Lonely? Five Simple Tips for Making New Friends as a Homeschooling Mom
Mamas, we need each other. We need other Catholic homeschooling mamas…because there is no one who understands the day-to-day reality of being a homeschooling mom than another homeschooling mom!
Women of Faith
When we find other Catholic women who are striving for holiness, too, we can enjoy a unique connection that strengthens us both. We can share the sacraments, the saints, the liturgical year, works of mercy—all the things that provide us with practical ways to follow the Gospel.
Other homeschooling moms best understand the opportunities and limitations of our days: the specific challenges of educating a child at home; having our children home all day, every day; and running the household on top of the homeschooling.
And let’s be honest.
Our husband may be our best friend—but he isn’t made to act as a girlfriend. As women, God created us with unique characteristics for woman-to-woman relationships. Expecting our husbands to fulfill all of our emotional needs is unrealistic and quite stressful for the husband-wife relationship.
We need other women.
Woman-to-woman friendships can refresh and restore us—helping us to carry on throughout our daily joys and struggles!
Regardless of whether we meet with kids for a playdate and simply spend time chatting together, or we arrange to get away for an evening at a coffee shop, or we take a girls’ weekend trip—the time we spend connecting with other women can bless us with laughter and love. The time leads us to a greater understanding of ourselves, our vocation, and our path to holiness.
When we hear about our friends’ unique journeys and how God works in their lives, our faith can grow.
When friends are in need, we can practice mercy and compassion.
When we need advice, friends bless us with reality checks and fresh perspectives.
And for those of us surrounded by children 24/7, adult conversation can save our sanity!
How do we find potential friends?
1. Go to where there are people.
We can’t make friends if we don’t know people!
To build new friendships, we have to intentionally seek out ways to be around other women, such as at homeschooling groups or a Bible study.
I know. You and I don’t have the time.
That’s why we purposefully strive to make the time.
Meeting others is often not as hard as we initially make it out to be. If we simply cross something off the to-do list and move the activity into the next week, we can make time to attend a gathering at our home church, or even drive to an event in the next town.
The goal is to find out where there will be other Catholic homeschooling women, put an event on the calendar, and go!
2. Reach out.
When arriving at an event, find at least one woman who looks like she might be a kindred spirit. Strike up a conversation. Ask questions.
Do they have kids with similar ages? Have they been homeschooling about as long as your family? What sports, activities, or favorite excursions do you have in common?
Try not to go home without connecting one-on-one with at least one person!
We all know that going to new events and meeting new people can be awkward. But we can be happier—and our families can be happier—when you and I make the effort to build community.
3. Follow up individually with the women you met.
Now’s the time: Get to know each other!
Send an email to your potential friend. Ask a question about something you discussed. Text and invite the new friend and her kids to a play date at a park. And if you’re really feeling brave, call to ask if the new friend would like to go for coffee sometime—gasp!—without kids.
If all of this sounds a bit like dating, well, it kind of is. Our society has moved away from living in community with those next door, and our extended families are more spread out than ever before. So you and I have to put in the work, to build relationships.
And that’s okay.
Making new friends might take a while. Relationships are not efficient. They take time and energy. Be patient. Keep reaching out.
(It’s really worth it.)
4. The next steps.
If the friendship seems to be “clicking,” then touch base once a week by text or in person. Ask about your new friend’s daily life.
How is your week going?
How can I pray for you today?
How do you handle [such-and-such]?
You can get together and ask more questions—questions that help you both to get to know each other better.
How did you meet your husband?
What do you love to teach your child/children?
Who has influenced your faith life?
Conversation is key to growing in intimacy with others.
If after chatting, you know that the new acquaintance isn’t a good fit—or if she simply doesn’t respond to your reaching out—then don’t worry. Simply and graciously try again with someone else.
It’s all good.
5. Pray for new friends.
Most importantly ask and trust the Lord to send friends—because He will answer those prayers.
It might take months. It might take years. But we can have faith that God will bless us with friends in His perfect timing.
In 20 years of marriage, I’ve lived in eight different cities. Finding new friends in those cities was a challenge. (If you’ve moved before, you know how stressful it can be to plug into a new community, right?)
Making the effort to make friends is tough. Setting aside time in our packed schedules is tough. When someone your reached out to chooses not to invest in a new relationship, accepting the feelings of rejection is tough.
Eventually, we can find the women to call true friends.
True friends are the ones with whom we can spend a week carrying on a conversation by text, because we can’t make a phone call work without kids screaming in the background.
True friends are the ones we can text at any hour, to pray with us when facing trials.
True friends are the ones who, even if we don’t talk for years, send messages that light up our worlds as we reconnect.
True friends are out there. You and I can go, reach out, follow up, and take the next steps.
We Are Made for Community
We were created to live in community, not isolation.
Jesus Christ didn’t send his followers back to their families to be alone. Some went out in pairs to evangelize. Others continued to meet together regularly in homes and, eventually, in churches.
Living our vocation in community with women in similar circumstances is life-giving and inspiring. We share our struggles. Our faith. Our laughter. Our tears.
We share our sometimes crazy, enormously busy, highly memorable lives together.
It’s truly worth it, right now, to reach out and find a new friend.
The blessings of friendship are abundant.