Updated on November 11, 2015
Six Ways to Make Mom Friends
I was the first of my close friends to get pregnant and have a baby. In some ways, that was good. I wasn’t getting a whole bunch of unsolicited advice from well meaning friends with older children, but on the other hand, I wasn’t getting much advice at all! I was very much on my own for figuring out the basics of having and raising a little human. If there was one word I could use to describe being a new mom, it would be survival. Survival is everything. Let me tell you, surviving motherhood without like minded mom friends is hard. To get through the early days of motherhood I needed to find some mom friends stat. Now, three and a half years later, I can tell you that I have a lot of mom friends. They’re no longer just mom friends to me either, they are friends. Wonderful, caring, inspiring women who all happen to have kids around the same age as The Heir (and a handful of them now have children around the same age as Petit Prince too). It wasn’t always easy to find and make mom friends, but I can tell you now that the effort I put in has been well worth it! Here’s how I did it.
1. Take a prenatal/childbirth class. Yes, you can probably find out everything you want and need to know about childbirth from books or the internet, but that’s not why you take a prenatal class. The prenatal class we took when I was pregnant with The Heir was about finding mom friends! Did I learn a thing or two about childbirth and breastfeeding from that class? Sure! But what I really got out of that class was a group of great friends. Three and half years later, we are still getting together. We always make an effort to get the kids together usually around the time they all age another year, but we see each other throughout the year as well. That first year, a bunch of us took our little ones to their first swimming lessons together (always followed by brunch of course), and this past summer a handful of us enrolled the kids in the same soccer class. I can’t tell you how invaluable it has been to have these women by my side over these years. We all met when we were hugely pregnant, and have been able to lean on and commiserate with one another when all our kids were going through the same phases at the same time. How can you turn your prenatal class into a friend pool? Initiate an email list! Don’t wait for someone else to start one, just do it! Then just make sure you actually use that list. It can be hard to stay on top of it when everyone has brand new babies at home, but it’s worth making an effort! You can even turn that email list into a private Facebook group to make organizing get togethers super easy.
2. Step out of your comfort zone. Are you shy? I think I’m shy sometimes. I’m not the kind of person to go up to strangers and ask them to hang out. Scratch that. I wasn’t that kind of person before The Heir was born, but I am now. It may sounds crazy, but stepping out of your comfort zone and introducing yourself to other moms you see at your local hang out (read: Starbucks) is a great way to meet new mom friends. One of my best mom friends is someone I met at a Starbucks while I was waiting to meet a friend. She complimented The Heir’s coat or my stroller (I don’t remember anymore), and we got to talking. I suggested we exchanged emails and we got together for a walk a couple weeks later. It turned out we had A LOT in common! So I say, go for it! Chat up that mom at the bookstore or local cafe. She just might be your next mom friend!
3. Join local groups on Facebook. Is there something that you’re particularly passionate about? Maybe it’s baby wearing or cloth diapering (or both). There are local Facebook groups for everything. Join one and see if they have any upcoming meet ups. If they don’t, start one! You’ll have a great starting point for a friendship since you already have something in common. You’re not always going to have a connection with everyone you meet, but the odds are good that at least one or two of the moms are ones you’d like to spend more time with.
4. Take a class with your baby. Any time you enroll in a class of some kind for your baby, you are sure to meet other moms. Pick something you think your baby would enjoy or something that might benefit you. There’s swimming lessons, Mother Goose/Rhyme Time at the library, Kindermusik, mom and tot yoga, mom and baby fitness, baby and you… I could go on. The Heir loved swimming and Mother Goose at the library, so that’s what we did! Petit Prince and I just started Rhyme Time at the library last week too. This is another great place to create an email sign up list. You’re going to see these moms and their babies for 6-8 weeks, and most classes include some time in the middle for socializing with the other moms. Don’t be shy, exchange phone numbers or email addresses and set up a play date!
5. Reconnect with old friends. Maybe you’ve lost touch with an old friend or you just drifted apart over the years, but now you both have kids or are both expecting. Reach out to that long lost friend and see if they might like to reconnect. I had a friend reconnect with me when she found out I was pregnant, and I can tell you that it has been such a joy to have her back in my life. Sometimes having kids is exactly what people need to bring them together again!
6. Don’t be afraid of the internet. Yes, I’m all about using the internet to connect with potential new friends offline, but there’s nothing wrong with making online mom friends. I have two online mom groups with women from across the country who all had due dates in the same month as me (one for The Heir and one for Petit Prince). Although I’ve only met a handful of them, I still consider them all friends. Sometimes you really need someone who can relate to exactly what you’re going through at 3am in the midst of the current “wonder week”. Moms with a baby the same age as yours who also have an older child (or two) can pass on their wisdom and still totally get your current perspective since they too have a baby the same age. Having shared the highs and lows of pregnancy and motherhood with these women, they have formed a big part of my support system and have become wonderful friends.
Motherhood can be hard, especially if you’re among the first of your friends to join the club. It can be isolating at times, but it doesn’t have to be. Maybe one (or more) of the ways I’ve outlined above resonates with you and is just the push you need to put yourself out there and meet some moms!
How did you meet your mom friends? I want to know!