I Intentionally Sought Out a Diverse Group of Mom Friends—Here’s How It’s Changing My Life and Perspective

mom friends"
mom friends
Source: Felicia Lasala for The Everygirl
Source: Felicia Lasala for The Everygirl

When I discovered I was pregnant with my first daughter, I believed I was ready for almost anything that could come my way. I had seemingly devoured every book on sleeping, various parenting styles, daycares, feeding, which toys to purchase, and an endless list of other topics. However, one thing that I was extremely unprepared for and also taken aback by was the harsh reality of forming and maintaining mom friendships. Especially when you value the importance of a diverse friend group.

In my dreams of motherhood, I envisioned having a village—a group of close friends, all with children of similar ages, meeting at coffee shops and random play gyms. What they don’t tell you about having a village is that, first, you have to find it… and that can seem like a daunting task. However, after realizing that seeking out your village isn’t an inconvenience but an opportunity, my approach to forming my village brought some of the best women into my life.

As an antiracist mom residing in a more affluent, less diverse area, I understood that I would need to actively incorporate the values I’m teaching at home into my daily life and social circle. I knew that the typical way of meeting people in my neighborhood might not lead to a diverse group of moms. So, I turned to the platform that provides access to the world at your fingertips—Instagram. I began intentionally seeking out moms, particularly other small creators, who lived in the area with diverse backgrounds, professions, racial identities, and perspectives. Over a little more than a year later, I feel like my village is solid and continuously expanding.

Here is how this diverse friend group of moms is changing my life and perspective.

importance of a diverse friend group
Source: ColorJoy Stock

Building a community takes trial and error

After intentionally seeking out moms on Instagram through direct messages and commenting on their posts, I encountered varied responses. Some moms were super open to the possibility of a stranger wanting to meet up with them and become friends, while others wanted nothing to do with the idea. I think it took a few well-crafted messages to finally get the “Yes.” After a couple of women responded yes, we decided that we should meet for dinner (kid-free). After a few minutes of nervous laughter and small talk, we really just began to get real about our struggles, vulnerable about our lives and what we needed in a friend group. 

It didn’t happen overnight; in fact, there’s a running joke about ‘how long does it take a group of moms with eight children split between them to meet up?’ The answer ranges from three days to three months. Regardless of how long it takes us to meet up as a group, we’ve nurtured these friendships to form a community. Our gatherings now include introducing our kids to each other and partners (if we have one), and our group chat has become an everyday place to express our struggles, joys, and connections as mothers. It took some trial and error, but the end result is what makes the process of forming a community so beautiful.

Diversity exists in many forms—especially in mom groups

Realizing that diversity exists in many forms, especially within mom groups, is essential. When the term ‘diversity’ is mentioned, it’s often associated solely with outward appearance. When I expressed my desire for a ‘diverse group of mom friends,’ many assumed I simply meant I wanted moms who looked like me—Black women. However, this assumption couldn’t be further from the truth. I didn’t want to superficially select friends of different races just to fulfill a diversity quota. When I referred to a diverse group, I meant diverse in race, socio-economic background, family structure, location, and even in thinking. True diversity allows for learning from varied perspectives, understanding different lived experiences, and teaching our children to embrace the humanity within others’ experiences.

True diversity allows for learning from varied perspectives, understanding different lived experiences, and teaching our children to embrace the humanity within others’ experiences.

Understanding the importance of surrounding myself with women who looked different from me, including those from diverse cultural backgrounds, was only the beginning. I discovered that there are countless differences among mothers, each offering unique perspectives that deeply impact our motherhood journeys. These differences range from parenting philosophies to the challenges faced by working moms versus stay-at-home moms (though it’s important to recognize that all moms work, even if not paid). These differences have helped me define my values and broaden my perspectives. The beauty of diversity lies in its ability to expose us to new ideas, feelings, and thoughts that we wouldn’t encounter otherwise. Exploring these differences within a supportive community of other mothers has truly changed my life.

Mom friends who affirm your child’s identity are the best mom friends

I wouldn’t be telling the truth if I didn’t confess that usually when I enter a space designed to connect moms, especially in a neighborhood that doesn’t always reflect the world around us, I have a guard up. I’m always careful about the people I expose my daughters to when they don’t have as many little ones that look like them. Around this age, they can notice the lack of similarities their peers display, whether in skin tone or hair texture. If there’s one thing I’m adamant about, it’s that they will not be made to feel othered or tokenized in spaces I’m present in.

It’s why we spend hours upon hours each week affirming their identity. We tell them that their skin is beautiful, their hair is beautiful, their culture is loved and deserves to be celebrated. So, when I’m around other moms, I do get nervous that my daughters won’t feel that same affirmation. Surprisingly, when I found my group of mom friends, I was able to express this very clearly, and not only did we realize that we needed to affirm all of our children’s identities, but we also needed to open up the space for us as mothers to be affirmed in our identities within and outside of motherhood.

So now, the women in my life celebrate my daughters. They celebrate their hair, remind them of their beauty and intelligence, ask questions on how to be better allies, and how to show up for all of our children. That type of support comes from being around people who are willing to learn, offer their experiences, their emotions, and more. Sometimes, we can all feel differently about the same topic of conversation, but we can still cry together, laugh together, and make solutions for each other. That’s the type of village I dreamed of!

importance of a diverse friend group
Source: Canva

Parenting is done in community—especially antiracist parenting

Motherhood can sometimes feel like a silo, no matter what stage of life you’re in. Sometimes, I think by standing firm on my determination to raise my children in an antiracist household, I’ve siloed myself even more. When I tell people I am an antiracist parent, I get one of three reactions: A blank stare, a fading “Oh, that’s nice,” or an enthusiastic “Oh wow, tell me more.” All reactions lead to some sort of conclusion. Most of the time, it’s that people don’t really want to be surrounded by our family or learn about what we mean. I started to question if I would ever find my community and if it would be the right one.

After reaching out to several women on Instagram and getting a few responses back, meeting up with other moms has become a routine, and the friendships built have helped me rediscover my identity. Sometimes, community is meant to be built and cultivated because parenting should not be done alone. Although all of my mom friends didn’t come into the group as antiracist parents (and it was never my intention to make them become ones), they have helped me continue my journey. Even if they don’t understand everything I do, they always listen to my why and encourage me to stay rooted in that. Antiracist parenting at the root is about community care, and after building a community of amazing mothers, I get to care for them in all the ways they need and vice versa.

I always say to myself, “I can’t take my kids around the world just yet, but I can take them around the neighborhood.” That just means that there is so much culture, perspective, ideas, and things to be learned waiting to be explored within our very own communities, and it is beautiful in itself. Sometimes, making mom friends is hard; really, it should be a chapter in one of those thousands of parenting books. But building a community doesn’t have to be complicated. Once you find the right one, you become a better mother, a better version of yourself, and a better member of the community.

Not All Mom Friendships Are Created Equal—And That’s OK
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