How do you make friends when the only chance you have to talk to her is in the church hallway, your two year old tugging and screaming, ‘Our car! Home!’, her newborn strapped on & squawking and four year old shooting water from the fountain?

How do you make friends  when you work a full day, either behind a desk or chasing children?

How do you make friends when you have to choose between couch time with your husband or girls night out?

How do you make friends when the next morning is going to come at 3am because your kidlets don’t sleep all night?

How do you make friends when you run in for a coffee and your guts twist at seeing a book club gathered, and you haven’t read a non-board book in three years?

How do you make friends when the thought of inviting women into your home makes your heart palpitate? When hosting doesn’t come naturally to you? When your plates are chipped and don’t match your mugs and your dishwasher is on the fritz? When your home is less-than-ideal for a group to gather, you don’t have enough parking, your floors full of dog hair?

How do you make friends when you are afraid? 

Sister, I don’t pretend to know. These questions all come from me because these questions all belong to me. Me – the girl who has made ‘welcome’ her 2014 theme. Yikes. I hunger for real and deep friendships, built over time together. I don’t know how they possibly made time to know one another, how they are physically able to gather regularly.

Here’s what I do know: to make friends, you have to fight. You claw at the uphill battles of time, fear, dog hair. You gouge out time, you face fear, you pull out the vacuum =) You pick up the phone with trembling hands and send the invitation. You set the table with your chipped china and serve crackers (and maybe wine) right out of the box because hospitality isn’t about the food.

You let your four year old shoot water

You let your four year old shoot water from the fountain while you chat with a friend because water will dry up and so will souls.

Fighting for friendship while mothering is imperative because we need each other. We need each others stories to make us feel less alone, we need each others hands to physically help carry the load, we need to lean on and learn from each other, and we need to drink deep to prevent drying up.

I am not good at making friends. I prefer to skip small talk and dive in, and that freaks people out. I am usually afraid I look like I’m showing off (while I’m actually quaking in my boots). I have a tendency to overshare. I get jealous of others outings but don’t initiate any of my own. So here are a few things I HAVE to keep in mind, for myself:

When I’ve accepted an invitation: when I’ve carved out time, chosen the girls night out, been invited somewhere… I drink deep. Turn the ringer up then put my phone away. Don’t call home to check in or say good night. Just, simply, enjoy.

When I’m extending the invitation: starting a book study at church, hosting a dinner in my home, initiating a play date… I must be brave. They may say no, and it doesn’t mean it’s because of me. Straighten my home but don’t deep clean. Light a  candle and play some good music. Then breathe and just, simply, enjoy.

These little things truly do help, but readers, I want to know:

How do YOU, your very own self, make friends? What are your roadblocks? What little helpful ideas do you have?

{girl with blog}

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