How Not to Make Mom Friends

Family Matters on 04.22.11
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Making friends with other mothers and finding the right playgroup are two of the most important tasks you will encounter as a parent (obviously!)...maybe in your entire life!...so it's important to get them right.

For friendships that will last until your children begin their Ivy League educations or even walk down the aisle together, follow these tried-and-true tips for interacting with new mom friends. Other moms are always on the lookout for an overbearing, nagging, and cloying new bestie! Follow these simple guidelines and that BFF can be you! 

1. Call first thing in the morning -- every morning!
Everyone needs a dependable friend. Be consistent, be persistent and be sure to be your new mom friend's FIRST phone call EACH day. Remember how well this worked with that gorgeous guy your cousin set you up with in college? (Or it would have, if his phone number hadn't suddenly changed - stupid phone company error!) Also, text her constantly with important 911 emergencies, such as which burrito to order or when you're out of conditioner.

2. Take a stand! 
No one likes someone who is too weak and accepting of others, and it's important to let your views on important parenting issues be known and understood. Whatever your side in the SAHM vs. working mom, cloth vs. disposable, breastfeeding vs. formula debates, be as opinionated as possible. If your new friends have different views, it's essential to the new friendships to explain why a conversion to your way of parenting is necessary at once.

3. Ask to borrow things! 
Win over your new mom friend by complimenting her new sweater, favorite jeans (she's always wearing them and really needs to rotate that wardrobe), and those chic strappy sandals by asking to borrow them immediately. She will completely appreciate your endorsement of her good taste! Show you admire her mind as well by requesting to read that book she has on her nightstand or new magazine she just got in the mail. Don't return them right away, lest she think you don't like them!

4. Whenever possible, quote your husband!
Sometimes it's tough to be the bearer of even the most helpful advice to mommy friends, so it's useful to invoke the name of your better half when dispensing pearls of wisdom. Starting sentences with "Mitch thinks" or "Jason says" will ensure that your suggestions are well-received. Be sure to let your friends know that you have filled your hubby in on every detail she's shared with you!

5. Break bread together!
Those playdates and meetups moms plan between meals and naptimes are so passé. Real friends share meals. When you arrive for a 10 a.m. playdate at another mom's home, always come hungry and make sure your child has an appetite too. Do not bring hostess gifts of bagels or even little dispensers of Cheerios in your diaper bag, as you may insult your friend's ability to serve her guests. Be as specific as possible in your meal and snack requests, so your friend has the opportunity to show off her hosting skills. For late afternoon playdates, hang around as long as possible -- your friend is secretly hoping you and your child will stay for dinner!

6. If they're pregnant or adopting, suggest names for their babies! 
State with authority your favorite names and ones that you believe will flow nicely with your friends' "awkward last names." Let them know that you believe they'll finally get it right with their second kid, with your help. If a friend mentions she's leaning towards names that reflect her and her husband's Latino heritage, e-mail her lists of your top names of Latin origin, especially if you yourself are not Latina.

7. Cancel often. It's like playing hard to get!
If you want to be make mommy friendships that will last FOREVER, it's important to be a little elusive at first. A good way to do this is by canceling playdates at the last minute, especially if they are to be held at your house. Don't be too sweet or apologetic when you call things off, a curt "Too bad, so sad" is all that is warranted for maximum Best Friends Forever effect. However, don't let your child's illnesses be a reason to reschedule plans. Hacking coughs, green boogers and raging fevers should not get in the way of your ability to socialize, plus, you'll be helping boost your friends' children's immune systems!

Armed with these tips, your budding friendships with fellow moms are sure to move to the next level!

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