“Can she have a snack too, mama?” My little eagerly asked me as I threw out a blanket for the two kids to sit on and grabbed for the snack bag behind the chair. The two girls stood hand in hand smiling up at me as they waited for something delicious to appear. I grabbed two juice boxes and some applesauce packets and that seemed to do for now. They snuggled up on the blanket and started to chat and play with the toys my girl had brought and it struck me just how special the moment was. Don’t you think it is sweet how kids can just make friends anywhere? These two girls had met at their big brother’s soccer practices and while the boys played these girls struck up a conversation and became fast friends. Don’t you wish it was that easy for us mamas to make friends too? Well, as I sat and watched these two girls playing with their small little treasures, I realized it just might be easier than we make it. If kids can make friends from the sidelines, then why can’t the moms? Maybe our new BFF is the mom sitting on the edge of that soccer field or baseball diamond. Wonder if all of that running around is just the right opportunity to find the tribe we long for? If we make the best of our time on the sidelines maybe, we can find friends just like my daughter and her new friend. So, here are some ideas to start building community and connections from the sidelines.
Food is something that brings people together and helps people bond which is why it is a great idea to have extras with us. When you bring snacks for kids you are opening the door for connection because kids will come for snacks. And since we always want to ask a mom before giving a child a snack this means conversation happens between us. I know this sounds easy, but you know you can’t go wrong with food, right? Kids bond over food, but so do adults, don’t we? And if you want to build community then food is always helpful.
Have an extra chair, umbrella and blanket and be the first to offer it to someone else. Kindness is always a beautiful thing and really could make the difference for a busy mom. Can you imagine how nice it would be for someone to offer you or you child an umbrella on a hot summer day. Offering an extra blanket on a cold day is always appreciated. And I don’t know about you, but there have been so many times that I have been racing to get my kids where they were going and forgot key things that would make me comfortable while I wait. How many times have you raced to the game and forgot your chair? Wouldn’t it make your day if someone had an extra ready for you. The fact is friendship is about love and kindness and small gestures go far. When we think of how we can serve and make life easier for another mom she will remember, and we will be making a difference in the life of another mom and hopefully a friend too.
The team mom must talk to everyone so it’s a great way to get to know the other moms. If you are shy or struggle with reaching out this may be just the thing that will help you connect. Having a reason to connect will help start conversation and give us a reason to get to know each other. And the team mom always needs help which means we have reason to invite other moms to get together. Making a new friend might be as easy as putting together a team dinner or snack schedule. When we work together, we bond and friendships form.
If you want to make friends, then be a friend first and a great way to do that is to offer help. We spend so much time in our cars as moms and it can be hard to balance getting multiple kids to activities which is why moms love carpooling. Many hands make light work, and this is so true when it comes to shuffling kids about. So, if you want to meet other friends start a carpool. Friendship grows from times spent together and carpooling can give you just the time and connection you need to create a solid friendship.
What do you love that you could bring to share? What is your favorite candy or snack? I love tea and always have it with me. I bring tea in warm containers for colder days and iced for the summer and make sure I have extra cups to share. Having extra cups will break the ice and who doesn’t want a good cup of tea to enjoy on the sidelines? Well, maybe they won’t always like tea, but it could be cocoa or coffee too. The point is to bring something that you can offer to start the conversation. Even if they say no, they have started a conversation with you and friendship grows through those conversations.
If you want to get to know people, then create an opportunity to spend time together. It can be a park picnic after practice or frozen yogurt after the game. What about a backyard barbeque or pool party? Or if its winter you could all go for pizza or head to a jump house together. The activity doesn’t matter as much as the company so just choose something and make it a party.
Friendship grows from small acts of kindness, time spent together and shared memories. The sidelines of our kids’ sports offer us unique opportunities to do just that which means they are a great place to connect. So, with a little extra effort we might just find our next BFF sitting next to us on the sidelines!
As CEO for Inspirational Inc. and founder of “Tea With Chantel” trainings & workshops, Chantel Mathson inspires women to live with purpose and build thriving community. She has traveled all over the U.S. and Canada, speaking and inspiring others to become impact makers. Chantel has been a featured speaker at NASA Space Center, The University of Notre Dame and numerous national conferences. She is a keynote speaker, workshop facilitator, blogger, bible teacher, military spouse mentor, author, and professor of communications. Chantel shares her heart and home with her husband, three kids and two dogs in California. As a Military spouse she has moved twelve times and has a heart for helping military wives connect, find their purpose, and create community. Her Tea with Chantel business evolved as she moved across the country and had to create new community herself. She is always ready to share a cup of tea and would love to connect… FB/Twitter/Linkedin/IG @teawithchantel or Instagram.com/teawithmilitarywives and teawithchantel.com
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