It’s easier to face the challenges of motherhood when you have a tribe behind you. Even if you love the friends you already have, you’ll probably want to extend your circle to include more mom friends that can relate to your situation.
But making new mom friends can feel as awkward as dating, and you’re already low on time and energy when you’re caring for your kids.
Here’s how you can make connecting with mom friends more productive and less stressful.
How to Meet Mom Friends
1. Start looking while you’re pregnant
Once you bring your baby home from the hospital, you won’t have a lot of free time. Get a head start on making mom friends by reaching out while you’re pregnant. Introduce yourself to other pregnant moms in your OBGYN’s waiting room and chat with other customers shopping in the baby section of Target.
2. Think locally
Focus on finding friends who live nearby so you can maintain regular contact and schedule play dates. It’s nice when your best friends all have babies at the same time as you. But when they live 3 hours away, it makes it hard to see each other. Research the places in your neighborhood where parents hang out like the library, parks, or play centers.
3. Spread the word
Let your family, friends, and coworkers know that you want to meet other parents. They may know a couple with a child the same age as yours. Think of it like having your friends set you up on a date. lol
Another good tactic to make mom friends is to find one friend, then she finds another, and she finds another. And before you know it, you have a mom tribe to hang out with!
4. Check out online mom groups
There are a bunch of Facebook groups for moms. Just search and choose groups. You can even find groups that are specific to the year or even month your child was born. So everyone in the group has a child the same age as yours. Here’s a fun moms group that I’m in.
Even if you can’t meet your Facebook friends in real life, at least they’ll be there to support you when you need it.
You could also look for local play date groups or chapters of parenting groups like La Leche League or Stroller Strides.
5. Go to the playground
Old fashioned approaches still work too. Pick a time of day when your child tends to be calm, and head out to play on the swings and slides.
If your child is as extroverted as mine, she’ll make all the introductions for you. lol She goes up to other kids and parents and introduces me as her mommy.
6. Hit the gym
New mothers often flock to gyms because of the stupid pressure to “bounce back” after having a baby. Sign up for prenatal classes and return for Mommy and Me yoga sessions. Some gyms have a daycare where you might meet a new gym buddy.
7. Sign your little one up for activities
There are so many things you can get your child into. Even babies can do Mommy and Me classes. See if you have a local dance studio or gym that does music, dance, or tumbling classes for babies and toddlers. Moms are usually required to stay for the sessions so you’re bound to make new mom friends.
Your local library or even Barnes and Noble might have a story time for kids.
How to Make Mom Friends
1. Take initiative
Have the courage to make the first move if you see another mom who seems like a good friend. She’ll appreciate your thoughtfulness if she’s trying to make new friends too. I know, this is the hardest part. And most awkward. But you have to start somewhere.
2. Become a regular
Increase your chances of making a lasting connection by frequenting the same places at the same time of day. Maybe you’ll want to visit a popular coffee shop right after the morning rush each weekday. Or go to the local play center or park at the same time every Thursday.
At the very least, you’ll get to know the staff. My friend is obsessed with a guy that works at Target. lol
3. Schedule a playdate
When you hit it off with another mom, exchange contact info and suggest a playdate. That way, you’ll have an hour or two to get to know each other better.
It’s best to start off with a public place for a play date. No one wants to go to a stranger’s house especially with their kid. Meet at a park or a local event.
4. Arrange a mom date
If you’re craving actual adult conversation, set aside some quiet time to yourselves. Have a chat over a cup of coffee while your kids are napping. Go for a walk together while your babies lie quietly in their strollers. Or just tell the dads to handle the kids while you go out to dinner. You deserve it.
My group of mom friends meets once a month for dinner away from the kids
5. Be flexible
Your mom friends may be different from the friends you chose when you were single. Don’t be too quick to judge potential mom friends.
While it’s fun to discover you have plenty of common ground, you may just appreciate having someone around to provide companionship during the work week or share ideas for day care centers and non-annoying kids movies.
6. Resist comparisons
Moms sometimes feel pressured to look flawless, and social media can add to the strain. Remember that the most fulfilling friendships are those where you can relax and be authentic. Enjoy being yourself instead of trying to keep up with an unrealistic standard.
This also includes comparing your kids. Kids develop at different rates and it’s REALLY hard to resist comparing them. So you have to keep reminding yourself to not compare them.
7. Find a mentor
You might find it especially valuable to have mom friends who have more experience or demonstrate a parenting style that you admire. You can learn a lot from such real life examples. Find mom friends that have kids just a little older than yours. They can help you with the stages you’re in like easing teething pain and starting potty training.
Do you have trouble making mom friends?
Let me know in the comments below!
Take the anxiety out of making new mom friends. As you build your tribe, you’ll benefit from having validation and support, and you’ll be helping other moms at the same time. And you’ll prepare yourself to parent more effectively.
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