Failing Motherhood

Make More Mom Friends with Emily Siegel

January 23, 2024 Danielle Bettmann | Parenting Coach for Strong-Willed Kids Episode 139
Failing Motherhood
Make More Mom Friends with Emily Siegel
Show Notes Transcript

Do you wish you had more mom friends?  You're not alone.

Unfortunately villages don't just happen. They're created!

Today’s guest, Emily Siegel, is a friendship mentor, podcast host, working mom of two adorable little boys, and the leader of The Connected Mom Life Community.  She helps busy moms create the circle of friends they crave because she firmly believes we weren’t made to mom alone, and she’s on a mission to see that we stop trying.

In our conversation she highlights the three most common misconceptions moms believe that hold them back from the relationships they'd love, how to make friendships *stickier* and whether or not it's okay if our spouse is our main source of connection in this season.


IN THIS EPISODE, WE COVERED...

  • Why making mom friends feels harder than dating
  • The comment to make to test the waters and see if a potential friend is a "safe" person
  • How to fit friendship into your life as a busy mom by making the most of the time you have

DON'T MISS-

  • Emily's fail proof pick-up line to get a mom's number


// MENTIONED IN THE EPISODE//
Laura Tremaine

// CONNECT WITH EMILY SIEGEL //
Website: TheConnectedMomLife.com
Instagram:  @theconnectedmomlife


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Come say hi!  I'm @parent_wholeheartedly on Insta.
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Emily Siegel  0:00  
Ultimately, I did not become friends with all these people. But the energy that I was bringing was vastly different with that mindset versus they're probably good. They're not really that interested in me or they're just being nice, which is all the things I used to bring to the table when I meet people. And now I'm like, well, obviously, you're gonna want to be my best friend. So we'll have to just see if like, you know, this can go anywhere.

Danielle Bettmann  0:22  
Ever feel like you suck at this job? Motherhood, I mean? have too much anxiety, not enough patience. Too much yelling, not enough play? There's no manual, no village, no guarantees. The stakes are high. We want so badly to get it right. But this is survival mode. We're just trying to make it to bedtime. So if you're full of mom guilt, your temper scares you. You feel like you're screwing everything up. And you're afraid to admit any of those things out loud. This podcast is for you. This is Failing Motherhood. I'm Danielle Bettmann, and each week we'll chat with a mom ready to be real. Sharing her insecurities, her fears, your failures and her wins. We do not have it all figured out. That's not the goal. The goal is to remind you, you are the mom your kids need. They need what you have. You are good enough. And you're not alone. I hope you pop in earbuds somehow sneak away and get ready to hear some hope from the trenches. You belong here, friend, we're so glad you're here. 

Danielle Bettmann  0:42  
Hey, it's Danielle. Positive Discipline certified parenting coach for families with strong-willed kids under age 10. I'm so glad you found us. If you are new here, to find our most listened to episodes or where to start if you have a strong-willed child go to failingmotherhood.com. And if you're not new here, this is a reminder to leave a rating or review so more moms know they are not alone if they feel like they're failing on a daily basis. I know all of us in this post COVID world have longed for more connection. It's not like making friends wasn't hard enough as an adult. Then you add kids and a pandemic in the mix. And it's a miracle if we get out and public. Today's guest Emily Siegel is a friendship mentor, podcast host, working mom of two adorable little boys and lover of all things Broadway musicals. As the leader of The Connected Mom Life community, she helps busy moms create the circle of friends they crave because she firmly believes we weren't made to mom alone. And she's on a mission to see that we stopped trying. In this episode. I truly pick her brain and all the complexities that make friendships hard, the preconceived notions and assumptions that hold us back, and why it's not helpful or accurate to believe that everyone else is full up on friends. We dive into how to do an audit of where you're at now and where you want to be in your relationships. The problem with leaning only on your spouse, and she ends up dissecting and diagnosing my friendship issues right on the spot. So if you know you need and deserve more connection into this new year, and you're ready to buckle down, be brave and put yourself out there. This episode is for you. Let's dive in.

Danielle Bettmann  3:21  
Welcome to Failing Motherhood. My name is Danielle Bettmann and on today's episode, I'm joined by Emily Siegel. Welcome, Emily, thank you so much for joining us today.

Emily Siegel  3:30  
Yeah, thanks so much for having me, of course.

Danielle Bettmann  3:33  
So I was thinking about needing to make mom friends. And that being such a universal experience with motherhood that I'm surprised we haven't talked as much about that. You talked about villages and support and things like that and so you have been on my list to get on to the podcast for a while now. I'm so glad you're here. This is such an important episode, especially one with the new year and like needing to find your people. So I'm not going to jump to the punch by the end of my intro. We'll get there. Go ahead and just introduce yourself to my audience. Who are you and who's in your family?

Emily Siegel  4:06  
Yeah, so I'm Emily Siegell and I have a husband, my two little boys, Robbie and Sam, they are nine and six. And we live just outside of the Minneapolis area. And I really am all about helping moms create the circle of friends that they crave, and the communities that they crave. Because I think we are told that, you know, you need a village to raise all these kids. And for a lot of us the villages don't just show up, you know, for so long we lived not near family. And it just was really hard one to not have family support, but then also just to not have like really good sticky connections. And so, yeah, I'm essentially all about helping moms and parents really create the villages that they are in.

Danielle Bettmann  4:43  
Just so so needed? I did not know that was a career option on Career Day back in high school. Right? Love that you have have found that and I am fascinated by kind of the progression to get there. So I first have to give you that disclaimer to see if you are one of us. Have you ever felt like you were failing motherhood?

