How to Meet Mom Friends | Florence Romano | MomCave LIVE

We know you’ve heard the old saying it takes a village! But new moms often wonder, “Where is this village?” Wondering how to meet mom friends? Look no further!

Jen and author Florence Ann Romano discuss the importance of building a “village” of supportive relationships, particularly for mothers. They emphasize that building a village isn’t always easy, and it takes time and effort to find the right people who align with your values and personalities. Florence also stresses that having a full social calendar doesn’t necessarily mean you have the right people in your life, as the right people should “fill up your cup, not deplete it.” She shares her personal experience about how one of her best friendships was formed through a mutual friend and how she encourages readers to share their own stories of how they met their best mom friends.

Finding Mom Friends in Today’s World | Florence Romano | MomCave LIVE

Jen: Welcome to MomCave Live, where we may have lost our minds, but we haven’t lost our sense of humor. I’m Jen. And we’re here today with Florence Ann Romano. And we’ve got some fun stuff to talk about – How to Meet Mom Friends. Welcome, Florence.

Florence Ann Romano: I’m so happy to be here. Thanks for having me.

Jen: Florence has a book that’s about to come out any day now. Right?

Florence Ann Romano: February 21st. I dream about it at night, and get nervous. Then wake up in the morning. I’m like, is it February!?

Jen: Almost, it’s almost February. So the book is called “Build your Village.” We all know the saying, you know, it takes a village to raise a child. Sometimes it’s really, really hard to find that village. I feel like I’m wandering the earth, being like, where is this village? Where are these people? Because some of the villages I’ve wandered into haven’t worked out or don’t make me feel as welcome. You got to find your village. So that’s what we’re going to talk about today. Right? Yeah. Florence, tell us a little bit about the book, how it came about, and everything. 

Florence Ann Romano: I’m just I’m holding it next to him because, honestly, not even just because we’re doing this live, but because it’s like always sitting here in my chair with me.

Jen: It’s like another baby, you birthed another baby.

The importance of building a village.

Florence Ann Romano: I mean, here it is, this is the galley copy. The reason why honestly, I wrote it was during COVID, I was looking at what was the common denominator for all of us going through it. And all of us knew on a global level what it felt like to lose our community to lose our village, to lose our people. And it started me thinking about the concept of “village” and also beyond just the idea that it takes a village to raise a child, which is also important for people who don’t have children. Just because you have children, your reward is not a village, be able to have a community and people.

Jen: Everybody needs a village.

How Florence constructed her village.

Florence Ann Romano: Exactly. And so I thought about how I wanted to construct this village and I hear like you just said, you know, what’re the directions? How to meet mom friends? What are the directions to the village? What’s the phone number you call these people just show up at your front door like ready to help you? And the truth is you are the solution. But there are tools you can apply to help you build that village. So I created six villagers that you relate to. And that you also think, okay, I want these people to be in my village. But also I identify as one of these or four of these in someone else’s village.

Jen: Right, right, because a village is a two-way street, like friendships are a two-way street. Right? Exactly. Yeah, we have some comments. Jeff was saying good morning, good morning. Before COVID, When we were all out and about, and we were living our lives. We were all very busy with many things. Sometimes your village just happens to be like what you’re accidentally busy with, right?

Florence Ann Romano: Sure, that’s a good way of putting it. 

How to meet mom friends at your child’s sports events.

Jen: You know, if your kids go to a school, and the school has a lot of events in there’s things you’re doing, or if my kids in Little League, like the whole baseball season, that’s all you’re only up to the thing. So that that becomes your village for that season. But you might not be your “right village.” So how do you seek out and find the people that are going to be like simpatico with you?

Florence Ann Romano: It’s really vetted based on values, I think a lot of the time, and values always is a scary word for people because they think that automatically, there’s some sort of religious connotation to that. And that’s not how I’m using the word. I’m talking about what aligns with you, and what you’re talking about in terms of those kinds of built-in villages. That is an important part of building the village though because think about it this way when you’re younger, you’re in school, you’re surrounded by lots of people, and lots of you know different possibilities for friendships.

