This post: Raising Teens Can Be Lonely: Here’s Why You Need Mom Friends You Can Relate To (Plus, Tips to Make Friends)
Written by: Morgan Hill
It can be lonely being the mom of a teenager. Gone are the days of toddler playdates with other moms and those preschool and elementary school days when you gathered at drop-off and pick-up and talked about everything under the sun.
I don’t know about you, but I took those daily “pick-me-ups” with other moms for granted. I thought those bonds I created with them because our kids were in the same weird or frustrating or exhausting stage would last forever and that I’d always have those same wonderful relationships to lean on as my kids got older.
But that’s not always the case…
When your kids become teens they become far more independent. And, the reality is when their need for your daily involvement in their life starts to dwindle, so do your interactions with the other moms who once filled your days.
I mean, sure, some relationships might stand the test of time, but many slowly drift away leaving you feeling alone during a time when you desperately need them the most. And sure, you might stay connected to some of them on social media, but you quickly find that a string of silly memes doesn’t cut it when you need some solid friend advice because your kid was caught drinking or skipping class or cheating on a test.
It’s a time in your life when you need a hug and someone to tell you, “Don’t worry… everything really IS going to be okay…I promise!”
The truth is, nothing can replace a great mom friend.
Other Moms Just “Get It”
When you’re raising teens, everything about them seems bigger. Bigger attitudes, bigger feelings, bigger reactions… heck, even their feet are bigger. Your once compliant, sweet kid who loved you more than life itself (and wasn’t afraid to show it) is suddenly abducted in the middle of the night by big raging hormones and replaced with a kid you barely recognize.
Other moms know exactly what you’re going through. They have those awesome days with their teens when life is running smoothly and other days when they’d trade their kid in for a Klondike Bar if they could. They’re just real and authentic about how damn hard it is to raise teens.
They Can Be Your Greatest Confidante
You can’t share your big kid’s problems or mistakes like you used to. And, it’s so easy to feel alone when those worries and paralyzing fears come flooding in when your kid becomes a teen. You need a friend you can talk to.
Other moms of teens have those same sleepless nights and worries about their kid sexting, texting and driving, failing a class, or doing something they’ll regret in the face of peer pressure. It’s SO comforting to have even one good mom friend that you can confide in to help you get through it.
Good Mom Friends Don’t Judge
Because fellow moms of teens are muddling through the same trenches of maddening moods, boundary-pushing, and endless days driving their kids to Timbuktu (and back), they know you’re just doing the best you can. A good friend will raise her wine glass in solidarity and say, “Hey mama… don’t worry. We’re gonna get through this together!” And, they do it without judgment because they know no one has it all figured out. We’re all learning as we go.
Tips to Help You Make Mom Friends
It does take a village, mama, and sometimes, when you’re lacking a supportive village, you have to put forth the effort to create one.
Here’s how to make new friends and reconnect with old ones to ease the loneliness when you’re raising a teen.
Although you’re past the littles stage with your kids, why not reconnect with those friends from back then? You all have kids about the same age and can commiserate, compare notes and catch up with familiar faces. Host a dinner party, plan a group coffee date, or plan another activity to revitalize these friendships. Trust me, other moms are lonely, too!
Start by volunteering at your kid’s school. Get involved in the PTA, teacher lunches, student events, or help out at the front office. Volunteering at your kid’s sporting events is also a great way to get to know other parents on a more personal level. Not only will you be giving back and setting a powerful example for your teen, you’ll be fostering new friendships along the way.
Friends of Friends (of Your Teen)
Your teen has a friend group they hang out with, so why not befriend their parents? Plan a lunch out with the kids and parents, meet up at a sporting event, or invite the kids and parents over for a BBQ. Take the initiative to reach out. Those friendships just won’t “happen” without a little effort.
Take a Class
What are you interested in these days? There’s a class for that! Whether it’s in person or online, you can meet a ton of new people (with kids of ALL ages) when you join a class. There’s nothing like hearing from an exhausted parent who’s worried about her baby meeting milestones to remind you that you’ve already made it through a tough stage. And, seasoned parents who’ve come out on the other side of raising teens can offer a ton of advice and comfort.
Join the Club
Whether it’s the local women’s club, a service organization, or a hiking club, joining a fun casual club is a great way to make new friends. You may not find your bestie in the bunch, but you’ll have fun socializing and getting a much-need break from the rigors of momhood.
Check Out MeetUp
MeetUp is a national social site with something for everyone, from virtual groups to in-person get-togethers. And, with thousands of different types of groups to join and more than 60 million people on Meetup looking to gather over shared interests and hobbies, you’re bound to find other moms who, just like you, are looking to build friendships.
Why not revisit friends of yesteryear? Social media is a great way to track down old friends. Check-in with your old roommate from college or your BFF from high school who always made you laugh. Rekindling old friendships gives you an opportunity to reminisce about old times and catch up. They may have teens of their own, too!
You need friends to fall back on during this time (both old and new, young and seasoned) to help navigate these years with your teen(s).
While not everyone you meet will be your best friend, having a broad circle will give you a soft spot to land when things get hard. Even better, they’ll give you reasons to get out of the house and just talk about whatever, whether it’s your latest hobby or household project. Remember, not everything has to be about your kiddo. Raising a teenager can be lonely, but with a little effort, you can fill the void by surrounding yourself with a supportive group of friends.
About Morgan Hill:
Morgan Hill is an essayist and humorist. She has written for many online and print publications including Insider, Your Teen Magazine, Revel, and MASK Magazine. She is the mother of freshman and senior sons in high school. When not writing, she can be found at flea markets, in her garden, photographing architecture, taking cooking classes, or eating the stinkiest cheese she can find. You can also find her on Twitter @MorganHWrites or Instagram @MorganHillWriter
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