Emily Siegel  5:21  
Oh my gosh, yeah, daily. Really? That's what everyone says, right? Hopefully. Yes.

Danielle Bettmann  5:27  
That's the right answer.

Emily Siegel  5:29  
Great.

Danielle Bettmann  5:30  
What does that look like at your house today?

Emily Siegel  5:32  
Today? Yeah, you know, for me, I am just like, trying to raise like the self-sufficient humans. And just, I don't know the attitude they give the the lack of self-sufficiency in some areas at nine and six are alarming. So yep. Having some feelings about that today.

Danielle Bettmann  5:55  
I can hear I can totally relate. Yes. Like there's some expectations that come with age that don't get met. And you don't know what to do with that.

Emily Siegel  6:02  
Yeah, somebody might have made everyone breakfast, empty the dishwasher cleaned the kitchen, only to have the nine year old come down to be like, you need me to go get this one thing upstairs. Yes, yes, I do. Know what I do. Yes, that that one thing that is yours. That is actually you know, yours to be in control of not me. Yes. Go get that one thing.

Danielle Bettmann  6:27  
We are commiserating with you right now. That is you are for very real for saying that. So good. Okay, so we've we've met that, what is your motherhood journey look like that led you to the place that you're at now, where you're choosing to support moms with, you know, connection? What were some of the early years of motherhood like for you? 

Emily Siegel  6:49  
You know, honestly, the road here actually started long before I became a mom, we ended up moving away kind of from our hometown, right after we got married to a city where we knew no one. And, you know, early 20s, no kids, no dog, we're like, okay, whatever. Like we've made friends our whole life, we got this. And it turned out to be really hard to make friends in our 20s. And so I think we repost her to think, oh, my gosh, like, it's us, you know, and like, I don't know about these friendships we've had our whole life, they must have just been being nice to us. Like, we must be like, not call people, you know, just starting to kind of second guess all of that. And through that experience of that move, really came to learn just a lot about the social dynamics of how we make friends and life and what that looks like, and really realizing a lot of the things I was thinking were just were in my head. It was hard, because making friends just didn't happen the way it did when we were growing up, because we weren't just going to school like we were and we weren't seeing the same people as consistently. And yeah, so there was just a lot of like mind junk that we ended up working through, and kind of figuring out to be really honest, like, oh, okay, like, it's not weird to actually tell people, you're open to being friends, and to just be more forward. And so then five years later, we moved and at that point, we actually had had our first child. And when we, you know, chose to move with a baby, again, to a city where we knew no one, I was like, well, at least I know how to make friends. This time, I've got this, I'm gonna go, you know, to all the things. And honestly, that that was very helpful. We did make friends very quickly. But I also became very aware of just some of the different challenges that now exist, because we had, at that time, young kids and our availability look different, our time look different, our financial situation look different. They're just different things to navigate. About, what I just kept finding was, when I would meet moms at the playground, I would tend to be a little bit more forward. And one of the questions I would ask is like, oh, you know, have you lived here a long time? Like, do you? Like, do you have a big circle? And it was amazing how many moms would say, Well, yes, I have lived here a long time. But like, none of my friends have kids. So I'm kind of like in this weird spot. And it was amazing how vulnerable honestly, people were to answering that question, and I was so grateful for it. But it just helps me realize that all of us, particularly young moms, were in our heads about like, oh, shoot, like we're in this changing season. I've got this baby. I don't have like the same time I used to have four friends. I'm just trying to keep this thing alive. Like all of the things that come up, I just kind of realized, oh, we should talk about this more. Because when we do it's, like, actually really easy to have a conversation about and we can kind of like cut through a lot of the like, we can speed up the friendship, because essentially, we're not like both playing volleys weird rules that we've technically made up anyway. 

Danielle Bettmann  9:50  
Yeah, it's like you're just running by these assumptions. And if you can just name the elephant in the room. We can all make friends with that.

Emily Siegel  9:58  
Yeah, yeah. So that's what I kept doing. I just kept naming that elephant and realizing like, Whoa, that really helped. And like really expedited this connection and this friendship. And I was like, we're gonna tell more people to name the elephant. Yeah, as scary as it feels. Yeah.

Danielle Bettmann  10:15  
So yeah, how many times have you moved now?

Emily Siegel  10:17  
We are on our third move. This time, we actually did move back to our hometown, which has been a different type of transition and figuring out, oh, which of these friendships still fit? Which of them don't fit anymore? And oh, yeah, we're in a totally new like school community, we're in a totally new part of the cities that we've never lived in before. So there's still a lot of newness that we're navigating, but now we're doing it side by side of some established relationships. So that's been a little tricky in its own way too.

Danielle Bettmann  10:44  
Yeah, new adventure for sure. Yeah. So you quickly realized it was not just you like, I think one of the one of the misconceptions that we have is, everybody has a friend group, but me. Yes. Yeah. What are a few of those other like, preconceived notions or assumptions that moms will jump into, you know, prohibiting themselves already from the get go?

