I will be the first to admit, making new friends is hard, and making friends when you are a Mom is even harder. Gone are the days when you can carelessly leave the house without thinking about nap schedules, feeding times, did you pack enough diapers, did you bring something to distract your child with, will there be something on the menu your child will eat? And finding the time to make friends between practices and lessons, school drop-offs and pick-ups, work schedules, shuttling children around here and there, meal preparation, mountains of laundry and dishes, Mom’s free time can be extremely limited.
Throughout my six years as a parent, I have had the pleasure of meeting several Mom friends – some for a short time and some for the long haul. Some friends developed quickly and some over the course of time. But I am thankful for each and every one of them because at the time I met that person, I needed a friend.
So where do you meet new friends?
Ever notice the amount of parents at school functions? Strike up a conversation with one of these parents! Or take note of who your child plays with or hangs out with at these types of events and find out who the parent is of that child. I know it can be intimidating at first, you may say hello or ask them a question, and they may or may not answer you or answer you shortly. But you’ll never know, unless you try.
Two summers ago, my oldest attended a day camp at our local YMCA. Each day he would come home and say that he had such a great time and loved playing with *Michael. Because I was working at the time, I only had the pleasure of taking him to this camp twice in that one week. The first time I heard about Michael was on a Tuesday. That Friday, I was determined to find out who this Michael was and see about scheduling a play date with him for the future. On the last day of camp, I got to pick-up early, and asked my son to point out Michael. I then watched for the parent who was there to pick him up. It turns out, it was his Dad’s turn to pick-up! With my bravest face, I walked over to *Jim and said that my son had such a great time playing with Michael all week that if he was ever looking for a playmate, here was my card**, and to please Email me. There…done…breathe!
About two weeks later, I got an Email from Michael’s Mom and we set up a play date for that very week. Bing, bang, boom – new Mom friend.
To this day, we still see Michael on occasion. He is a year younger than my son, so they are not always able to be in the same class or lesson together, but when I hear of something fun I think they could both participate in, I reach out to *Hailey to see if it’s something they would be interested in.
Maybe you are a little too shy to initiate the conversation. That’s okay! Join an online Moms’ group. Facebook has a TON of them. You can join groups specifically for Moms in your area, Moms with common ground, Moms of Boys, Moms of Girls, the list goes on and one.
Circa 2011, I created a Facebook group for my local Mom friends. I was a very new Mom and I had questions, some of them a little embarrassing to post publicly on Facebook for all 300+ friends of mine to read, but not so embarrassing that a group of supportive women could not answer.
I invited my closest Mom friends to join and ask that they invite their friends, and over time it has developed into an a tight-knit group of Moms who lift each other up, embrace each other’s differences, a safe place to share our parenting fears, our own little cheering section, and a place to celebrate milestones.
Out of all the members, I probably know 20 in person, and the rest are people I have never met, but offer me great advice without judgment. It’s been wonderful. These ladies have talked me through so much over the years.
In-Person Mom Groups:
Not sure where to locate a group, Google it. Seriously, as a Mom, I use Google SO much these days. More specifically, look for local Moms groups such as Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) or see if there is a Mom Meet-Up in your area. Even better, there may be a local all-inclusive Parents’ support space in your town. Locally, we have Willow Tree Family Center. Willow Tree Family Center offers birthing classes, parenting support groups, Mom outings, Dad groups, and more.
Where have you met new mom friends? Comment below!
*NOTE: Names have been changed.
**NOTE: I keep a business card handy in my pocket or purse with my name and contact information so I can easily pass it along to a potential new friend. Beats trying to dig a pen and piece of paper out of my diaper bag!