The importance of socializing for our happiness
I just listened to (part of) the book on tape by Dan Buettner, “The Blue Zones of Happiness: Lessons from the World’s Happiest People.” I mean let’s be honest- who really has time to finish a book from beginning to end these days when you’re busy chasing a toddler around?
One of the most surprising things I discovered from this book is that the happiest people in the world socialize an average of SIX HOURS PER DAY. I think this is achievable when you’re working full time and you actually enjoy your coworkers, or if you’re a stay at home mom and have kids that are older and able to converse with you in ways that are more meaningful. Time with your spouse at the end of the day counts of course. But the average stay at home mom? Unfortunately, dealing with stay at home mom depression is the reality of many moms who stay isolated when rearing their young ones.
Stay at home mom depression
I think about how many stay at home moms out there are lonely and depressed just for the mere fact that they are isolated the majority of their time. How many are only with their little ones 24/7 days on end? It made me sad.
When I was lonely
I remember a time in my life when I felt lonely. It was right after I got married to my husband and had just moved to his town, away from my friends. I didn’t have a job yet, and I didn’t know how to make friends as an adult. It was definitely a hard time in my life.
How I made mom friends this time around
Now that I’m a mom, I’ve embraced meeting other moms through Facebook mom groups! They are the best! We moved to our city in Oregon, and I didn’t know a single person last December. I checked out the other mom groups and it either didn’t feel like the moms actually met up face to face or the mom groups where people did meet up face to face already had their group established. I’d feel like the outsider coming in.
So, I decided to make my own group. It was the best decision I ever made moving to a new city! Now a year and almost 5 months later, the group is over 300 members and I have made a handful of close mom friends, some of whom I see almost daily.
My goal for socializing with other moms
It’s my goal to hang out with other moms almost every weekday for at least an hour or two. It might not be the 6 hours of social time recommended by Dan Buettner, but it definitely brings me joy and affects my well being for the better to socialize with other peers every day.
The difference it makes
That hour sitting gardening together, sharing a meal, chasing our kids around the park, or even doing makeover playdates at my place restores my soul. I look forward to karaoke nights or mom’s night outings. Some of our husbands have also become friends. These women have been my joy each and every day, and they give the best recommendations! Preschools, gyms, mom hacks, skin and beauty tips, even relationship tips for my marriage. I’ve taken weekend mom getaway trips with them, and a few of them are planning to whisk me away to a day of surprise activities to celebrate the birth of my next baby.
If I had moved here and hadn’t met these moms, this year temporarily transported away from my home in Seattle would have looked very different and quite frankly, very bleak.
We have excuses and social anxiety
I know there are so many excuses to not get out there and meet other moms, but if you’re a lonely stay at home mom, the benefits far outweigh the anxiety of getting out there. Start a mom group. Join one and find your mom person. Even if it’s just one or two that you can hang out with on a regular basis or do date night or appointment exchanges with. That’s all you need.
Here are some ways to get in your stay at home mom friend time
Grocery store kid drop off:
Check your local grocery store and see if they have a kids drop off area. Usually it starts at two years old and you can drop them off for an hour. Get a coffee with your mom friend. Go check out the new makeup or garden flowers.
Find out from the Facebook mom’s group you’re a part of who in the group goes to your gym:
If your gym has a bistro, have lunch together, go to the hot tub and wet and dry saunas.
If you have too many chores to do at home and feel you can’t get out for a playdate:
Invite a mom to come hang out at your place while you unload the dishes and fold clothes. She can have tea and you can chat with her while getting stuff done. Do the same for her the next week.
Find a fully fenced playground and pack picnic lunches:
Let the kids roam freely while moms can sit in one spot and relax.
See if your gym does date nights and plan a double date with your mom friend and both of your spouses.
Maybe you and your spouse could use more friends!
The best kinds of mom friends and mom friend time:
So those are some of my favorite ways to socialize with mom friends. It’s really about finding one or two close mom friends where you both feel comfortable making last minute plans. With this mom, you can get together at each other’s houses and let your hair down. She knows she can raid your fridge. You feel comfortable sharing a meal of leftovers or something in the freezer. Your kids share snacks. You text each other regularly. It doesn’t matter really what you’re doing. Having these one or two mom friends to share the journey with makes all the difference. Ward off stay at home mom depression by getting out there and finding your person(s).
*Friday Find is a weekly feature of this fashion and beauty blog for apple shaped budget conscious women. Would you like tips and fashion inspiration for your specific body type? Fill out your email address below to get your free capsule wardrobe and my exclusive monthly newsletter–