Emily Siegel  11:09  
Yeah, one is, is that that we just think everybody else is set on friends. That was the really big one. For me. When I first moved, I just kept looking around and seeing people with friends. So I was like, Well, I guess they're good. They don't need more, when in fact, there's a lot of assumptions that go into what we observe about people's friendships, a lot of times we assume people are closer than they actually are wasting a lot of things. And that often can hold us back from one even son who's engaging with some of those people thinking, well, they don't need me, they're clearly set. So that's a really big one. One of the other ones is like, I just don't have time, which I mean, I'm sure, like we talked about all the time, as moms as parents, like, it's just there's a lot going on, in friendship feels like it can take so much time. And there's all those stats out there about like, how many hours it takes to like get to like Ride or Die status. And that is really determining, you know, yeah. And so a lot of that I like to talk through and help moms think a little bit differently about time. And also just that strategy of well, if you name the elephant and actually kind of cut down on those hours. You know, there's, there's ways, you know, to move through those. So there's shortcuts. There are shortcuts for sure. And I will say the last kind of big misconception I hear a lot from moms is I don't have time to be a good friend. Sometimes it's not even just like, oh, I don't have time. It's just like, oh, I should not even try right now. Because I'm like, failing motherhood. I don't need to feel like I'm feeling friendship too.

Danielle Bettmann  12:38  
Oh, yeah, that's a real one. That's a real line. It's better to just be all or nothing. And I won't even attempt it. Because then it's another thing I'm failing at. That's definitely relatable. So is it? Is it worth it? Is it worth, like trying at, like, what to you is the biggest value point of pushing forward?

Emily Siegel  13:00  
For me, honestly, it's to help me realize I'm not failing motherhood, that's really been a gift of particularly making mom friends or parent friends, and living in community with other families and just seeing and we're going out to dinner with another family this summer. My husband was like, that was great. That kid was like, way harder than our kids. And he was like, that was the best dinner ever. And I was like, oh, no, no, I thought that was really hard. I'm exhausted. He's like, I think it's great. Like, we got this, we got like, you know, in some ways, you know, you just you realize, oh, everybody's dealing with something. You know, maybe it doesn't look like mine. But we've all got something on our hands. That's hard. And I think we're all very prone to think well, it's my fault or like, I'm the reason we're in this. Like, it just feels so unsolvable. And so it's just that that solidarity factor and that like realizing, okay, no, you're not crazy. These kids are is very, for my own mental health standpoint, very helpful in this parenting journey that many days. You know, all joy, no fun. Oh, for real when it comes to this. So you

Danielle Bettmann  14:10  
So you need that little bit of reality check of like, maybe your kid isn't the worst kid that's ever existed.

Emily Siegel  14:14  
Yeah, yeah. I mean, there's more reasons to have friends. But yes, like, the commiseration piece is really real and helping you to not feel alone and failing every day, you know, just a reminder of like, know that you're just doing something hard. And we're all in your innate wisdom, like, we're all in it together. Feeling like you're in it with other people is just very, very reassuring.

Danielle Bettmann  14:41  
Right? In order to get there you have to be able to take your guard down and be able to actually share some of those real parts of your your story or what you're going through right now or those phases of your life. And that's a hurdle in and of itself. How would you how do you encourage moms to kind of let their guard down? Or what is that fear?

Emily Siegel  15:02  
Yeah, I mean, we talk about sometimes just even like vulnerability and stages and what that can look like, like you don't have to, you know, after meeting someone share your life story by you can kind of drip things out, because that will help you understand, is this a safe person? You know, I lucked out at the start, you know, you asked me a question to realize like, Okay, are you going to be a safe person for this community? Or are you going to be a no at all? Who has it all figured out? And, you know, I like to give people opportunities to show me, like, how they would handle my emotions and my, you know, things I might bring to the table to want some support around. And so, you know, sometimes, the example I give often actually is around parenting and kids and I'll say, you know, something to the effect of, like, our first meeting, oh, my goodness, these kids are just ooo, they're crazy! You know, and you generally get a response that will help you know, like, okay, yes, like, ya know, right, the kids are crazy. Or you'll get the like, I don't know, I just love everything about motherhood. And like, okay, cool. You're probably not my person. I'll give you like a few more chances, we'll see. But like, yeah, that just calls me okay. That's what you're gonna do with my vulnerability there. And that was a very easy like, Oh, these guys are kind of crazy. Like, you could think I'm just like, saying it in jest, of which I am. Right. You can you can kind of blow it up. And also, there's some truth. Yeah. And then the next time I might say, Yeah, you know, like, oh, my gosh, my kid. I don't know, he's just seems like kind of a little worried about stuff. I don't know. Like, I don't know, if it's like normal. I don't I'm not sure. And I don't know that I'm like handling it right. You see how they respond to that. And then maybe like, the next time you're like, I'm like, like, actually really worried about my kid aren't really, and I'm not handling this and but you just kind of like drip to know, like, can I get to this place where I, you know, can be more vulnerable. And sometimes it's nicer to be vulnerable. Again, I didn't necessarily share a ton about me and my own insecurities in this, I kept it more on my kid. That's one way to make it feel a little better. Yeah, just kind of finding those those strategies that work for you. But yes, you don't have to come out and like, word vomit on them the first time. Make sure they're safe first. 

Danielle Bettmann  17:26  
That is so key. So key, again, we just when we don't have that language, it feels daunting, it feels impossible, it feels like, well, I don't know that they don't come pre qualified, you know, from like, care.com, that this person is already going to check all the boxes for me. I don't know that feels scary. Because I do have to wade in the waters a little bit. And you know, it might not go, how I'm hoping and they you know, they might shut me down or they might not relate to or they might make me feel like I'm a bad mom for saying that my kids are crazy. And they might judge me for that. I think there's a lot of fear with how you come across and how you're perceived. And especially if you're already really insecure about how you're seeing yourself, that you're only going to project that or you know, assume that that's how someone else is seeing you as well. For sure. Do you find that that's pretty common?

