When I was pregnant with my first kid, I read all the books about pregnancy and getting through the infant phase. Later, I spent hours scrolling through Instagram to learn about gentle parenting and potty training and (with my second kid) picky eating. But there was no literature—or good TV shows, TBH—about making mom friends. (Friends, Seinfeld, New Girl… lots of friendships, very few children.)
And it’s no surprise—making friends as an adult is hard. You’re busy (and tired)! I recently hung out with a friend after six months of planning… and they only live 5 miles away. Just the idea of hosting a dinner party and all the cleaning and shopping and prepping involved makes me feel like I need a nap. Add kids into the mix and it’s even harder—and so much messier (what? You don’t want to dine on Broccoli Littles on a table of Legos?)
That’s not to say that it’s impossible make friends as a parent… but if you want it to be a successful relationship then you’re going to want to look out for a ‘VAL Pal’. What exactly is that, you ask? It’s something I completely made up, but if you’re a mom, I’m fairly certain that you will 100 percent agree that it’s like hitting the parenting friend jackpot.
Basically, a VAL Pal is when the stars align and that very cool woman you met at the playground meets the following criteria: