By the time my firstborn was 10 months old, cold-weather cabin fever had set in. So I enrolled us in Kindermusik and Little Gym classes. I was on a mission to make some mommy friends stat. Otherwise, I was going to go insane from lack of contact with other adults. Here is what I did.
t Ever wonder how to go about making new “mommy” friends when you are a new mom? You may think you already have all the friends you’ll ever need, but if you’re a new mom, you need mommy friends, meaning women who are going through all the same trials and tribulations of motherhood as you are. There is great comfort in having friends who also have children. You can talk to them about things you can’t talk to anyone else about, and they will understand.
t Here are seven things you can do to make mommy friends.
t Whether it be taking a walk around the neighborhood, a yoga class or a mommy-and-me music class, do it. Also, on the weekends, hang out at family-friendly places like the zoo, a neighborhood park or local children’s events. You cannot make any new friends by sitting in the house like a hermit. Well, you can, actually. Online, there are a million moms you can “meet” and share experiences with through social media and blogs, but still, you need to be willing to go looking and interact. No one’s going to come looking for you at your house, and if they do, you probably don’t want to be their friend. (Can you say, “single white female stalker”?)
Make the first move
t Making the move to approach a new friend is scary. I usually took a couple of weeks to kind of scope out a class I was in. I’d talk to whoever was sitting next to me, chat up a mom waiting for class to start or even talk to the one walking in the door at the same time as I was. Once I found someone whom I thought I had something in common with and whom I got along with, then during the next class, I would casually say, “Hey, we should get the kids together for a play date. We could have coffee, and the kids could play.” It worked.
Have no fear
t Sure, it’s a little unsettling to approach an almost complete stranger and ask for her number. But remember, the worst that can happen is that she will say no. The pros definitely outweigh the cons.
Get those digits
t Things are a lot easier now than they were when I was first making mommy friends. Now, instead of having to come right out and ask for another mom’s number or having to fumble for a piece of paper on which to write yours, you can just hand her your mom card or ask for hers because yes, they make those. Mom cards are being handed out at local parks and Targets all over the country. Bet you didn’t know that your local Target store is a hot spot for mom trolling.
t Mommy friends are not always going to be your new BFFs. Sometimes, they might be, but other times, the only things you’ll have in common are children and the need for some adult conversation. That’s OK. It’s enough. You are not marrying this woman. The two of you are just spending some time together for your sanity’s sake. No mom is an island. We need outside communication.
Schedule a play date
tI recommend that you have your first play date someplace neutral like the zoo or a local jungle gym. We had a lovely chocolate shop that had an indoor play area, and it was perfect. Moms could sit at tables sipping coffee and having casual conversations while toddlers climbed all over the jungle gym in a secure and safe setting. No one had to get overwhelmed by the stress of power-cleaning all the Cheerios out of their carpet or providing snacks for children whose allergies and preferences were unknown. I would also recommend scheduling the play date for a morning between breakfast and lunch, when the child is still energetic and not hungry.
Don’t be afraid to walk away
t Just as in any friendship, sometimes you just aren’t compatible, or worse, your kids aren’t. In that case, simply don’t plan another play date. They won’t all be winners.
t Making mommy friends and play dates is a lot like dating. You never know how it’s going to work out until you give someone a chance and get to know her. Keep your mind and heart open, and maybe you’ll find your new best friend or maybe just someone to share conversation and coffee with. Either way, you never know until you try.