Emily Siegel  18:21  
Yeah, you know, when we talk a lot about like minded Gremlins, in our mom's friends community, and one of the ones that will come up a lot is a fear of being judged. And that is a really like, scary thing for getting people over that hurdle of putting themselves out there. We talk a lot about how we pre reject people, just to avoid feeling like we're being judged or whatever it is that fear. I know, for me, I would pre reject people who I thought were all set on friends, because I'm like, Well, I don't need them to tell me that. I will just assume, right? I will stay safe over here. They technically didn't say no to my friendship, but I also never gave them the chance. Ooh,

Danielle Bettmann  19:02  
yeah. Yeah. I mean, how similar is finding mom friends to dating, huh?

Emily Siegel  19:07  
It is. It's worse.

Danielle Bettmann  19:12  
That's what I hear. Say more on that.

Emily Siegel  19:14  
Yeah. I mean, I think it's especially when it comes to mom friends in particular, just spit there gets to be so many layers with like parenting styles. And well, your, you know, partner be a good match for my partner. And Will my kids get along and how do we discipline? And how do we manage these like kerfuffles with our kids? Oh, yeah. You know, in a gentle parenting one bites the other. Yeah, yeah. There's just like, it feels like kind of a few more. Oh my gosh, what are those things? My minefield minefields? Yeah, we're minefields where with dating? Like there's an expectation these days that you're upfront about what you're looking for true? And we just don't have that expectation around friendship. It's been Much more unwritten and murky. And so for that reason alone, like, no one's talking about it, there's no rules that feel clear to us all that we've all agreed upon. Yeah. And so yeah, that's why it's harder, in my opinion.

Danielle Bettmann  20:13  
I so agree the way that you just explained it, because it's not even like we have shared expectations that we're on a first date, even though it's so unspoken. Yeah,

Emily Siegel  20:21  
Yeah everything about it is very, very unspoken, if you don't like, hint at that elephant in some way. Yeah.

Danielle Bettmann  20:28  
Because we don't even know if we have aligned goals at all. If like, I'm really trying to look out like for my bestie, and you have zero interest in, you know, how bringing on any new type of relationship because, you know, this is your youngest child at the school where this is my oldest child at this school. And, you know, there's so many other dynamics that we don't even realize,

Emily Siegel  20:51  
yeah, and it's, that's the one thing I always want moms to know is that like, for the most part, like, the statistics are on your side, around people wanting more connection and wanting more friendship, even when it feels like okay, well, like I'm on the hunt here. I don't know if she like maybe she actually came to volunteer for this kids school thing. Maybe she didn't volunteer for this thing to look for friends. Maybe she actually like wanted, you know, to see her kid at the school or whatever. Because we do, you know, sometimes have different motivations for showing up to certain things. Sometimes there's multiple motivations, which is usually more the case for things that we go to. And it's it's much safer out there than we think it is.

Danielle Bettmann  21:27  
Yeah, it's all in our head. Yeah. So tell me again, the way that you worded it to name the elephant, like we talked about before?

Emily Siegel  21:34  
Yeah, I just, I mean, I don't necessarily say Oh, Hi, I'm Emily. I'm looking for friends. I don't necessarily go about it that way. But I will, you know, say, yeah, we've, you know, just moved to the area. And I'll give two examples. So the move to the area's an easy one. It's probably one of the easier ones to say, oh, yeah, I moved to the area, just, you know, kind of looking for kids, my kids age, maybe we could do some playdates, I wouldn't mind having some adult conversation, you know, just kind of telling people that as part of that conversation, I think, for a lot of moms who have not moved, which I would say usually is probably like, the boat most people are in. And so it's usually a case of like, oh, I, you know, just don't live by my friends anymore. Or I'm the first to have kids or the last to have kids, you know, whatever it is. But I think even that can be said of like, oh, yeah, you know, yeah, I'm the first of my friends to have kids and just kind of looking for other moms that are in this stage to like, I don't know, figure out all these things. Yeah. So yeah, it really just looks more like that, in terms of calling out the white elephant. I've just kind of naming the stage of life you're in and being like, oh, you know, on the lookout for this, my favorite friend pickup line, I guess, is I used to go the park all the time, just looking for kids the same age, that maybe the mom would be cool. And you know, I usually open with like, something about like, oh, how old your kid or you know, something easy. And then by the end, if we chatted and it's been fine. I would usually say something like, Oh, do you want to exchange numbers? I can let you know, like the parks always more fun with other kids. I can let you know the next time we come! I literally I've collected 100 numbers that way. Because like I didn't say, do you want exchanged numbers so we can be best friends forever? Yeah, I was like, hey, this was way more fun, because there was another kid here. Like it's a win win for everyone. And I'm not even saying let's meet here next week at five. I'm saying I'll let you know the next time I come. And you just kind of have an opening. So I love that. Yeah, there's lots of ways you can just kind of call it out.

Danielle Bettmann  23:42  
Yeah. Yeah. So where do you go from there? Once you have the number.

Emily Siegel  23:48  
So like, if you are really in a stage, like let's say you just loved the conversation you had, I will say one time out of 10 That's usually the case for me. Like I also like to put some honesty out here like of like, otherwise it's kind of superficial. Yeah. Yeah. Sometimes you just have a nice chat, and it's fine. Sometimes you have nice chat, and you're like, oh my gosh, we could be best friends. You just know, you know, you do get those like, yeah, you do have those conversations. You're like, oh my gosh, like we could be best friends if the stars aligned. And so how you can help the stars align if you get that feeling. One of my favorites is if you did get the number or like social media media handle or some kind of way to follow up is, you know, just sending a text later that day being like, Oh, hey, it was great meeting you at the park like look forward to doing again sometime. Like just kind of like reiterating to her who's also like, I mean, I felt something But did she feel something you know, she's that same thing?

