Homeschool mommies are a special breed. I know. I’m one of them. But we are women and we need friends. Since friendships are primarily a matter of circumstance, we need friends that are going to run in our circles, cross our paths, and inevitably spend time together. We need Homeschool Mommy Friends.
I am a social butterfly with many, many friends (a whopping 178 Facebook friends) So of course being the amazing awesome person I am I am going to share all of my friend-making secrets in this step-by-step plan so you too can be the epi-center of an active friend circle.
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Step One: Get Prepared
When you’re on the friendship prowl you absolutely must get prepared. Most homeschoolers connect through social media, so you need to get yours ready to sell yourself. Remember, you’re trying to attract female friends, and women can be judgey. Let’s get started. Change your profile picture. Make it something intriguing, interesting, and mysterious. Show just enough of yourself to prove you are a real person, but not enough to show how really hot or hot mess you are. Leave a little something to the imagination.
While you’re logged in, go ahead and rewrite your public bio. Here’s mine:
Married Mom of 4 seeking friends’ circle of 4-5 women. I am 32 (again) and prefer friends that are within that general age range of “Young Hot Thing” and “Resigned.” Must enjoy long talks in loud environments where children are most certainly screaming, arguing, and possibly fighting. Must engage in sarcastic commentary during educational classes and field trips or just in general. Occasional evenings out required, but last minute cancellations due to one or more puking family members must be accepted. Open conversations about vaginas, sex, problems with parenting and/or being a wife, the stupidity of dieting and exercise while also being on a diet and exercise plan are required, but politics, religion, parenting styles, vaccinations, GMO foods vs. organic foods, and whether or not Ross and Rachel were actually on a break are hot topics and will be approached with caution or avoided altogether. No perfect Nancies because I am a hot mess and I need someone that can compliment that.
There is no Match.com for homeschool moms so we have to create our ad, and social media is our platform.
Step Two: Stalk Your Options
Every good friendship begins with stalking your options. (Don’t you love social media and its ability to allow us to anonymously stalk people? Yeah. Me too.) Troll those Facebook groups and check out other people’s profiles. Even if you can’t see their profile entirely you can see mutual friends, pages liked, groups, and profile pictures. Check out their posts and comments in mutual groups to get an idea of their general attitude. You can also check out their other social media accounts if you really want to know about them. Instagram is a good one for really seeing what a person is interested in. Do they have 50,000 pictures of their ugly cat or are they constantly posting spiritual memes?
I believe in in-person contact. Friendships can (and do) happen without ever meeting in person, but that face-to-face contact will mean a stronger and longer lasting friendship in the end. To stalk someone in person is not as easy as through social media so you have to be more stealthy. Fortunately, no matter how large the area or homeschool groups, there are only so many resources so chances are your prospective friend won’t be suspicious that you just happen to show up to the same 9 out of 10 events. But just for stealth, skip that one event. You will have the opportunity during these mutual events to observe: Is this potential mom friend interesting? Is she a hot mess? How many kids does she have? Are any of your kids interacting with any of her kids?
Step Three: The Mom Date
Ok. She’s interesting enough. Just the right mix of perfectly normal mom and total hot mess. At least one pair of your kids has managed to tolerate each other. You don’t want to poke your eyeballs out being around her. It’s time to take this friendship to the next level.
Ask her out on the Mom Date.
A mom date can be pretty intimidating, but don’t stress. This is the natural next step in your relationship. If you are bold, just ask her to a playdate, coffee date, or out for drinks. By this point, you’ve stalked her enough to know that she’d be down for something. If you’re feeling super shy, that’s ok too. The quickest way to lock that homeschool mom in is through…. wait for it…. homeschooling. Ask if she’ll show you her curriculum or do a unit study with you or a class or just a trip to the library or museum. This Mom Date is your real opportunity to get to know this mom. Can she handle your hot mess-ness? And more importantly does she balance you with some hot mess-ness of her own?
Step Four: Have THAT Moment
You’ve hung out a few times. You’ve engaged in some pretty awesome GIF conversations. You totally don’t hate her. It’s time to cross that line from “casual homies” to “best bitches.” Really. It’s the moment you’ve been building up to. It’s time to reach… Friend Nirvana. So get down to it.
Let’s get serious for a minute. This is the probably the most challenging step. You’re going to have to put yourself out there. Let your crazy really show. I know it’s scary, but if she can’t accept your crazy then she’s probably not the friend for you. And you definitely don’t want to wait until the crazy rears its ugly head out of the blue. Set up a more controlled environment. Choose a comfortable setting and a time when shit can get real.
Be ready to accept her crazy too. If you’ve calculated this moment carefully then she’s going to be primed to expose her inner self too. This is the time when you truly emotionally connect. Word of caution: This is the moment when the two of you share your truths, but no one wants a friend that is always waving their crazy flag like a badge of honor. Those friends can be exhausting.
There’s no set timeline for when this step should happen. It will be different for all of us.
Step Five: Enjoy Friendship Nirvana… Until It’s Gone
I’d like to say that all of this hard work led up to a BFF (best friend forever), but the reality is that we are adults and our lives and circumstances change. Kids go back to school. Spouses’ jobs get transferred to other states. New babies come and throw a whole new dynamic to life. Any number of things happen to change our current lives and with those changes friends must change. Don’t dwell on the “when this is over” but rather the present right now. This is your BFFN (best friend for now) and she is worth your time and effort. Enjoy the connection you have with her. Share your truths and let her share hers. Be in the moment with your friendship. And when that time comes, whether it’s a month or ten years down the line, you can walk away with a sense that you have touched someone else’s heart and they have touched yours.
One more word of advice. For some people, having just one BFFN at a time is all they can handle, but for many of us, we can handle more. I personally have a tribe of women that I love and adore dearly. I need a whole tribe. I need my BFFN that will go workout with me and my BFFN that loves to go out and have a drink with me. I need a BFFN that I can carry on snarky conversations strictly via GIF’s with and my BFFN that lets me call my kids assholes on particularly bad days and she never judges me. I need a BFFN that needs me to be a light in her life and pull her out of the depths of depression and that BFFN that will let me cry on her shoulder when my depression overcomes me. Sometimes these BFFN’s are the same people and sometimes they are not. Having a tribe means that when one BFFN isn’t available for me, I have another I can call. I need a tribe because, for me, there’s never just one person that can fulfill all of my friendship needs. And when one friendship ends, I am not struggling to find another while left with that emptiness.
Women need one another. We need one another because that double X chromosome makes us think in more complicated and emotional ways that was left off of the coding of the Y chromosome. We have vaginas and breasts that have special needs and special problems that men don’t really understand. We are dealing with spouses and children and dreams and desires and issues and problems that really only other women can relate to. There’s no reason we should ever feel alone. Not when there are so many wonderful women we can share our experiences with.
I’ll leave you with one more thought… The relationships we build in our lives set the examples for the relationships our children will build in their lives. Be an example that you hope your children will follow.