How Can An Older Mom Make New Friends?
A late-life mom asks for suggestions on how to make and find friends.
I’ve been trying to figure out why I don’t have any friends. But I can’t help but think that maybe it’s because I have a very “different” life.
I’m 50 and had a baby two years ago. My husband and I have been married for over twenty years. Late to the game, you could say, but not for lack of trying.
But here’s my problem: I can’t make one friend.
Even before I had a child, I only socialized with my husband. I get along great at work, but I’m kind of a loner there. For instance, at lunchtime, I feel socially inadequate; sometimes it feels like I’m still in high school.
Basically, I’m too tired to have anyone over to my house - it’s a mess. Between working and commuting and trying to keep my son happy, things are busy. Despite that, I’m very happy with where I am in my life.
But I can’t help but worry that I can’t make friends - the same goes for my husband. I don’t see my neighbors; it’s not that kind of neighborhood. Everyone is busy with their own lives.
We joke that that’s just the way it is, yet I’m concerned that my son won’t see any positive examples of friendships.
Do you have any suggestions about how I might be able to find or make friends? I feel that it’s possible that being an older mom puts off other (younger) mothers.
It’s understandable that you might feel out of sync with other moms who are likely much younger than you. Yet the fact is that increasingly, women are having children at older ages. It’s possible that if you look hard enough, you’ll probably find moms of all ages at school and on the playground.
Friendships “click” because two people find they have things in common—even though they may also have many differences. Although someone may be chronologically younger than you, the common experience of raising a first child may be a more important connection, one that can bridge age discrepancies if there is an ease of communication between both of you.
Realistically, this has to very busy time for you as you juggle motherhood and your career. We suspect you don’t have much free time right now, but if you’re truly anxious to make new friendships, you must set aside time to work at it.
Some things you might want to think about:
Do you belong to any groups or organizations where you might meet other women? Even joining a gym that you attend regularly can get you out of the house, and put you out among other women who might be friend-worthy. Perhaps you can arrange for your husband to watch your son one or two evenings each week so you can enjoy some “me” time.
Do you have any special hobbies, talents, or interests that you would like to pursue? You could check whether the focus of any existing Meetup.com groups in your community resonates with your interests. You might even start a group of “Late Life Moms.”
You’re right that it’s important to develop a support network around you - especially before you need one. You didn’t explain why you have had long-standing problems making friends, but if this is a problem that has persisted over time, you may want to speak to a counselor to gain insight into the barriers standing in your way.
Hope this is helpful.
Irene and Sheryl
If you are truly desirous of making new friendships, you must put in the effort and work at it.
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