There is no easy way to navigate motherhood, especially if you are a shy mom like me. But the load lightens when we have people on our side. Our kids can never have too many people looking out for them as well. And we all need friends and supportive communities so we can be the best parents to our kiddos.
However, if you’re a shy person like me, making new friends can be a little bit awkward and intimidating. Even if you already have a set of friends, they may not be in the same parenting phase as you.
Having a friend that’s also going through the same struggles as you can make all the difference. Your non-mom friends may listen to your stories, but other moms can commiserate with you over breastfeeding pains, potty training, etc. Other moms can also share and understand the heartache and joys of being a mom in the moment.
So, this article offers a few ideas to make motherhood easier for shy moms!
How to rock motherhood as a shy mom
Here are some tips you can utilize to find friends and supportive communities that can help you navigate this fulfilling and exhausting job that is motherhood.
1. Get to know your neighbors
Before our baby came, I mostly kept to myself when I was home. Since I've given birth to my son, I made efforts to be outside as much as I can.
We walked around the neighborhood and visited stores nearby. We spent a lot of time in the front yard, playing with water in the summers and making snowmen during winter months. That’s how I met some of the kids and moms in my neighborhood.
One family lived four doors away from us, and I didn’t even know! So, my first piece of advice if you're a shy mom is to open your doors and go outside. If you’re feeling bold, introduce yourself to your neighbors. Take your kids to the park, visit your local library for storytimes and take part in community activities.
The more chances you have to meet people, the better. You never know what meeting can lead to new friendships. Whether you’re a shy mom or an extrovert, we all need friends in this motherhood journey.
2. Try a mommy and baby class
If you’re in the infant and toddler phase, Mommy and Me classes and playgroups are accessible places to cultivate friendships with other moms.
You can always choose an activity that you actually enjoy like swimming, music or yoga. Start at your local library and recreation centers for free or inexpensive classes.
3. Join mom groups at church or school
One of the best ways for shy moms to find connections is through mom groups. So be on the lookout for playgroups you can join at your kiddo’s school. Your church, temple, or mosque is also a great place to look for mom groups like a workout or cooking group.
There are so many chances to connect with other moms, you’re sure to find an activity you enjoy while making new mom friends.
If you have the time, you can also join the PTA or help out at events in your child’s school, like the book fair or the bake sale. It might be extra work on your part, and you may need to venture out of your comfort zone as a shy mom, but it could be a great way for you to get to know the school community and establish friendships.
Because, as moms, we all need the support we can get. Sometimes, a coffee date and a listening ear can make a huge difference.
5. Sign your kids up for team sports or park and recreaction classes
There are many benefits to playing team sports. Not only does it allow kids to participate in social interactions, but it teaches them to work together towards one goal. Playing together also helps them build skills like perseverance and leadership.
So, even if you don’t think of yourself as a soccer, football, or hockey mom, sign up your kids for team sports anyway. It’s also a good place for you to strike up conversations with other moms while your kids are playing or practicing.
The time and proximity to other parents will give you as many chances to be social, even as a shy mom. Keep an eye out for moms whom you may have an easy time with, the ones who are as quiet as you are or who get your humor.
6. Say “yes”
One of the hardest things about motherhood for me is the feeling of being alone and not having a minute to myself at the same time. As an introvert, I don’t relish the idea of big parties, but I say “yes” to most invites.
If you’re also a shy mom who is feeling lonely and wanting some new friends, this is your invitation to put yourself out there. Even if you need to give yourself a limit on how much time you can stay, say “yes” to the BBQ parties and holiday parties. Say "yes" to the jewelry, Tupperware, and makeup parties.
Treat the parties as a way for you to meet new people and forge deeper relationships with the moms you already know. All of which are ways for you to build your own village of mom friends.
7. Use social media if you're a shy mom
Sure, it’s nice to have friends you can grab a coffee or hang out with, but online friends still count. Don’t underestimate how helpful it is to have someone who understands your struggles, even if they live in another state.
If this is your first foray, try searching Facebook for groups that match your lifestyle. You can find Facebook groups for breastfeeding mamas, for instance. You’ll also find groups for parents living in the same area and support groups if you have a kid with ADHD.
Sometimes, if you’re meeting people for the first time, it’s also easier to ask to friend them on social media than ask for their phone number. So, definitely use social media to connect with and get to know the people around you as well.
How to raise an outgoing child if you are a shy mom
You know your kids the best, so you know if they’re showing overwhelm or anxiety over being surrounded by strangers. Some kids are generally more social and more comfortable in large groups than others. On the other hand, some are better at one on one interactions or small groups.
So, don’t let anyone shame you or your child if your kid belongs to the group of children who are introverted or shy. Kids are tiny humans with their own personalities and preferences. The best way to raise an outgoing child is to follow their lead and support their interests.
If your kid likes to say hi to everyone on your daily walk, let them. Similarly, if they get anxious and don’t want to join the other kids at the park right away, respect that too.
Also, kids are perceptive and mostly copy what they see you and others do. So, be mindful of the behaviors you are modeling.
Shy moms guide to making friends
As a shy mom, I like to be prepared and intentional when approaching certain people and situations, which includes meeting and talking to other moms in social settings. So, here are a few ways to do just that in your everyday interactions. Keep in mind that making friends doesn't have to involve spending money to hang out!
1. Bring extra supplies or toys
Pack extra supplies if your budget allows it. It’s a small gesture to offer some wipes or sunscreen to the mom who just ran out, but your preparedness can help a lot. Add in a few comforting words, and you’ll have an opening to talk. You never know which interaction will lead to lifelong friendships.
2. Give a compliment
As a shy person, I’m not one to start conversations, let alone go around telling people my opinion. I didn't think people would care about what I had to say. Turns out people do like to hear nice things about them, even if it’s just how much you like their shoes, etc.
So, try paying the next mom you meet a compliment. You can also try to get to know their kids and talk to them about something their kid is good at. Parents love hearing about their kids’ talents or good qualities.
3. Make up a mantra to say to yourself when you’re feeling anxious
A mantra is a statement that people repeat often because they think it’s true or they want it to be true. You can use existing mantras such as “all is well,” “this too shall pass,” or “I am at peace” to calm yourself down when you’re feeling anxious. You may also come up with your own that directly relates to what’s bothering you.
Find one that works for you. Remember that nothing is inherently wrong with you as a shy mom. But saying a mantra may help make it easier to put yourself out there and make meaningful relationships.
You can navigate motherhood and make friends even if you're a shy mom!
Being an introvert or a shy mom may make it difficult to connect with other moms, but the more moms you speak to, the better your chance of meeting someone who has the same interests as you.
Remember that not everyone is going to become your friend, and that’s okay. Keep trying, meaningful relationships take a bit of work but they’re worth it.
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