How to meet mom friends at you’re child’s school.

Florence Ann Romano: And as you grow up Grammar School out, you know, all that college, graduate, whatever it is, you’re not in an environment where it’s built-in anymore, but then you have children like yourself, and you are part of a school system. And then there are your children’s friends, and you become friends with those parents. But you’re also doing that vetting sometimes on a subconscious level. Like why are you friends with certain people in your school system, certain children’s friends, you know, versus others?

Florence Ann Romano: Well, there’s a reason you’re being drawn to there, those people and it’s not just because you’re sitting at the same little league game all the time together. It’s because there is a personality similarity or there’s something that is a common thread. Do you have a common background?

I know for me, it was like, Oh, you see a fellow Italian somewhere, that person automatically probably because I grew up in an old school Italian family and this family probably gets it to probably grew up and live with their grandparents like I did. You know, so there are different reasons why you’re drawn to people, but using the circumstances that you have using those environments, that’s a good way, a good foundational way to start building those relationships. Not the only way. But one of the built-in ways you can.

How to meet mom friends and find your village.

Jen: Yeah, they only have so much time to find ways to like incorporate finding that village within the things that you’re doing anyway. Right? I find it very helpful, but not to accidentally be like, That’s it?

Florence Ann Romano: No, no. And I liked the comment. I was reading one of the comments here that was saying that becoming a mom, it’s harder to find that right village. Yeah. And it takes a lot of time and works to find it. It’s not easy when everything clicks, your heart is full. So what I want to comment on that is that it’s not about the quantity. I think that’s also the loss here, too, is you know, finding that village is not about having a social calendar that is completely full. I’m gonna be totally honest with you guys.

Florence Ann Romano: Some of the loneliest people I’ve ever met in my life are the busiest people I’ve ever met. You’re constantly doing things, and they have people around them all the time, but they’re not just not genuinely or sincerely fulfilled. So just because you have a ton of people in your life does not mean they’re the right people. So that’s not going to help you either in terms of your village because they’re supposed to fill up your cup, not deplete it. I can understand why people are struggling with how to meet mom friends, with that in terms of finding the right village, the right people.

Jen: Totally. We want to hear from everybody. So comment and tell us how did you meet your best mom friend? Do you have a story about this?

How to meet mom friends and develop long-lasting relationships.

Florence Ann Romano: Well, I mean, I would have to say that one of the best relationships I forged and one of my best friends. And this is an example of what happens. When I had a chapter in my book is talking about when the village burns down. And the village burns down for a lot of different reasons. Yes, there was a friend of mine that is now one of my best friends like my soul sister, she and I became friends because of a mutual friend that she and I are no longer friends with. And if it wasn’t for that friend she and I would have never had we’ve never had the relationship we have today.

Florence Ann Romano: And she’s honestly my North Star in so many ways in my life has taught me endless lessons, continues to be a rock star mom, also very authentic and genuine, down to earth, all of those things. But I think about how she and I became friends. And it was because of a person that is no longer in my village.

So I think we also have to be honest about that, too, that not everybody who’s in your village originally is going to stay there. There. There’s a reason and a season for people in your life. And that’s okay. And you can honor the reasons why those people in your life and then why they also leave, so that to me is one of probably the most profound relationships that I have that began from a relationship that I never saw ending necessarily.

How to deal with feeling like a failure.

Jen: Yeah, that’s a good point. I’ve struggled with that where I feel like it’s a failure if a relationship ends. And then, you know, I try to focus on, Well, what the good that the relationship was, in that time, got a comment from Jessica saying that she’s still looking for this magical village.

Florence Ann Romano: I have a book for you, Jessica!

Jen: She has a book. In fact, let me see if I can send the link to the book to the comments. 

Florence Ann Romano: You can preorder it right now, everyone. In case you’re curious, you can preorder it anywhere kinds of books are sold. And hopefully, it will show up at your doorstep right away. Lickety-split, there is an audio version that will be coming up, and I do narrate it. So that was fun. 

Jen: An audio version? That’s very cool. That sounds fun. I remember when I first became a parent that a lot of it was like feeling like the one that didn’t know what she was doing yet or feeling like this judgment of like, these people are… they’re “momming” and they’re momming well or what it looks like they’re momming well and then I don’t know what I’m doing.

So how do I approach these people, you know, without just basically feeling stupid? And thinking that people were judgmental and that when other moms saw the new mom that they were judging her like, “Is she a good mom?” But now, as a seasoned mom myself- I like to call it seasoned, not old.

Recognizing other moms’ struggle with motherhood and not having a village

Jen: As a seasoned mom, I realize what I’m usually thinking is, “Is that new person as bad a mom as me?” Is that person struggling too? If that person acknowledged that they don’t have all the answers, is that a person I can hang out with and we can just like laugh about it and be okay about it? And don’t have to pretend? That’s the person that I want to be in my village.

Florence Ann Romano: But you know what, you’re making an interesting point about something. No one wants to look at social media or just in real life and think that everyone has it together all the time. And it’s this magical, beautiful fairy tale world. This authenticity is a big, big word that we’re throwing around a lot, I think, you know, in the last couple of years, but a lot of the reason why I think relationships, friendships, whatever it is, work are because you are building it on a sense of, of, of trust, yes, but also truth. You don’t want to hide the icky bits, necessarily, you know, that’s when you feel like you are able to let that guard down, be vulnerable, and admit that it’s hard or admit that you’re struggling.

Technology to Socialize with Other Moms

Florence Ann Romano: Because I think what happens oftentimes, and I have found this myself, we do that endless scrolling, right, you know, and social media, I’ll never condemn it. Technology is a wonderful thing. It’s allowing you and I to do this, have this conversation. It’s what it was what got us through COVID. Being able to FaceTime family and friends got us to continue to still work through Zoom and all this stuff, so I’ll never condemn it. But what you see on social media oftentimes are a lot of people living what you would say is their best life, and they’re showing the highlight reel. I felt sometimes like I go to sleep at night, and I’ll feel like really heavy about something. I’m like, “Why am I feeling this way?”

Moms tend to compare themselves to other moms

Florence Ann Romano: And sometimes, I can trace it back to the idea that I am subconsciously comparing myself to a lot of things that I’m seeing around me, and I didn’t realize how it was affecting me. It’s true that I think we are more influenced, even though that’s the oxymoron of all this is, you know, you have the influencers, and they want to influence you in different ways, whether it’s to buy something to subscribe something to whatever it is, but they can influence you mentally and emotionally too.

Florence Ann Romano: Sometimes that’s not positive, and we have to pick and choose those places where you are garnering that energy because that is going to affect you. And the same is applied to how you are building this village. How you are constructing these people in your life, are you picking and choosing people that are going to be challenging you in the right ways, are going to be filling up your cup in the right ways, are going to be supporting you in the right ways, are going to be adding to your life, adding to your happiness, teaching you something instead of constantly pulling that energy out of you pulling away that magic.

Find someone who makes you feel better, not worse.

Jen:  Avoiding the energy suckers is something you have to do. You need to find someone who makes you feel better. Not worse. Right?

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Can you have virtual friends that you’ve never met?

Florence Ann Romano: I’m gonna give you a great example of this year ago I had I was working with an insurance company and the gal that like I was my touch point whenever I would needed something, she and I would talk, and then we started finding out we had all these mutual people in common. And so we have stayed in touch for probably 10-15 years now and never met in person. She is one of the people I have to say that whenever life is crazy, or whatever’s going on, it’s a holiday. It’s my birthday. It’s you know, a few weeks have passed.

Florence Ann Romano: She’s always one of the first people to reach out to me to say, “How are you doing?” You’ve been on my mind.” It’s this beautiful back-and-forth kind of pen pal relationship we call it, and I don’t know that we’ll ever honestly meet each other. Maybe we will, maybe we won’t. But she is a person that I consider a very special gem in my village because she has made such an effort to be a part of my life in this virtual way.

Florence Ann Romano: So I absolutely think you can have people that are a part of your life in a virtual way that are a significant part of your village, and it depends also on you, the reciprocation you put into that relationship. It can’t just be one-sided. It wouldn’t be fair if she was the only one reaching out to me and putting in that effort. That would not be a fair relationship term. But I certainly think you can have that virtual friendship.

Starting a virtual group for how to meet mom friends.

Jen: I agree; I think that that’s sort of what I based MomCave on when we started it, that we could have this sort of virtual group of people that you could talk to. And you know, you can have an online village.

Florence Ann Romano: You’re a great example of that right now. Look at the comments, even the people joining on saying that this is all resonating with them. This is all something everyone is, is struggling with. Even one of my best friends moved to Texas, and I, if she’s watching, I’m still upset about it. Okay, I’m still mad!

Jen: You’re in trouble, best friend. You should have stayed in Chicago!

When a mom leaves your village

Florence Ann Romano: She left me, and so, um, but you know, that’s an example of someone who was a part of my life in a very specific way, in real life in person, I was a part of her kid’s lives, all that. And now, you know, she comes back to visit, and I see her, but she’s, she’s not, she’s not our way. But does that mean that she’s not going to be my best one of my best friends anymore? Does that mean she and I are not going to still count on each other and still support each other and still live life together?

Florence Ann Romano: That’s not going to change for me. But again, it takes work. It’s definitely not as built-in as it was before, because we can’t get together and have lunch or coffee or with each other all the time. So again, you have to honor the stage of life that you are in, that other people are in, the changes that happen in your life to, and figure out if the relationship is important to you and how you are going to make it work. And that’s an example of someone who had is has a profound place in my life, and now we have to change how we operate that friendship.

How to keep friendships alive with meeting mom friends.

Jen: Yeah, and we’re also busy right now in the stage of life we are. Most everyone here has smallish children, or you know, you’re working, you’ve got the kids and all their stuff. You don’t have to make like this huge, huge effort that is like pushing a boulder up the hill to keep some of these friendships alive. But, like, it’s the littlest thing, like literally sending a meme, you know, text, a meme to your friend, that made you think of them. And they laugh, and that’s just like this touch point in the middle of the day that nurtures the friendship.

Florence Ann Romano: One of the things I do the friend actually just chatted about, she’s the one that we created this system, but I use it with a lot of other friends too now, and it’s in the book, again, something simple that you can do, you know, everyone listening, I keep my threads open on my, in my messages with people, you know, that I talk to often.

How to meet mom friends and reach out.

Florence Ann Romano: But then also sometimes people that I don’t, oftentimes those threads that I have open are people that I have heard from recently or heard of recently that are going through a tough time, or we’ve recently connected or whatever it is, and I keep it open to remind myself as I scroll to check in with them, right. And sometimes just that text message, which I’ll send that says wellness check, and a nudge to the person whenever they have time to give me a little update on their life, just so I can keep in touch and I know what’s going on. And so I recommend that also to people too; it’s a very low-lift way of being able to connect with someone and also making someone feel like they’re remembered.

Florence Ann Romano: And that might be enough, that might be enough that day, to reach out to that person to help them get through whatever it is that they’re going through. And you never know how it’s going to, to maybe charge a person up or just maybe combat anxiety or just maybe help with maybe a place that they’re struggling mentally or emotionally. It’s very important to remember that it’s not enormous gestures, it really is something as small as that to make someone feel like they’ve been seen. 

