Watch your kid on the playground…and Wahla! It’s Magic...Understand humans a whole heck of a lot more. Added benefit of this social exercise – realize that the craving for connection is universal and that you are not only needed in this world, but your friendship is highly desired!

Desired just as you are, too.

Yes, contrary to what you may have told yourself, someone is out there, going about their day (acting cool-casual) but specifically looking to meet your imperfectly perfect self.

It’s really as simple as that. 

As summer is now officially open for business, and “Park Life” is in full swing, it recently became apparent to me that you can see SO much from the lens of a helicopter parent from a “casually cool” distance! This vantage point of spying on your kid in social situations is similar to the concept that you can better see the inner workings of a play unfold when watching a football game from the nosebleed section.

What I concluded about the process of making friends isn’t necessarily a groundbreaking discovery. It’s just that over time I think we, as adults, have forgotten how to keep things simple and channel our inner child. 

So, without further ado – here are seven things I learned by watching my children this week as they braved summer camps and new environments:


  1. You are the cool one. Remember that!


This is HUUUGE! I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to shout this fact out to my little one as he looked extremely timid approaching a playground or a splash pad full of kids. I kept thinking to myself – “if only he knew how ridiculously amazing he was!”

…Which led me to ponder –  I wonder how many times in life I have felt shy or unsure about approaching a group of women without remembering that I am amazing.


  1. Rejection isn’t always intentional.


This was another big realization. When I recently told a friend about my son facing rejection at the playground, she asked me “what exactly does rejection look like for a 5-year-old?” I explained to her that it really was anything but cringeworthy. In fact, it was so dang innocent.

I watched my son attempt to strike up a conversation with another child, and then watched the kid walk away from him, completely uninterested in what he was saying. However, when watching this scene unfold from a distance, I was able to see how the cold shoulder had absolutely nothing to do with my son not being liked. It just was a matter of timing. The kid was engrossed in his own world in the moment.

I thought to myself – how many times is it like that for us as busy moms? I’ve caught myself a lot this year saying, “not my season for all that.”

Sometimes in life it’s as simple as that. It’s a busy time for you and your family, and maybe it’s not your season for making friends or even for being a great friend! And that’s ok! Your mental health and peace needs to be a priority. Good for you mama for recognizing that you can’t do it all, and that sometimes you need to take a step back and take care of yourself.   

But please remember this example when you feel like that other mom has zero interest in getting to know you, and please remember it when you feel the sting of a good friend ghosting you.  

It has nothing to do with you not being liked and has everything to do with timing. Period.


  1. Sometimes you have to make the first move.


This was definitely the underlying theme many times. 

I watched my son enter a splash pad full of kids, quietly walking around waiting to be approached. He was so shy but also hopeful! 

Bless his heart…he even got wet before he was truly ready to be cold, as a way to get closer to a group of boys – hoping they would say hi and speak to him. I sat back and watched him continue to make a shy loop around the pad, only to eventually feel defeated and walk away to sit in the grass by himself.

As his mom-cheerleader, I used the situation as a teachable moment and encouraged him to get back out there and make the first move. He looked scared but trusted me. And I’m proud to say, after a little pep talk, he went out there and did it! Which brings me to my next tid-bit.


  1. Find a common interest to break the ice.


When my son bravely re-entered the splash pad, he saw another kid wearing a Batman t-shirt. He walked straight up to him and said, “My favorite superhero is Spiderman.” And just like that, in that moment, a conversation between two five-year-olds began!


  1. Be yourself.


I am a huge believer in this one!

The world is a big enough place with so many people in it that there is absolutely NO reason to not live authentically. I tell my children all the time – just be yourself! The right people will come along and love you for who you are! Never compromise who you are just to please someone else, because that will ultimately leave you feeling empty inside.

To quote a fellow blogger, Kelli Bachera from, “There’s a difference between loving people and pleasing them…I’ve made the mistake of believing that in order to make someone feel loved by me, I must agree with them. And in order to be loved, I must please them. It’s a BIG mistake to make. This resulted in me sacrificing my morals to please others. Or change who I am because they weren’t comfortable with the authentic me.”  

If you haven’t found your people yet, don’t give up. Just keep looking. They are out there!


  1. You only need one!


Ahh, cue the age-old saying Quality over Quantity!

When watching my son do his thing on the playground, it became apparent to me that he only needed one friend!

Once he successfully connected with another child, I could officially open my book and relax. Because the rest was history. I knew they would stay happily occupied playing together until his newfound bestie would have to leave the park and go home for lunch.

This was a good life-lesson reminder. When lonely, it only takes one interaction to turn your day around or pick up your mood. Also, one good friend is really all you need when in search of connection!


  1. Take a deep breath and just go for it. You have nothing to lose! Don’t miss out on life because you are scared.


Last but not least, sometimes you just have to take a deep breath, put yourself out there, and go for it.

Yes, it can be scary to attend a Moms group outing, or maybe it even feels slightly annoying to have to attend one of those Moms’ Nights Out organized by your child’s school, because really, WHO HAS TIME FOR THAT!?

…But when you stop and think about it: you have absolutely nothing to lose. And just think about how that one friend you might meet could be your person.

So my best advice is to not hide out for too long. Get out there, mama. Lead by example.

Remember It Takes a Village!

Be confident. Be courageous. And go find yours!