Danielle Bettmann  24:42  
She's like, I don't know if she likes me. 

Emily Siegel  24:45  
Yeah was that Yeah, exactly. We're all like over there ruminating on like, oh, no, I don't know was that just me? It was probably just I said something weird. Probably like rain. Yeah. So you can you can tell her? No, it wasn't just you have like a real like meeting you and have, you know and then like, maybe look for an opportunity to suggest another gathering? Or if that's if you have to, like, if it's truly someone you've just met, where you'll never see them again, naturally, you're looking for like, Oh, we're going to this like Festival this weekend, you know, be fun to meet up, or we'll be at the Park on Saturday. Let me know if you're around like we could meet up just like very like soft, very, like safe invites. Like, I guess you're not necessarily like saying, Hey, come on over to my house and let's eat dinner together. But just like offering like, Hey, your kid, you got to run your kid around. I gotta run my kid around. Like, let's do it together. Yeah. So yes, I like to do to do that as a follow up and just kind of like, keep the conversation going. I always say like, social media is the new playground. Like, that's how we made friends growing up. We just kept saying that playground, just like comment on social media, people like people who invest in them who like them. And so it's just those little things that can like help to make the connection stickier, even though you're not like getting together face to face over and over and over. So looking for those opportunities. Yeah. Okay.

Danielle Bettmann  26:08  
I love that word stickier. What does that mean to you within the context of those relationships? Yeah,

Emily Siegel  26:13  
I, you know, there's people you meet in life, you're like, oh, my gosh, we can be friends if the stars aligned. And in parenthood a lot, the stars do not align. There's

Danielle Bettmann  26:23  
just they're like the opposite of aligning opposite of aligning. And so

Emily Siegel  26:27  
we're like, man, if we kept running into each other, like this would go somewhere. And so what that running into each other does in life is it makes those connections, stickier in the sense of you have, you know, like, there's clearly like, Okay, this is growing, we're talking about more things like, clearly, I enjoy being around her or she enjoys being around me, you're just kind of those, you know, in our relationship is like becoming stronger. And so yeah, really just looking for opportunities to make it stronger. And a lot of times that is just kind of continuing to see each other. I was actually just talking to one of our moms in our communities. It's like, it's not the first meeting. That's hard. It's the second, third, fourth, fifth. And even after you have like a really great kind of initial connection, I think about one of my mom, friends right now, we had like an amazing first connection, it was so great. And we had a great second connection. And then like the third and fourth were like, fine math, you know, they're fine. And I was like, No, there's something here, like, we just need to like, you just got to stay in it, you got to stay in it. And I was encouraging this mom that I was talking to her. I was like, Hey, I know, it's great. And just so you know, at some point, you're probably going to have like, time together, like, don't let that get in your head. You just keep going, like initial connections are probably true. Just sometimes like you just feel off or you have low energy, like, Yeah, well, there's a lot going on outside of our, in our lives. And so not every interaction is going to be like amazing. But just like keep going. That

Danielle Bettmann  28:02  
is that is good to really just gauge expectations, because we can totally sabotage ourselves by waiting for one thing to go wrong. And then looking at that as evidence to be like, see, this wasn't worth it. It's not working. They don't like me, like whatever it is. And I think it could be just be your hormonal that week. It could be that you haven't gotten sleep. You know, understandably, it could be that your kid pushed their kid over. And it was really awkward, you know, any amount of things that could go wrong.

Emily Siegel  28:30  
And vice versa. Like they might be feeling that way that day. It's right. Yeah, it's very rarely, if you felt than an I always say, if you felt an initial connection, that was probably true. Hmm,

Danielle Bettmann  28:41  
that's good. There's something there good perspective to keep hold up for sure. Are there like mantras or kind of mindset shifts that you really encourage some of your members to hold on to as a little like pep talk?

Emily Siegel  28:54  
Yeah, they fight me on this one. I'll be honest, I may be like a little ambitious with this one. But this was the one that changed the game for me back when I was pre rejecting everyone, and just being like, no, like, there are set on friends so I'll just stay away. And so I was going into every interaction, assuming no one wanted to be my friend. And once I kind of like figured out what was actually happening, I started going into every interaction, assuming everyone wanted to be my best friend. And that is the mindset shift I really encourage moms to embrace is it is safe out there, like 75% of us truly want more friends want better, deeper connections. And so you can go in and assume that like, they want to be your best friend. Now, ultimately, I did not become friends with all these people. But the energy that I was bringing was vastly different with that mindset versus they're probably good. They're not really that interested in me or they're just being nice, which is all the things I used to bring to the table when I meet people and now I'm like, Well, I Obviously, you're gonna want to be my best friend. So we'll have to just see if like, you know, this can go anywhere. That yeah, it's

Danielle Bettmann  30:08  
turning the tables in a big way. But it's because of Yeah, what it does to your energy that you bring in and the amount of you know, warmth or passion or you know, conversation topics, or, you know this because they're feeding off of you just as much as you know, you are of them. And if when you can control some of that side of it, you're gonna see different results. Absolutely. Yeah.

Danielle Bettmann  30:46  
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Danielle Bettmann  33:15  
One of the things I saw on your site was a little anecdote about the term squad versus circle. What are your thoughts on one over the other?

Emily Siegel  33:25  
Yeah, I mean, I prefer circle over squad. I made the mistake of like creating a program with the word squad initially trying to meet people where they're at, you know, because we all want a squad. Right? That sounds amazing.

Danielle Bettmann  33:38  
What's everybody's definition of a squad?

