Remembering everyone’s schedule is different: Back when we all had babes in arms between maternity leave and high-earning husbands we were all SAHMs, but eventually some moms have to work, some moms want to work, and some moms just plain have other stuff going on. Just because a mom goes back to work or gets super involved in the PTA or has a high-needs or medically fragile child doesn’t mean she no longer wants to hang. Translation: Don’t schedule everything on a weekday morning.
Being the babysitter: Once in a while, that is. Commit to actually exchanging sits instead of just offering them. If everyone is getting a little child-free time, whether it’s to run errands during the week or for an evening out, whole families are happier. If you want to make it official, websites like https://www.babysitterexchange.com can get you started forming a babysitting co-op for local moms.
Planning outings and events in advance: Surprise parties are fun for everyone except moms who are notoriously busy and scheduled down to the minute. While not everything can be scheduled in advance most things can be and should be if you want to make sure the SAHMs, working moms, volunteering moms, and otherwise heavily scheduled moms can all make it.
Starting a monthly wine night: One of my mom friends did this and I will be forever grateful to her for suggesting it and then hosting the first ever one. Getting together with the kids is fun, of course, but after you’re interrupted five times while trying to listen to a single sentence it’s pretty clear why the mommies’ night out concept was invented. Don’t drink wine? Make it a monthly hockey/art/movie/etc. night.
Using technology: You say you don’t email? Start emailing. You don’t use Facebook? If every local mom you love is on Facebook, suck it up and create an account. The technology you’ve been avoiding could just help you keep in touch.
Listening without judging: Make your mom tribe a drama-free zone. Seriously. Everyone in your circle of friends should be able to open up without worrying that her tale of woe is going to become the next coffee klatch discussion topic. Gossip is fun but leave it behind at the supermarket magazine rack. Angelina Jolie doesn’t care what you think of her; your mom friends do. Make sure they know they can come to you with any problem and you’ll keep it on the DL.
Now mamas, you tell me: what do you wish your local mom friends would do for you? What do you wish you were doing more of for them?