I recently was asked if it was hard to meet other moms because I worked. Friendships as a working mom, short answer- yes. Long answer- it’s complicated. We both moved into the neighborhood from other areas, but her hunch was spot on. It’s hard (and a slew of other emotions like frustrating and disappointing) for working moms to meet and keep up with mom friends.
Work-life. Mom life. Put together is not an easy equation.
In the beginning, I met a few moms through a neighbor but felt like the odd one out. A 9 to 5(-ish) job just doesn’t lend itself to daytime playdates and mom group meet-ups. And that’s where all of the “stressed out and running on fumes” convos, inside jokes and everything in between happens. The daily activities are over long before I even leave the office. I missed out and life as a working mom with young children can be lonely.
It literally took going on my 2nd maternity leave before I started meeting other moms. That time off work gave me a chance to linger at the neighborhood pool and casually (although uncomfortably) strike up a conversation with another mom who looked just as frazzled and sleep-deprived as me. (Awkward mom moment!) It also gave me time to find a moms group and actually attend the daytime play dates at a nearby splash pad or someone’s house. Kids playing and socializing, while moms did the same thing.
But maternity leave quickly ended and so did the playdates. Eventually, the baby grew to be a toddler and once again, I couldn’t attend toddler time at the library or meet at the pool. With a growing career, more work travel and small kids at home… it only became more stressful trying to juggle it all. Having other mom friends along for the ride made things better. We were going through the same ups and downs. But now it was left to the weekends, texting or mom’s night out. Just ask me to head out for a couple of hours on a weeknight. Food, friends and a drink or two. Count me in because it’s important to have friendships as a working mom!
Surviving the working mom life
Back to my conversation that started it all… we chatted about how being intentional to make plans and keep them was important. Scheduling in time with friends, alongside work, travel, and kids activities is hard – but it’s absolutely possible.
Truth is, I’m exhausted.
But I also want meaningful conversations. I need to talk through the challenges I’m facing as a woman, a wife, and a mom. I want to hear about yours and have that realization that we’re more alike than different. Maybe go for a run or take a yoga class together. Let’s chat about the craziness so I can feel normal. Let’s share ideas and help each other out. Discuss the funky stage my kid is in. Or talk me off the ledge some days. Figuratively speaking.
Mom life can get lonely, especially when you’re working 40+ hours a week out of the home. It’s stressful as hell and having other moms to experience it with is what so many of us are looking for. But it’s undeniably more challenging with a daily commute, work travel, a team counting on you, or endless deadlines looming that can take precedence. It just is. It’s one more thing you commit yourself too. But it’s worth every late night or groggy morning to have some time with friends.
Friendships as a working mom
Find those mamas that get you. Hold on to them and be there when they need you. Be open to new friends too. The reality is, most of us are just trying to get by. Keep your commitments. You never know when a friend is looking forward to catching up or needs the break. Don’t worry if your house is messy. You have kids — this is to be expected. Or meet up at Starbuck’s for a simple coffee date. An hour (or a couple if you’re lucky) can really turn around a working mama’s week.
How do you make friendships as a working mom?