As any mom knows, free time is hard to come by. From unpredictable nap schedules to potty training, there is hardly a moment to spare for moms of little ones. But this is a time in our lives when we need support and community more than ever. Adult interaction and socialization is pivotal in helping us maintain a sense of sanity.
In my case, many of my close friends don’t live nearby and very few of them have kids, so it can be hard relating to them about my new life, centered so heavily on motherhood. Although it is important to stay connected to old friends and talk about something other than babies, I very much desired finding a community of mom friends who could I could relate with on a different level. Here are some ideas to help you get started.
Get Out There!
You don’t have to be a mom yet to begin making mom friends! Before the baby arrives, attending childbirth classes is a great way to meet expectant moms (and dads) who are due around the same time. I enrolled in all of the classes that the hospital offered: Breastfeeding, Labor & Delivery, and Bringing Home Baby. My husband also went to a Boot Camp for New Dads class and met great dads-to-be there as well! Don’t be afraid to socialize and put yourself out there to see who you click with.
Created by and for full-time working moms in mind, this is a wonderful app that is also referred to as “Tinder for moms.” Each mom creates a profile, including information about your neighborhood, age and gender of kid(s), photos, occupation, and a short blurb about yourself and what you’re looking for. When looking through other mom profiles, you can swipe up to “wave” or down for “maybe later.” If both moms “wave” to each other, a connection is made. You can also individually chat with other moms at any time. This has been an invaluable tool for finding moms nearby with babies similar in age that I never would have met otherwise.
Chances are there is already an established Facebook group for moms in your local area. If not, an online community is also a great resource for support and encouragement and a great place to ask questions about anything baby-related. Join a few groups and introduce yourself and your baby. Make a group post about what you’re looking for or individually message a few moms to see if they would be interested in talking or meeting up.
Meetup is a website that encourages people to meet others in the community who have similar interests, goals, and causes through regular face-to-face interactions. There are Meetup groups geared towards certain locations, full-time/working moms, single parents, certain age groups (moms and kids), ethnic groups, special needs, and anything else you might have in common with other parents. Meetup groups organize different types of gatherings on a regular basis. If there is a certain group that hasn’t been created yet, you can take the initiative and become the moderator for the group. Meetup will tell you how many people have expressed interest in joining that specific group already to help you get started.
The ideas already mentioned can work for both working moms and full-time moms. Since full-time moms function on a slightly different schedule than working moms and have more flexibility during the week, I have included a few more ideas geared towards their availability.
Library – Many local libraries offer story time for various age groups on a regular basis. Many of them are interactive and allow the kids to participate through music and movement.
Park – During the times of year when the weather is nice, look for a great kid-friendly park to spend time outdoors.
FIT4MOM – FIT4MOM is a franchise with locations available all over the country. It is geared towards helping moms stay in shape while still allowing for the flexibility that motherhood demands. They offer a prenatal class (FIT4BABY), three programs that include kids (Stroller Strides, Stroller Barre, Run Club), and one that is just for mom (Body Back).
Parent and Child Classes – Find out what’s offered in your area and find a schedule and price range that works for you. Types of classes include art, cooking/baking, dance, fitness, gymnastics, swim, music, sports, foreign languages, and much more!
Breaking the Ice
So you’ve connected with a few potential mom friends. Now what? The next step is to schedule a playdate at the park, a playground, or at someone’s house. If you want, keep in touch throughout the week to have someone to share your mom journey with.
Regardless of your personalities or interests, there is at least one thing that you know you have in common, being moms! Here are some questions to help you break the ice.
- What did you like to do before having kids?
- What was your childbirth experience like?
- What surprised you about motherhood?
- What do you keep in your diaper bag?
- What are some tips and tricks you’ve discovered in regards to sleeping, feeding, bath time, favorite toys, etc.?
- What are you most looking forward to doing with your little one?