How to Make Mom Friends
When we found out I was pregnant, of course I was thrilled! This is what we wanted and I was so lucky that it happened for us. But I was the first of my close girlfriends to have a baby and I couldn’t help but wonder how that would affect my relationships. I’m so lucky to have such amazing friends in my life and knew they would be supportive and helpful, but I also was a bit sad knowing I would be going through this on my own.
Even though my friends have been more than amazing with Ford, I wanted to make a few new friends that were also moms. Someone to share the “highs and lows” of motherhood and to swap product ideas and tips with. Thus began my search to find new mom friends…
Since we are not planning to put the baby into daycare until later, I knew I would have to try a bit harder to find new mom friends. It’s also a challenge for me since I don’t work in an office with other women, I work from home. I know friendships take time, so I haven’t been in a huge rush, but I’ve made progress! Hopefully, these tips will help any other new mamas that are struggling or searching to connect with other mamas.
Here are my tips for finding and making new mom friends:
Frequent baby-friendly spots
Sounds obvious, but it’s true. Start visiting more family-friendly restaurants, parks and other places with fun activities that you can do with the baby and possibly meet other moms! When planning activities, I now try to consider family-friendly options. You know, the places that others bring their little ones to. No, I am not talking about a fast-food restaurant with a play center. I mean, anywhere that you often notice other mamas bringing their babies to. For example, there is a fun indoor/outdoor bier garden in our neighborhood that is very kid-friendly. Or the local park is also a great option - especially in the mid-afternoon when the weather is nice. In the fall, pumpkin patches are a hot spot for families. Search online or on Instagram to get inspired!
Now, you can’t just show up and expect a friendship to form immediately! You have to be outgoing, even if you feel awkward, and strike up a conversation. When around other families with little ones, I’ll often ask “How old is he/she?” Or “Love that outfit! Where did you get it” and see if it sparks conversation. There’s been times when this turns into a nice chat and other times when it fizzles. But hey, even a short conversation can feel meaningful when you are around a baby all day! Just keep trying and someday that little convo may turn into something more.
Join an app, like Peanut
I never experienced the world of dating apps because my husband and I met before that was a thing, so joining an app to meet other moms felt a bit strange for me. But it worked and was such an easy way to make new connections!
I signed up for Peanut after reading about it online. It’s basically like a dating app, but for like-minded moms in your area. You create a profile for yourself and then can connect with other moms that interest you by ‘waving’ (or swiping down) and you can start to chat if they also ‘wave’ back at you. The Peanut app profile is super easy to fill out and includes several prompts. You can list your baby’s age, your occupation, your favorite things (mine are coffee, fitness and being a #momboss), and a bio of what you’re looking for. Basically, I shared that I am new mom of a two-month-old that is trying to balance being a mom and running a business from home and wants to connect with other new mamas over coffee, a walk in the park or activity that we can bring our little ones to. Straight to the point and very clear!
I purposefully have been specific on only ‘waving’ at other mamas that I would want to actually meet in person. I’ve narrowed it down to the following criteria… Moms that 1. live in my neighborhood (for convenience). 2. Are also a first time mom with a baby around Ford’s age (more relatable). 3. Have similar interests (easy to agree on an activity). Those are just my preferences and I do think being more specific has helped to find better matches. I have gone on my first ‘mom date’ from the app and it was a success! We opted to go for a walk at our neighborhood park, which was an easy way to meet in-person. I plan to keep communicating with my initial match to plan future ‘mom dates’ and possibly find other mamas to meet up with!
Sign-up for a class or join a group
An easy way to meet other moms is to join a group or activity that has regular meetings. I am still in research mode and trying to decide what type of activity I would like to commit to with Ford, simply because there are so many options! But I have heard that this is a great way to meet other mamas and their little ones. Especially since you are committing to being around a group on an ongoing basis.
A few options I’ve looked into include a swimming lesson group, music class, breastfeeding support group, and stroller exercise classes, to name a few. If you are looking for a fun activity or group setting, I would suggest joining a Facebook group in your city to look for ideas or to ask for suggestions. I have joined a few Kansas City mom Facebook groups and follow a few local blogs and I do think it’s a great resource for tips, ideas and other activities! If you are a Kansas City mama, I would be happy to share the groups I am in on social media for you to join.
Instagram is such a great place to find other mamas in your area. I love that I can easily have conversations with other mamas or find mamas going through similar situations with their little ones. If you are struggling to find mamas, simply scroll through hashtags or see who your favorite mom brands or bloggers follow. I’ve had luck finding mamas that had baby’s around the same time as me by searching age-related hashtags (i.e. #10weeksold or #10weekspostpartum).
Even though it’s easy to meet mamas on Instagram, it’s not always easy taking those friendships offline…
What I’ve done is to start by forming solid connections with other mamas by engaging in their posts & stories and starting conversations. After awhile of chatting via DM, I’ve taken the next step by suggesting we grab coffee or lunch soon. It can be hard to put yourself out there (it really does feel like dating), but you would be surprised at how often others are also looking to build friendships that go beyond Instagram, too. I’ve really had to put myself out there and work on relationships through Instagram before anything solid has formed. I do believe that more often, the feeling is mutual. You can never have enough support (or friendships) as a new mom. So, don’t be afraid to be the first to ask for advice or to meet-up! I promise it’s worth it to have someone to share the many joys and pains of motherhood with.