Making new mom friends can be a lot like dating. The anxiety, approaching other moms and play dates. Then after all the chatting and setting up the date you have to follow through and keep that relationship going. And just like dating, it’s not easy stuff! You have to know where to meet the right moms, how to approach each other and get together for a play date. It’s not uncommon for especially new moms to feel isolated and alone. These are the years it is even more important for us to be connected to each other. Both online and in person, these moms have become my lifeline. My sanity on tough days and my sounding board for days I question my parenting. Don’t worry about your stained clothes, you probably haven’t showered in a day or two and forming a sentence might be tough on a few hours of broken sleep, but trust me most of the moms you will meet are feeling The. Exact. Same. Thing. So get out there and let me know how it goes.
1. Put yourself out there. Literally, put the baby in a stroller and walk around the park, your block or the mall. The places you frequent are usually good spots to start looking for your mom friends. If you meet another mommy at the gym you already have something in common and can bond over a good workout while the kids play. Grocery stores, libraries even the pediatricians office are all great spots to start practicing your mom dating skills 😉
2. Mommy and Me Groups, classes and story times. When my second was born, I was new to the area and had a 2 year old at home. For my own sanity I needed to get out of the house, but leaving for the playgroup or drop in programs wasn’t motivating enough for me. That year we joined mommy and me gym classes and playgroups. I needed the weekly commitment to get us all out of the house and it helps to be around the same group of people you can bond with.
3. National Organizations. There are a number of national organizations whose goal is to foster the mommy connections. Check out our local chapters of La Lache League, MOPS, Stroller Strides or other New mom groups. New Baby New Paltz has a mother’s social group that meets weekly and Waddle and Swaddle offers a breastfeeding support group as well as weekly play dates. And lastly, check out the local hospitals. Northern Dutchess and Vassar Hospital both offer new mom groups too.
4. Go Online. If getting out of the house seems impossible most days look online for local mom groups. On Facebook, Hudson Valley Moms Group, Dutchess County moms group, Orange County NY moms group and Sullivan County mommies are a few great ones. Also check out meetup.com and yahoo groups. Chatting online is a great way to make initial connections, schedule play dates and/ or continue friendships.
5. Playgroups. Hudson Valley Parent’s calendar is filled with a number of local playgroups! Check your library, favorite indoor play spot, churches and community centers for some great groups near you. If you find that one isn’t the right fit (sometimes they can feel a little cliquey) don’t get discouraged, just move on to the next one!
6. Working mom? Be creative. It might be tougher for moms with limited time but not impossible. Be creative! If you work in a big company start a working mothers lunch group. I see a lot of working mom groups online, it might be tougher but remember you aren’t alone! Starting with some “online dating” in a moms group and scheduling play dates with other working moms already gives you a connection… and a lot to talk about!
7. Volunteer. It’s as simple as offering to help with a community event, with your child’s school or at a local charity. Many times other stay at home moms are running the events, you would be doing some good, helping others and making mommy friends along the way. Choose to do something you are passionate about and you will find others who are just as passionate as you.
8. Make the first move. Don’t wait for someone else to make the first move. You have to be willing to approach other moms too. Start with some small talk, how old is her child, etc. If you’re like me and small talk doesn’t come naturally for you, ask a lot of questions. Where was their baby born? How was the birth? How are they sleeping? You are sure to find something in common with each other. If you are able to make that connection, don’t forget to follow through. Ask to exchange phone numbers and set up a play date.
9. Set up a play date. You can meet somewhere easy for both of you but my best tip is to make sure it’s at a time and day that works best for you and your child. My boys tend to be better behaved in the morning so we like to schedule play dates before lunch and nap times. Have a new baby that sleeps most of the day? Don’t let endless naps get in your way of making friends! Use nap time to your advantage. Meet your new friend at a coffee shop, take a walk around the block or mall or meet for lunch while the babies nap. Play dates aren’t just for the kids you know 😉
10. Be consistent. If your true goal is to build a new friendship being consistent is key. The internet is a wonderful way to stay in touch with someone. Schedule your next play date and keep things moving. Who knows, your mom- date could turn into your next BFF.
What are your best tips for making mommy friends? Share your thoughts in the comments!