After I became a mom, my social life just got flushed down the drain. When I was pregnant, I knew my social life would change, but I didn’t expect it to change so dramatically.
Whatever we do now, everything revolves around the kids. For the first year of my baby’s life, our schedule and outings revolved around baby’s nap time and my pumping schedule. Then, as my baby grew into a toddler, everywhere we went had to be kid-friendly because my toddler is active and mobile. Only parents with kids will understand these challenges and will accommodate our needs.
Even friends whom you once considered to be important people in your life will slowly drift away because you’re on a different wavelength now. While they are out enjoying the evening in a bar, you are home stuck with bath time and bedtime routines. By the time your kid goes to sleep, your bed will become your new best friend.
It is so hard to maintain friendships as a mom, but as a new mom, it is also important to have friends to bounce around ideas, vent or even laugh about your kid. This is why making mom friends is essential. I used to think that I didn’t need any, but I was so wrong. Only my mom friends would volunteer to babysit my kid for a few hours without expecting anything in return because they understand how difficult it is to get childcare at the last minute. My mom friends are also the only ones who would openly discuss about my breastfeeding and pumping challenges. There will be no judgment because they currently live in the same trenches of dirty diapers, toddler tantrums or picky eaters. Our relationship is based solely around our kids. They are not my best friend, but they are my support system.
Today, I want to talk about some strategies that you can adopt to make mom friends. It will make your life easier to face your challenges of motherhood when you have a community behind you. Even if you love the friends that you already have, you should probably extend your social circle to include more parents now.
Here are some tips on how to meet and make mom friends, and make the process more productive and less stressful.
1. Start early
Once you bring your baby home from the hospital, you will not have anymore free time to go out and socialize. Get a head start on making mom friends by reaching out while you’re still pregnant. Introduce yourself to other patients in your OB’s waiting room, or have a casual conversation with other expecting moms who are shopping at the baby section. Take the initiative by having courage to make the first move if you see another mother who seems compatible. She’ll appreciate your thoughtfulness if she’s trying to make new friends too.
2. Stay local
Find friends who live nearby so you can easily find time to hang out or maintain contact. For example, if your neighborhood has a lot of young families, make friends with other neighbors who are expecting. You can start by researching where parents usually hang out. Then, linger and start conversations.
3. Spread the word
Let your family, friends, and colleagues know that you want to meet moms or parents. I am sure they have a couple of friends within their social circle who are of the same age as you, and at similar life stages.
4. Try online groups
The internet can be a great tool for this. There are so many apps out there that are designed to bring mom friends together. Best of all, these apps are free. Try browsing the local parenting chapters like La Leche League or Stroller Strides.
5. Bring your child to the playground
This strategy always works. Pick a time when your child is calm so she would enjoy playing with other kids. Strike up a conversation with other parents and offer to exchange phone numbers. You could even bring interesting toys so other kids and parents will be attracted to you.
6. Go for walks with your kids around the neighborhood
As you make your rounds, introduce yourself. Get to know other parents and kids around your block. When you see them walking past your house next time, invite them to come into your house for a drink while the kids play among themselves. It all starts with a drink which can lead to meaningful friendships.
7. Send your child to daycare when your kid is of age
Then linger during drop-off or pick-up so you can meet the parents of your kid’s friends. If you hit it off with another mother, schedule a play date. Since they are already in the same class, the chances of your kids getting along are higher. If your kids play well together, you’ll even get an hour or two to yourselves to get to know each other better.
8. Sign up for a work out class
This is so popular among health-conscious moms. Be a regular at one of these classes. Chances are, you’ll make a lasting connection by frequenting the same scheduled class each week. The Mommy and Me yoga sessions are perfect for this!
If your child is old enough, sign her up for a dance class or a sports class. When your kids are learning a new skill, strike up a conversation with other moms who are in the waiting room. If you don’t like the moms that you meet there, you can either bring a book next time to read, or just run errands after you drop off your kid.
9. Be open-minded
These mom friends that you make are probably different from the friends that you used to have when you were single. However, be open-minded because you might have plenty of common grounds. Even if you don’t, just having a fellow mom around to provide companionship during the work week or exchange notes about childcare tips is great too.
10. Don’t compare
While it is very tempting to compare your family against theirs, or compare yourself against other mom friends, don’t compare because every family is different. Just enjoy the friendships that you have made and be authentic. Be yourself and I’m sure other fellow moms will enjoy your companionship too.
With these tips in hand, take the anxiety out of making new mom friends. As you build your community, I am sure that you will benefit from having the support from other fellow moms. As other mom friends are helping you, offer to do the same so that other mothers can enjoy the benefits of having mom friends. Who knows? These mom friends might even end up being your best friends for life.