Emily Siegel  33:41  
I find that most of us think it's like a group of people that do everything and anything together. You can rely they can be at your house at the drop of a hat. All these things

Danielle Bettmann  33:52  
like the friends show like The friends show. Yeah. Is that like quintessential? Everybody's hashtag goal. Yes, yeah,

Emily Siegel  33:59  
absolutely. And I think that really hinders what we go after in friendship in so many ways that's just so specific, and is also the same people all the time, where circle and prefer that language because it really gives an opportunity to have multiple groups of friends versus I just have this one group that I invest all my time and energy into. And of course there can be like groups within your circle that maybe you feel closer to you at different times or enjoy being with in different circumstances. But that's kind of the beauty of a circle is that you've got options and you've got multiple people that can fill different needs in your life emotionally physically, even like yeah, it's just gives more opportunity to truly get a sense of what friendship is really can be. Yeah, doesn't like put it in a corner. I think the way that squads do and it just A lot of times I find people are, have much better, stronger, deeper friendships with that mindset, because if you're like on the lookout for this elusive squad, and you know, there's so many people that might not ever fill that role for you, but they could still be a really good friend in some different ways that you will have like, never invested in or just kind of let go of that truly could bring, you know, a lot of joy and goodness into your life. But it's like, well, no, you're not. You're not exactly what I'm looking for right now and just continuing to focus on what we don't have versus what we have. Yes.

Danielle Bettmann  35:37  
So talk to me more about time. You had alluded earlier about like how you kind of have to reframe how you think about time, if you if that feels like your biggest roadblock, to prioritizing more connection? How do we do that as busy moms?

Emily Siegel  35:53  
I mean, the first thing I really encourage moms to do is just we actually do like, kind of a friendship audit of like, okay, if you aren't feeling mad about friendship, or even really down about it, I think it's helpful to figure out why and get a sense of like, is it that I am craving more same season friends who are like in the thick of motherhood with me with same age kids? Is it that like, I only have mom friends and I need like, I need some friends outside of this motherhood thing? Is it that you have all these great friends in life, but nobody lives near you. And you are just physically not seeing good, deep connections is like you have good friends, you're just not seeing them. Like because you haven't figured out the timepiece. So I really like to figure out what is the stickiest challenge around like, why you're feeling down, and then identifying, okay, so it is that you just have no friends that you feel close to you that are in the same season of life as you, okay, so that is like then where you can focus your time I find them when we just don't even name what we're really after. In friendship, we just feel like it's so elusive. And we're just like, I don't know, just trying all these different strategies and just doesn't feel like anything's taking. And friendship does require some consistency. And so if you can figure out okay, no, like, I have very limited time, but of the time I have, I'm going to invest it in showing up in these spaces. Because I know this is we're all fine. Other moms who are in my season. And then it also releases a lot of guilt. Over all the things you're saying no to where you could potentially make friends. Like, yes, there's like, so many ways in places you can make friends. But if you're really specific on like, Okay, this is where I'm gonna spend my very limited friendship Time I do have, it can be just so helpful, you'll get like, you'll get the outcomes you're looking for better, you'll get closer relationships more quickly, because you're more focused versus like, just I'm going to show up to that group this week. And then that group that week, and every time you show up to new group, you're like, I don't know, these are my people like, okay, just choose one, just go a couple that, like, we can reevaluate in like six weeks, but like, just stick to the one thing for six weeks and see what happens. Yeah, and that can alleviate a lot of like time issues. And then we can talk about, like ways to sneak in friendship, you know, with the limited time we do have, but that I find is the most helpful when you're like feeling overwhelmed and don't know where to start. Yeah,

Danielle Bettmann  38:17  
That's brilliant. Because we need, we need strategy. And that consistency piece is such a good point. Because we're not even aware of how inconsistent we're being if we're just genuinely throwing spaghetti at a wall with relationships and being like, Well, this was convenient this week. And you know, next week, this is on my calendar already. So there we go. And just Yeah, not really knowing why. It's not even satisfying. That's so that's so smart.

Emily Siegel  38:44  
Yeah, and we all want ease, like that is the word that comes up over and over. Like, we just want friendship to be easy. We don't want it to feel like all this work. And I'm like 100% agree. And I do think if you can put a little bit of work on the front end with some intention. You can get to the easy it much more quickly. And you can get to the point where like, okay, we're cool. This is going well. I'm just going to propose, like, let's just do like, a weekly walk date at this time. Yeah, maintenance mode at that point. And you can just get to a point with someone where you can say that without fear. Yeah. When you are really intentional in the front end, and then then that's when friendship feels less like work.

Danielle Bettmann  39:23  
I think we expect that too soon, probably. Yeah, for sure. Okay, so that's really sorry. So what do we actually do? Like if I sat out today and I'm like, I'm gonna make more friends. Do I go stand on the street corner? Do I have to like take my kid to the park for 12 hours a day? Where do I go? What are like some of those things where I can pick one and run with it for six weeks?

Emily Siegel  39:45  
Yeah, I mean, obviously it depends what you're looking for. Like if it's same season Yeah. So you can look for other moms with kids the same age where might they be is joining the PTA is that? You know, volunteering for something is that you know, join Hang a local kid group or playdate group. Or you might be looking for like, niche friends like who love you know, different hobbies. I generally don't see that a ton with moms of like, I'm gonna deal with hobbies later. But, you know, if you do have one that you really enjoy, absolutely, like, that's a place that you can go. But that's that's usually what I'm on the lookout for. I have found the most luck personally, with a workout groups. That was what I did when I had itty-bitties, I went to a stroller workout group. And I used to laugh, because I was not there to work out at all. Like I just looked for other moms that had like, kids that looked about my age. And I would, every time we'd Park to do push ups, I parked next to them. 

