Dear Lonely Mom, Looking for a Friend

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Me with my friend Kristen who lives in NYC

I get quite a few emails from moms who feel so lonely, and who are desperate for a friend, but can’t seem to find anyone. This is for them, for you…

I know you’re tired. I know you’re trying to invest in your family, but you’re just really lonely and really in need of a friend. You’ve tried to reach out but it seems like no one needs another friendship. It’s hard to initiate, and sometimes you just wish someone would call you up and invite you and your kids over to spend time together. You feel like you don’t have the strength to do anymore, but you need something.

Let me say this first: God hears you.

He hears you and sees into your heart and He knows the broken and lonely places. He knows your longings, and He knows about your weariness. He hears you and He cares, so don’t stop crying out to Him. He is not ignoring your cries, so you keep praying and asking Him for a friend and/or a mentor to walk alongside you.

This is a trial for you, and I want to tell you to hang on to Him. Hang on for dear life and trust Him through this hardship. You will get through it. You will.

Next, write down a list of people you’d like to get together with, or get to know. Perhaps they are from your neighborhood or your church, or someone you met in the grocery store, or even online. Invite them into your home for coffee. It doesn’t have to be a big deal, you don’t have to clean like crazy and make sure everything is just right. Make it comfortable enough, and then leave it alone. It’s okay if you’re two-year old is getting into everything, and someone is fighting with someone else, this is real life. But at least you’ve reached out and invited someone into the real. And you know what, it’s okay to put on a movie for the babes while you talk with a friend. It’s okay to strap said two-year old into a highchair with a snack while you and your friend chat at the table. It’s okay.

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This is me with my friend Logan. Logan lives in South Carolina!

But here’s the hardest part: you’ve got to get uncomfortable. What I mean is, you’ve to be willing to push past your fears and exhaustion if you want a friendship.

If you get invited to spend time with other people, go. Make the time, find a way. My husband and I have taken the leap to travel to see friends we met online.

Find a local church that has a weekly bible study that offers childcare. I attended my church’s bible study this past year and it was so good for me to get out with other women, and my children loved the time they had in childcare (mainly because they’re with me all the time and loved getting away with other kids!).

One more idea: Invite a family over for an easy pizza dinner with paper plates! It’s a no fuss, easy way to get together with other people. Or hey, it’s summer time, have a cookout and invite the neighbors. Hot dogs are cheap and easy as well, and the kids can play outside!

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And these sweet friends? Indiana!

The truth is, friendships take work and time, and there is really no other way around it. My best advice is to keep things laid back and honest. Don’t try and prepare a feast with real plates and a perfectly clean home when you have little ones underfoot. Keep it simple. Let life breathe.

And remember this, while you think no one else is looking for a friend, or that people already have established friendships, I promise you there are tons of women who feel exactly like you do, and I bet they’re in your town, your church, your neighborhood. Don’t assume. Reach out in faith.

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Here I am with my mentor Sally, who lives in Colorado! As you can see, our family travels all over the U.S. together to be with friends.

Friend, this season will not last forever. It gets easier! Your kids grow older, you get less tired (sleeping through the night, yay!), and you are able to do more. You will have more energy, you will have more time. Hang in there!

You are never alone,

Sarah Mae

Related: How Do I Find a Mentor?

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  • grandbaskets

    Oh, how I needed to hear this Sarah! I struggle with wanting to spend time with other families but yet I stay within my own comfortable barriers. One family reached out to us recently and invited us for Sunday lunch where she served it on paper plates and it was GREAT! It was wonderful and we enjoyed the fellowship so much!
    I put so much self-imposed pressure on myself and end up doing nothing! Time for change.

    Blessings,
    Shan
    The-How-to-Guru.com

  • busyturtle

    About 6 years ago, two family’s that were close friends moved away. I have been crying out to God ever since. This morning I was talking to Him about my lack of local friends once again.We live in an area that is difficult to penetrate the ‘extended family tie’ boundaries of individuals. God impressed on my heart to sign in to read my blog roll. Your post was an answer to my prayer this morning. We traveled a lot while I homeschooled~visiting friends all over the world. Now that the kids are in college, and one with a health challenge that developed about two years ago, we have not been “going” as often. The loneliness has developed into depression, and I fight it regularly. I have stepped out of my comfort zone and invited friends for a lunch date or tea. It happens~but then falls flat, as they get involved with their extended family~with no time for ‘outsiders’~ so I lament. You have given me the courage to try again…

  • Mich

    Beautiful post! Thanks so much, Sarah Mae! God bless you!

  • Andrea Trautman

    This. I needed this. It has been my struggle for 7 months…

  • lizbarber

    Sarah, thank you so much for writing this. I needed to hear this and be reminded once more that I need to get “uncomfortable” reach out of my comfort zone and embrace friendship with others. It so easy to live life in my bubble but I know that I desperately need friendships in my life. The older I get the harder it seems to reach out and invest in friendships…wish it wasn’t that way.

  • Bec Mullaney

    I’ve tried and tried again. Recently I’ve decided to just shrug, take a people break, and concentrate just on my home and family. Nearly 10 months ago I delivered a stillborn daughter and it turns out people don’t know what to do with that and have all but stopped talking to me….it’s interesting and quite lonely. But, for now, I remind myself the quiet is sometimes good and needed.

    • katwildflower

      Bec, I am so sorry for your loss. I could say that I know how you feel, but I don’t. I lost a baby at 13 weeks, but it is not the same thing and I feel for you. I do however know your loneliness. I am in an unhappy marriage. Not awful or abusive, so I’m not leaving, but certainly not loving or nurturing. It’s really hard to make friends who want to talk about their husbands and marriages when I don’t want to share my heartache. Yes, maybe quiet and prayer are our only answers.

      • Stephanie Baker

        I’m so sorry that you are in an unhappy marriage. I have been there and done that….almost ended in divorce. I was blessed to have found a Christian counselor to talk to….he suggested a book for me to read….which as I opened the pages I was so mad cause I felt like the counselor was saying it was all my fault, but as I continued through the book the Lord was also working in my husbands life. We had separated, living in separate homes, and he finally opened the Bible I had bought him years ago and found the exact verses about how he should be treating his wife and child. So with God’s help we were able to mend our marriage and when we let Jesus back into our life amazing things happen. Total forgiveness and all the hurts were nearly forgotten as if they had happened to someone else. The book that we read was “Love and Respect” by Dr Emerson Eggerich. I highly recommend it to everyone. It’s Biblically based so that is even better. I pray for your healed marriage! Hang in there sister!

    • Angela

      Bec, my heart breaks for you losing your daughter! :’( I am so sorry. I had an early missed miscarriage in August. I still hurt over it. I so want friends, but I’ve found the encouragement from people online to help a lot. Please come visit me on my blog and maybe we can be friends? http://www.retrofarmwife.blogspot.com
      Merry Christmas! You’re not alone! ~Angela

    • Jen

      Oh Bec, the heart ache you must have over not just losing a child but facing a life you didn’t plan or ask for. A life that doesn’t have your child and now it seems your friends in it too. I lost my 5 month old son, Eli on 10/25/12. So many friends didn’t know what to say and literally disappeared from my life. But then God did the unexpected, new friends came. Ones that understood, took my anger and loved me anyway. There is hope Bec! Be ready when God sends someone your way, it will be unexpected. Share your heart, share the love you had for your child.

  • Aimee

    You know it is just as lonely on the single woman side of the coin. I don’t know why but most married people associate together. You know what I would love to talk to people who are married with children and have a crazy household. The reason being as a single 29 yr old who doesn’t fit into any teen, youth, college and career group anymore and doesn’t have children so not active in children/mom’s ministry, I love the chaos. My home is too quiet. So thankful for a mother who reached out and offered a friendship. I love her kids and love the noise. A useful article with tips for the other side. Consider reaching out to single women as well. I am glad someone finally did, an answer to prayer

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      Aimee, maybe you could write a post for me sometime?

    • Krystal Griffin

      Aimee, this is really interesting to me. I have been doing some thinking about that and why I’m so uncomfortable reaching out to the single crowd. Most single folks don’t seem lonely, they actually seem very busy and social. But things aren’t always what they seem, I know that. I would love to hear more from a single gal on this topic.

  • http://theheartofashley.blogspot.com/ Ashley Ditto

    I have prayed and prayed for friends, and I have recently seen God really work in my life with connections, and I am so thankful. We mom’s need it!

  • Ana from The Lost Apron

    You are so right. You need to be proactive. Read my post:

    http://www.thelostapron.com/2012/10/sahms-is-anyone-out-there.html

  • http://susandominikovich.blogspot.co.nz/ Susan Dominikovich

    Thank you for writing this. I was once on a mission to find that special someone–my kindred spirit–close by. As soon as I stopped trying, God said, “Good. Now see this woman here? (right under my nose) She is for you.” Very grateful! But also grateful for the kindred spirits I have across the globe. You’ve reminded me that just because they are far way doesn’t mean they aren’t exactly who I need. There is a time and a purpose for each one of those friendships and so I do value and nurture them.

  • Matt M

    There are a lot of apps that have tried to make meeting new mom friends nearby easier. http://www.familygroups.org looks the most promising.