clothes came from the clearance rack or are hand-me-downs. Many moms lack enough time to wash her face or comb her hair so a messy bun or ponytail it is. She and her spouse share a car. So she walks her kids to school. Or everyone rides in mom’s little Taxi in a rush to drop the kids off so she is not late dropping her spouse off at work again.
In many these families one parent works two jobs, or both parents work. I know families where both parents worked two jobs each. How can the Clique Moms relate? They do not live life the same way. Being poor and having a spouse that works two jobs and having zero help at home is their worst nightmare.
What if the other moms invite her to the movies? She has no money. So she can’t go. Money is an enormous obstacle. If one of the other moms offers to pay for her ticket, consider this she cannot afford to have her husband miss work. Suppose he misses work so she can go out. How long will the other moms pay?
We never have a moment for ourselves. Let alone to envy someone else. Time is another obstacle. The SAHM, WAHM, the single moms, the mom whose husband is working 18 hours a day we are too busy to take care of ourselves. Sometimes we don’t have mom friends because we don’t have time to invest and support the friendships. People may say you’re unwilling to give time. Spare time is a luxury many of us lack. It’s draining to listen to your friends problems. We need a break.
You may never make friends with those moms. Even if you try. They live on the cul-de-sac or same street. Have the same Coach or Dooney and Bourke purse, they drive SUV’s or Minivans, and they dress well. It’s a generalization but its realistic. These groups of mothers are friends that have materialistic things in common. They have bonded. They may never add a new mom to their group because they feel nothing is missing from their lives like friends. Some of these moms never even see us or sometimes our kids. They are the ones that invite everyone but us. All they see is messy hair, a dinky car, and stained clothes and think we have nothing in common. Or she’s the hot mess mother of the class.
We live different lives and have little in common. Your struggle is their nightmare. It is hard to build a friendship when we are opposites.
Sometimes we focus on those mothers too much we don’t see the other moms. Whatever the case is sometimes we judge people and don’t try. What matters is having something in common. When people judge by appearances alone, they can’t see everything. Impressions matter. We never outgrow that do we?
We can like the same music, books, and tv shows and will never know it. I lived down the street from where the Real Housewives of Orange County filmed for over a decade. I have lived this. My husband even used to wait on Vicki. Living in Orange County, you see many people let money and appearances matter that much. Some moms can’t look past the superficial.
A lack of chemistry with the other moms could play a role. Perhaps you haven’t met the right mom yet. Sometimes you’re just a victim of lousy circumstances I feel like if I lived in a different area, I would fit in better. Here in Orange County, and some of those OC clichés are true. We are not middle class, so I don’t fit in. I am a Roseanne in a sea Kathy Bowman’s. I’m a renter at the end of a dead-end road apartment complex surrounded by homes that are 750k or more. No matter how hard I try, I don’t fit in because I can’t afford to and that is ok. You shouldn’t have to change who you are for acceptance. It’s trivial that people cannot get past appearances.
The real victims are the kids. I acted as Room Mom for several years, and our kids hear a lot more than the parents think. What is tragic about this is a parents opinion alters their children’s perception as well! I heard kids flat-out say things about a mom or dad to their child’s face. I had a set of twins in my room for years that had terrible food allergies.
The kids said things to them that sounded like what their moms would say. I recall when the moms complained about excluding foods that could make the twins sick. The kids echoed those sentiments in a much crueler way.
Many of us have no mom friends so don’t be sorry for it. I know loneliness sucks, and it is tough. Be creative. Some of my biggest supporters are moms I will never meet. Even if that means joining an online mom group and being a lurker. Do it if you care about these people and feel a connection to them. Posting in mom groups or even lurking can help.
So it’s ok if you never become part of a mom tribe or your mom tribe is just you and your sister. If your best mom advice comes from Lorelai Gilmore, I say solidarity sister. If a fictional person says things that help build you up then take time to watch that show. Feel a connection to something. It is the connection that matters. Friendship is the emotions or conduct of friends; the state of being friends. A contact on a social media website can be a friend. Your tribe may be out there on Instagram or Facebook and you have not found them yet. If something helps build you up never overlook that!
The sad truth is many of us in life will count our true friends on the one hand. We overlook that sometimes family are our friends. If my husband and I did not have such a solid friendship I would have went crazy years ago. Many overlook that our other half is our best friend. You do not need a tribe or mom friends. What you need is a connection. That connection need not be another mother or someone you see daily. Never forget that. The happiest people I know have a handful of friends. Remember that. Its quality, not quantity.