Emily Siegel  40:43  
So that one was really helpful, just as we saw each other all the time. There's research around people you see all the time you just like, so, you know, there's some strategy there. So the workout groups are great, right now that we've just moved again, the biggest thing has been volunteering for a school fundraiser, because that required that required for whatever reason, meetings at someone's home, like once every three weeks, versus volunteering in the school, where you just like maybe see the teacher or the kids. And so that was helpful, because that accomplished my goal of I am supporting my kids school. But I'm doing it in a way were really more leaning into my strengths. And also it's just like, it's a group of adults. There's there's no children here during these meetings. Yeah, a protected space. Yeah. And everybody was just so much more loose, because it wasn't like in the middle of a school day where they're like thinking of 30 billion things they've got to do before they can get to bedtime. So that one was really good, too. For me. Yeah,

Danielle Bettmann  41:48  
that was super smart. i This is my second year. Chairing the fundraiser for my kids school. Yeah.

Emily Siegel  41:55  
Oh, my gosh, I bet it's been huge for meeting other parents and feeling like you really, like belong in this community. Yeah,

Danielle Bettmann  42:02  
so true. It's definitely raised, like the awareness piece where people recognize me now. Whereas before, you know, there's always been that I think, in every space, you're like, do I do I fit in? Do I belong, I'm, I'm already intimidated by these other parents. And you know, they go to a private school. So there is some levels of like, my kids know, whose parent drives the coolest cars. It's not as, right. So you have to just kind of assert yourself. And we ended up doing that a little bit inadvertently, because of like requirements for, you know, time and stuff like that. But I have just decided that I'm gonna go first, you know, like, I'm gonna, I'm gonna lead the thing, I'm gonna sign up for the thing, I'm gonna host the thing. And that way it happens, because I was so sick of sitting around being like, no one else invited me. No one else hosted the thing. No one else thought that, you know, that should be a thing or read my mind. Yeah. And I'm like, I'm not gonna, I'm not gonna do that anymore. And I think there still is a misconception where some of the parents now might see me as the leader of the fundraiser, being like, Oh, she's the one with all the friends that has it all together. Right. And that's so true. I lead a podcast about failing motherhood, I still go home and work from home and feel pretty lonely. Most of the time, I don't have still the level of depth of friendships that I wish that I had. I have a ton of acquaintances, and ton of connections and a ton of like networks that I've created. But I'm still definitely on the search. So if that, and I'm not saying that to say anything about like, my personal relationships on here. I'm saying that so that you can take down that wall of assumptions of that of the mom that you know, that might be the me in your world? Yeah, they do not, not want to connect? Absolutely not. They're still looking for the people that are like, you know, I'm putting my feelers out there being like, are you? Are you cool? Like, you know, can we be real? Can we be honest, and we joke about this and it like, not completely flap and, you know, leave me hanging in. And so, so please, make those good assumptions like believe the best in somebody else, because it really only harms both of you to just rule that out from the get go.

Emily Siegel  44:28  
I love that you said that. Because it's true. I do think about though, the woman who are chairs, our fundraiser, and I'm like, she knows everyone now. Right? And yeah, for sure. I'm curious for you. So, you know, we're thinking about like the one thing, you've got all these established networks and these acquaintances and these people, and you are craving more depth. So have you kind of noticed, like, of all the people you've met has there been like one to Earth For you that you're like, man, if the stars aligned, like, I think, like we could be friends. Yeah.

Danielle Bettmann  45:05  
So I last year, last school year, I started a, quote unquote, book club. For my two daughters that are a year apart, they have a lot of like, girlfriends that are just, you know, by nature because they're in their small class. And so I invited them over and we got a book that from the library, and I'm like, they'll all go home and read this book, and then come back. Well, of course, they didn't talk about it just in the same way that we wouldn't have as adults. But then we just kept calling it book club, but just hosting monthly playdates from that point on. And I would always offer for parents to stay or drop off, you know, whatever they're comfortable with. So there would be, you know, one or two moms that ended up being kind of my favorites of the group where I hoped that they would stay. And we would talk about what books were reading, and, you know, build that relationship that way. Now, they're playing basketball with kind of similar friend groups. So we're seeing each other more often outside of that group. And I have offered to, you know, one or two of them to be like, Hey, if you ever want to grab coffee, like one on one, you know, I'm always open and like Friday mornings, that would be really fun. And, you know, that's the line we're at is like, that's kind of where it ends.

Emily Siegel  46:14  
Yeah. Interesting. I love it. I love all the stuff you've taken, though good, diagnose me know, I know diagnosis. But like, if you're feeling like these are the two or three that you can see, like we are. So we're close, like, but there's definitely a just like, a lack of depth. I think you're right on in this sense of looking for a new way to connect. That's like a really great opportunity of like, okay, we keep seeing each other at this, you know, fundraising volunteer thing, or we keep seeing each other at these play dates. And we have nice conversations, we need to take this outside of this environment. And this way that we're currently interacting and like coffee one on one is great. So I would make more of a dork ass if you want. And then if you feel like sometimes there's like nervousness about one on ones. There's like safety in numbers. So sometimes people like three, three or four people. I like the three. I know that sometimes threes get a bad rap, but like getting to know people. So it's a buffer with that third person that feels safer to everyone. I can totally see that. Yeah. So that's another opportunity. Like if you want to look for ways that the three of you could connect. But yeah, it's taking that leap of like being more specific with an invite. Okay. of, Hey, would this Friday work? Or next Friday? Yeah, that's so good. And let's say coffee in the morning is like a terrible option for them. They're not going to just say no, they're gonna say no, she like, maybe we could try this instead, like, go build an alternative. Oh, catch what you're putting out there? Yeah,