Jen: And if the person that you’re contacting, if you know they’re going through a really tough time, they’re going through a divorce or some…

Checking in with other moms

Jen: They lost someone recently or something. I find it sometimes good to do that. To check-in and say, “Hey, I’m just, I’m just saying hello. And I’m thinking of you. No need to answer this..”Don’t ask for anything back from them because maybe they’re being flooded with, you know, sympathy cards or something, and they feel that gives them more stress that they have to get back to people. So if you can just free people of that sometimes and be like, you don’t have to answer don’t go out of your way. I’m just saying, “Hey, I love you. I’m thinking of you.”

Florence Ann Romano: It’s even moms who are going through postpartum, you know, that’s also a very difficult time to navigate too, and I feel like, you know, I’ve had different friends go through different, different levels of that should you say of the baby blues or, or whatever it might be. And it’s not always about having to physically be there with the person; I know something for me that I love about technology.

How to meet mom friends and show your support.

Florence Ann Romano: Is that you can send meals to people no matter where they are in the country. You know, and that’s something that I’ve always made sure is something that I offer or do for people when they’ve had a baby, or they’re sick, or they’re going through something, just texting them and saying, “Listen, you know, I want to send dinner tonight, what are you know, if you’re craving something specific, tell me if there’s an allergy in the family, tell me whatever it is,” and you send that food. And that’s a way for you, to make sure that you are present for them. But also, it’s not in an intrusive way, either. You’re not showing up there with a casserole, right?

Jen: Now you have to entertain me and get to see what your house looks like, going through this tragedy.

Florence Ann Romano: You know, was that necessary, and some people do, some people want to be surrounded by people during a tragedy or things like that. And maybe that’s the appropriate time, you know, but you can source out what’s the right thing to do. But again, if you’re looking for ways that you can be present and show your concern and your love for people, there are ways to do that without it being intrusive, without it breaking the bank for you, without it being, you know, writing a check for 1000s and 1000s of dollars to help someone through a rough time in their life. It’s just about showing up. That’s all it is showing up.

Jen: So true, just about showing up. I put the link to the book in the comments. But can you tell everyone all the myriad of places they can find this?

Where can you get your copy of Build Your Village?

Florence Ann Romano: Anywhere books are sold, you know, I don’t like to pick the booksellers against each other. But you know, this is also a really great thing to do, you could just go right to my website Florence Ann.com. And you can preorder it there as well. I have it listed, kind of where all the books are sold but going to my websites, is probably the easiest thing to do. And then the audiobook, I found out that sometimes it comes out a couple of weeks after the book, but I think it’s going to, my fingers are crossed come out now in sync with the with the book on February 21st, which is great.

Florence Ann Romano: And I saw I just wanted to say to Janice. I hope I’m saying your name right. Janiece, yes, two cousins who just had babies last night try to check in with both of them because they’re both brand new to motherhood. And I love that see you, but you have experiences that you can give you can offer. And I’ll tell you what, that that is huge that you can be there during that, you know, maybe 2am feeding where you’re like, “I don’t know if this is normal.” You can be there that you know, maybe answer that, you know, answer that call, answer that text message. But in terms of the book, sorry, I just wanted to mention that.

Where to view MomCave TV

Florence Ann Romano: No worries. That’s great. Great. A great example of village right there. And like I said, you can go to my website. Also, if you follow me, you know on Instagram. If you go there on Facebook, I also answer every DM. So if you get in touch with me about anything specific that you’re going through regarding Village, I’m happy to be there to help you through it. Just like we’re talking about the virtual village. I’m here to do that for you, just like a friend that may live in a different state. In the same way.

Jen: How awesome is that, everybody? Thank you so much for talking with us. We will have this up, and people can continue to comment. We’re going to pick somebody from the comments to win a signed copy. So that’s exciting. Find Momcave on all the places. We now have MomCave apps, so you can watch MomCave on Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, and Android TV. So go check that out, everybody. Thank you so much, Florence, and good luck with the book launch! Here’s to being each other’s village. Thank you.

Florence Ann Romano: Thank you. Thank you. Bye. How to meet mom friends with Florence Ann Romano.

Listen to this episode about How to Meet Mom Friends in Today’s World as a podcast here:

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