Remember when you were a kid and making friends was a matter of liking the same doll or needing a goalie for a soccer game? Making friends when you’re a new mom however, can be like dating or a job interview. Many new (or new again) moms are already overwhelmed and stressed out and the idea of having to get showered and dressed and leave the house with a new baby can be a bit too much. Other moms, like my friend Lyndsey, found that the traditional mom group she tried out was mostly moms far older or far younger than her, which made it hard for her to “click” with anybody.
My friend Ashley has 4 boys under age 8 (supermom right?) and the logistics of just getting anywhere can be unrealistic most days between naps, school pick-ups/drop offs and sports. Whereas another one of my friends found herself in a city she didn’t grow up in and didn’t know anybody at all. She also found talking to moms she didn’t know difficult and awkward. That being said, getting out of the house and socializing when you have a baby is incredibly healthy and can help a new mom avoid loneliness and isolation. There are many ways a new mom can find like-minded mommies in their area, but here are some that may not have crossed your radar.
Fitness Classes: When you’re a new mom, anything that allows you to multitask should be a priority. Going to a mommy bootcamp, yoga or fitness class is killing two birds with one stone at its very best. Many mom-friendly fitness classes are scheduled at nap-friendly times or have multiple time slots so you don’t have to miss class every week due to an erratic or unpredictable sleep schedule.
The Park: Seems obvious doesn’t it? So many moms hesitate to approach other mommies, but when I had my older kid the first close friendships I made were with mommies I met at our local park. At first we would see each other every now and then and that turned into chatting about the kids, which then morphed into post-park coffee dates and playdates. If you make eye contact and both smile, go for it! The worst that can happen is you don’t make a mommy connection, but at least you have somebody to chat with while the kids toddle around.
Coffee Shop: Most mommies are in constant need of caffeine. It’s not uncommon to hit your favourite coffee shop or bakery/café around the same time each day or week and see the same mommy or mommies there enjoying their own pick-me-up. This is the perfect time to start up a chat since you can easily joke about the need for the coffee or ask about their baby.
Social Media: Sure, we all use social media (or the vast majority of us anyways), but some of us may not be aware of the huge number of mom-based pages that can lead to actual friendships. Personally I joined a group for moms in Canada expecting December babies. There are less than 50 members in the group and we have all gotten to “know” each other over the last year so well that most of us have met up in our respective provinces since the babies have been born. We “chat” every day and have been an amazing support to each other over the past year. I don’t doubt for a second that I will continue to correspond and keep in touch with these women for many years to come. When I asked the moms why the online forum worked so well, one mom felt it was so much easier to be open and honest (which is often the case online) while another mentioned that having women from all over the country ensures that at any given time somebody would be awake and available. My friend Barb pointed out that she really appreciates that when she is posting on the page she can type of her thoughts and read them before she sends them off, often editing or re-writing when she feels necessary.
Have you made some amazing mommy friends? Where did you snag them?