Danielle Bettmann  47:55  
yeah, yeah. No, you're so right. I think it's so nice to take the theories into practical examples. And, you know, make it make sense with what that really looks like in, you know, someone's life. And I think I hopefully you can relate in some way where it just makes it more tangible and makes it more like, Okay, I have a next step. There's something I can do. There is a path forward and not just like, Well, I'm just gonna throw my hands up for another year or two, until inevitably, things slow down, or things get better, because we always tell ourselves like, this is just a busy week. Next week, things will slow down. Yeah,

Emily Siegel  48:34  
yeah. And there, I mean, there are times when it's crazy busy, which is why like the like, Okay, what's the, what's the one thing the one thing being like the one relationship or the one space that you're going to show up to? That you can, when you have those limited pockets of time, you know, who or where you can throw it to then to versus like, Oh, what do I do now? It can be nice to just be intentional about that. But I love I love that you're like listeners are getting to hear your example of I've got all these hello from the outside, you know, observer you like walk into that school, like you own it? And know everyone and they're just like, hearing you say I'm so craving more depth, I think is so, so valuable and knowing like, No, you're there. So clearly spaced here for anyone that you know, shows an interest and willing to try and see what might be there. Yes. But it's a two way street. You got to show interest to you.

Danielle Bettmann  49:34  
Yeah. So the last thing we didn't get the chance to talk about which I just want to name is expecting the level of friendship support that you need from your spouse. Hmm. So I think I think that there is, you know, just a natural inclination, especially post COVID to be like, I got my one friend. They're my one bestie they're my spouse. Check. Problem solved. What can go wrong there? Like what? What do we need to be be more cautious about or intentional about with that expectation? Yeah,

Emily Siegel  50:08  
I, one of my favorite authors on friendship, Laura trumaine has a she talks about friendship philosophies, she has five of them. And one of them is my husband is not my best friend. And I always just, I love that, I think it's fine. If your husband is your best friend, or one of them. I think in general, the whole best friend language is weird, or we don't use it like the right way anymore. But yeah, of course, that's an close and important relationship and one that you need to be investing in and putting time into and problem and hopefully getting a lot of satisfaction, validation, emotional support, hopefully, you're getting all of that in that relationship. And also, we have so many emotional support means that I think can sometimes be better filled by people that are not so close to all the dynamics happening in our family, with our kids. Getting some outside perspective is always so valuable, helps you feel less crazy, just going back to that. But yeah, I think a lot of us are out there saying, Oh, my spouse is good enough. For now, I will deal with friends when these kids are 18. And the truth is that we can tell ourselves that for a little bit, it kind of works for a little bit to trick our brains. But a lot of times we go on to social media and start seeing what other people have, and or at least what we perceive other people to have in friendship. And we noticed there's a longing there of like, I want that to you. And it's because there's something that those friendships can fulfill that spouses can. And I think that's important to listen to don't like, you know, freak out and assume all the things about what are these other people have? But listen to that. It's telling you something.

Danielle Bettmann  51:44  
Yep. That's well said, for sure. So how can listeners connect with you offline? Where where are you found these days?

Emily Siegel  51:54  
Yes, everything that I do is online at theconnectedmomlife.com have a weekly podcast where we talk about all things building community and making connections stickier. And I also serve a mom, friends community where women who are looking to have stronger in real life, friendships come and we talk about these things. I am not a therapist, but I do love that a lot of the members in our group describe it as friendship therapy of like, it's just so nice to talk about these things. No one talks about it. So we do a lot of naming white elephants. And we do a lot of validating of the weirdness around these unwritten rules that we're all having to navigate out there with all these other people that aren't talking about the roles and come up with strategies to make it not feel so not make us all feel so crazy, huh? 

Danielle Bettmann  52:47  
So good. So needed. And I'll put that on the show notes so that they can can find you right from here. The last question that I asked every guest that comes on, is how are you the mom that your kids need?

Emily Siegel  52:58  
Hmmm, that's such a good question. I think kind of in the mom my kids need because I care a lot about emotions, emotional intelligence. And I do think I have kids that have some anxious tendencies. And I think I'm good at helping them name the unspoken and name the feelings and because again, it comes back to that white elephant theory, if we don't name the like, monster in the corner, you know, only gets scarier and weirder and harder to navigate and makes you feel like, You're wrong. So don't you think I've got that? I've got that going for my kids. Good.

Danielle Bettmann  53:41  
They are, they're lucky to have you being so open and so aware and so ready to have those conversations. And you know, model that from the get go. So thank you for sharing your expertise for letting me pick your brain for being putting me on the spot for all of the things that we covered so many topics, but I think a lot of it is just bringing awareness and shedding light onto things that we haven't thought about we haven't named we haven't talked about enough. So thank you so much for sharing your wisdom and being here today.

Emily Siegel  54:11  
Thank you for having me.

Danielle Bettmann  54:19  
Thank you so much for tuning into this episode of Failing Motherhood. Your kids are so lucky to have you. If you loved this episode, take a screenshot right now and share it in your Instagram stories and tag me. If you're loving the podcast, be sure that you've subscribed and leave a review so we can help more moms know they are not alone if they feel like they're failing motherhood on a daily basis. And if you're ready to transform your relationship with your strong willed child, and invest in the support you need to make it happen. Schedule your free consultation using the link in the show notes. I can't wait to meet you. Thanks for coming in. this journey with me I believe in you and I'm cheering you on.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai