Breaking the Mom Friend Barrier: A Tale of Loneliness, Consistency, and Lifelong Connections


I’m here to tell you about this ridiculously wild and crazy thing that me and 2 of my friends and our families did almost 5 years ago! It still feels like a dream sometimes, but I wake up every morning and can’t believe we actually pulled it off! 



We built what we love to call “The Compound.” No, I promise it’s not a cult! Here’s a Facebook post from our realtor that pretty much sums up how it all went down:

I always get one of two types of feedback when I tell this story:

  1. “There’s no one in my life that I’d want to permanently live that close to, LOL”
  2. “I wish I had friends that I felt close enough with to do something like this, must be nice!

To the first camp, I get it! 🤣 It’s not for everybody!

To the second, I get it. In seasons of parenthood–especially in seasons of early parenthood–it can feel so isolating. We’ve all heard it time and time again. 

“It takes a village…” 

“Motherhood is best lived in community. Don’t go it alone.”

But where is this village?! How do you get this community?! 

If this is you, you’re definitely not alone. According to a Marketing2moms survey published in 2021, 75% of moms said that they felt desperately lonely and have one or no close friends. That is an extremely sobering statistic. But I just want to tell my crazy story and give a realistic example of what building community can actually look like.

When my husband and I got married, we were attending a church that had a small community ministry of other newlywed/young married couples. We joined this group less than a month after our wedding because we wanted to make friends with people in the same stage of life ASAP.

But we for sure did not make friends instantly. This group was already kind of established and there were cliques and friend groups that had already began to form. So, coming in brand new, we definitely felt like outsiders.

However, we kept showing up. Week in and week out, we went to that class every Sunday morning and kept introducing ourselves to new people. As a woman, I craved that close community probably more than my husband did, so I dragged him to every event this group hosted. Every game night, dinner night, volunteer opportunity.

Was it awkward? 100% YES! Did I walk away from every encounter with a new number in my phone and a blossoming new bestie relationship? NOT EVEN CLOSE! 

But I kept. showing. up. And every week or so, more new people joined and we didn’t feel so alone. Eventually, enough new people had joined that there was an opportunity to start a new in-home small group Bible study. We immediately jumped at the opportunity to get face-to-face time with the same few couples on a regular basis hoping to forge some new friendships.

And to be honest, it felt like starting from square one in some ways, too. Still lots of awkward small talk at first. Lots of showing up week after week but still not making genuine connections that felt authentic and long-standing.

My husband and I decided to get very intentional and methodical about our quest for community. We had planned to ask one of our small group couples out for a double date or dinner of some kind each week. And we actually kept track of who we had been out with and who we hadn’t to make sure we had one-on-one time with each couple. And we kept that rotation going for a solid 5 months or so.

Make no mistake about it though–still lots of awkward small talk, still continuing to show up with no real tangible results to show for it. 5+ months of just fumbling through.

But slow and steady wins the race, my friends! Through our weekly small group meetings, our weekly Sunday meetings as the large ministry as a whole, and our weekly double dates, we started to form some real relationships with these people.

And science agrees with our results! A study out of the University of Kentucky postulates that it takes about 40 to 60 hours to form a casual friendship, 80 to 100 hours to be upgraded to being a friend, and about 200 hours to become “good friends.”

If we were getting to spend approximately 2-3 hours a week with each couple, it was going to take us a minimum of 20 weeks (which equates to our 5 month experiment) to even form casual friendships.

And we persisted. We kept showing up, kept inviting couples to do stuff together. Weeks turned into months that turned into years. Those double dates turned into events together that turned into weekend getaways that turned into some of us working out together 3-5 mornings per week that eventually turned into 3 of us couples creating “The Compound.”

But I really want to put this in perspective for you. Our small group was formed in early 2013. We moved into the Compound in 2019. THAT’S SIX YEARS LATER! THIS DID NOT HAPPEN OVERNIGHT!

Those early years of weekly in-home meetings really helped us rack up those coveted 200 hours we needed to develop these good, deep, authentic friendships. It was a huge commitment to meet altogether once a week. None of us had children at the time, we were all working full-time, and some weeks you just did not want to go for whatever reason. But again I have to emphasize, we kept. showing. up. 

And the consistency–over the course of years–eventually paid off! We’re now almost 5 years into The Compound and it’s honestly everything we imagined it would be. We often eat together. Our kids can play together at a moment’s notice with little to no planning. We’ve been able to bail each other out of many logistical jams from picking up kids, offering childcare, or getting an early Instacart delivery off the porch on 100 degree days! 

We’re really doing life together. And not just The Compound, but also with the other couples in our small group that we’ve now been meeting with for over a decade. I truly wish this level of community for everybody, but mostly for us moms. Because raising kids is hard and it is so much better to do it together.

I’m not saying everyone should try to live right next door to your best friends. Our Compound was probably lightning in a bottle, a once in a lifetime alignment of stars, I get that. But we’re just as close with the other couples in our small group, and that–again–comes from over 10 years of consistency and intentionality.

Our Contributor team has written extensively about how to make mom friends whether you have young kids or older kids; how to meet like-minded friends online, or at the park or at a splash pad; how to start a monthly MNO or go on a yearly Moms getaway; and how to stay close with friends that have moved away.

But you could do all these things and meet a million moms that you have a lot in common with, and none of it will matter unless you take the time to intentionally cultivate those friendships! 200 hours feels like a lot, and it is. And it should be, because good friendships that are truly live-giving and soul-nourishing shouldn’t come with 2-day shipping.

But with consistency and intention, in a year’s time, you could have those deep relationships that you so desperately desire. Don’t be afraid to be the brave one to invite someone over or to join the group! 

And don’t get discouraged if one community or one friend isn’t the right fit. Just keep swimming until you find your people. But my only advice for you is to just keep showing up.

Keep showing up.






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