How to Make New Friends

Do you have enough friends – most likely, you spend more time worrying about whether your kids are making friends than whether you have enough friends.  A woman’s friends can change her life. They support you when you’re down and they help lift you up. Studies have shown that women with strong friendships live longer. They certainly laugh more. Yet making friends when you’re a mom can be extremely challenging.  So how do you do it?  Read here for some more tips.

#1 The Challenges of Making New Friends

Many moms live a giving existence. They give 100% of their life to their children and family. This of course leaves very little time, or energy, to take care of themselves. If you’re working full time, or even part time, then not only is there no time to make friends, there’s just no energy left. Your family and career take priority. Finally, it can be difficult to find women who share the same interests and outlook. It’s often difficult to meet people.

So how do you do it? How do you meet people and make friends?

#2 Do What You Love

The best place to meet like-minded people is to follow your heart. Do what you love and you’ll meet others along the way. For example, if you enjoy knitting then take knitting classes, teach them, or join a knitting group. You’ll meet other women who share the same passion.

#3 Volunteer

Volunteering is one of the best ways to meet truly wonderful people. And you don’t have to make it a huge commitment. Volunteer once a month at your church, child’s school, or even at the local hospital or animal shelter. You’ll meet people and maybe make a few good friends.

#4 Join, Get Out, and Get Active

What are you interested in? What do you want to learn, do, or experience? Make a list and start ticking items off of that list. For example, maybe you want to learn to rock climb or you want to start running. Get out and start doing those things. You’ll meet people along the way who share the same interests and experiences. Connect with them. Reach out and start conversations.

#5 Be Neighborly

Your next best friend may live down the street. They may be a neighbor. Start connecting with people in your community. Attend neighborhood events. Join neighborhood groups and connect with the people around you.

#6 Reaching Out

Putting yourself out there is the first step. Once you’ve put yourself in a position to meet people, the next step is to actually reach out to them. That means introducing yourself. It also means being someone who shows genuine interest. Ask questions when you’re meeting people. Listen to their answers. And finally, invite people to do things. For example, if you’re at the rock climbing gym taking a group lesson, suggest that a few of you go out for coffee, happy hour or set up an outside rock climbing adventure. Take initiative.

Making friends can take a bit of time and courage. It also takes persistence to maintain the friendships. However, it’s well worth the effort. There’s nothing better than being able to turn to your friends in times of need. Sharing joy, tears, and laughter with friends really is the best medicine.


How to Better Understand Your Teen

Reality to Teen?  Do you ever feel that your teen is from another planet? They speak a language you don’t know. They have interests that you’ve never heard of and just don’t understand. It’s a common phenomenon. Teenagers are weird.

That being said, they’re your teenagers and there are steps you can take to get closer to them, to better understand them.

#1 Ask Questions and Listen

The first step to understanding your teen is to ask questions. Now there’s a strategy here. Many teens give yes/no answers when you ask them a question. The trick is to do it when they’re more likely to open up. Driving in the car seems to be a good time, assuming they don’t have their iPod blasting music in their little ears.

When you ask questions, make sure to listen to the answers – even if you don’t understand half of the words they’re using. It’s okay to ask for clarification. As you’re listening, take mental notes. They’ll come in handy in the next step.

#2 Google It!

If you have no idea what your child is talking about, Google it. Google the things they express interest in, the people, and even the language they use. The Urban Dictionary can be incredibly useful. For example, “Feels” – A wave of emotions that sometimes cannot be adequately explained. “Watching Back to the Future gives me all sorts of nostalgic feels.”

#3 Eavesdrop

Seriously, one of the best ways to better understand your teen is to listen in on their conversations. True, most of their conversations are via text message so listening in on those conversations is impossible. However, you can snag their cell phone from time to time and scan through the text messages.

If that feels too invasive, try to be around them when they’re with their friends. Attend events with them. Volunteer to drive them and their friends to events. And encourage them to invite their friends over.

#4 Get Involved

Start taking an active interest in your teen’s interests. For example, if they’re involved in the local drama club then volunteer to help out with the club. If they are active online and have their own YouTube channel, then by all means watch that channel but also watch the other YouTubers that your child follows.

#5 Relax

Each generation has their own trends, language, and interests. Guaranteed, when you were a teenager your parents thought you were from another planet as well. It’s the way of the world. It’s okay to not be able to completely relate with your teenager. In fact, it’s normal.

Do what you can to connect with them. Let them know that you’re interested in their lives and then relax. You don’t need to be a friend with your teenager, nor do you need to share the same interests. It’s enough to let them know that you care.


Is Volunteering Worth It?

household budgets

Is volunteering worth the cost?

Is volunteering worth it…or would you (and the organization) be better off if you just gave money? As a RichMama you know I spend a lot of time micro managing my budget – so that you don’t have to – my goal is to find those unobvious (and obvious money sinks) and find ways to plug them.

And I recently realized that my good works were costing me money – way more money than I thought. Now I fully believe in giving time and money to worthy causes – from national organizations for diseases to more home grown ones like historic preservation and education. After all both of these causes are important – since I have kids and I live where I live because of its “charm”.

As a result of my dedication I have been asked, in recent years to head committees, join boards – in effect become more involved. I have met more people, had fun, planned cool things and raised money. In addition to my time I also made out right cash donations.

But as I counted those up – they seemed reasonnable – but still I felt like something was slipping through my fingers – I realized the hidden costs of being a volunteer…

– Babysitting, snacks and extra obligations
As a super volunteer, I was often asked to attend planning meetings and work at events…in many cases, I had to hire a babysitter in order to meet these commitments…(at about $60 a pop, with 1-2 meetings a month…)

As a super volunteer, I often brought refreshments to meetings to make it more fun – an app, a bottle of wine – (figure about $15-20 a pop 1-2 meetings month…)

Extras – donating anything from ribbons, to streamers to envelopes to tapes and markers – little things that somehow add up – $20 a month

Guess what my volunteering costs were close to $200 a month – not to mention the money I donated outright.

And then it hit me… wouldn’t it be better to split the difference – and give myself back a whole lot of time too (not to mention cost).

If gave the charity half of my volunteering costs they would see way more money and I would have way more money in my budget…for whatever…
I would have more time with my family or for myself…

But what does a charity need more — volunteers or cash. Are my time commitments priceless? Or is giving time better left for those without the obligations of young children, jobs, businesses, etc?

What do you think?