One of the biggest challenges to being a new mom is finding friends who are in the same place you are. Use these tips to find new mommy friends in your area, because mommies need play dates, too!
Becoming a new mom has a way of drawing a line between you and your non-mom friends. It’s not that you don’t still love each other, but they probably just don’t “get you” the way they used to. You don’t have to give up on old connections, but it’s important for a mommy to have comrades who are going through the same stages.
Online meet-up websites are not just for dating. There are actually quite a few out there that help new moms find other new moms in their area.
“Often when women go through a significant life change, such as becoming a first-time mom, they find their social circle shifts, perhaps even contracting a bit as they wrestle with the newfound demands of motherhood. If they are first to enter motherhood, or perhaps the last, they especially find themselves out of sync with their current circle of friends. This is when the internet can offer some terrific assistance,” says SocialJane founder Janis Kupferer. “New moms can look to sites like Meetup, CafeMom or SocialJane to help them find new friends, and specifically, new friends who are also new moms too.”
Join a mommy group
There are probably groups in your area designed just to help moms connect with moms.
“Attending Mommy and Me classes is a great way to meet other moms,” said Ellie Hirsch of Mommy Masters. “Check in your area if your local YMCA, library, church or synagogue has classes available. Some may even be free. You will notice the same people usually attend each week, allowing you to form friendships with other moms who are going through the exact same things you are.”
If your area doesn’t have a mommy group, don’t be afraid to create one yourself!
“Start your own mommy group. Put up a flyer in your neighborhood to see if anyone has an interest in spending a few hours every week to chat, talk motherhood, socialize the kids and make new friends,” she added.
Help out locally
Don’t be a homebody! Be an active member of your community, and you’ll be more likely to meet some mommy neighbors.
“Become a volunteer for events in your community. Community events are often run by stay-at-home moms who are also looking to make friends,” said Notoya Green, who blogs at Triplets in Tribeca. “I volunteered once to paint a street in my community. That event led to a play date and a friendship with a local mom.”
Sometimes, helping out someone in need can help you in return. Psychiatrist and bestselling author Carole Lieberman, M.D., suggests helping out at a child-oriented charity.
“When women are pregnant and then go through delivery, they focus more on childhood problems, hoping to protect their child from these problems and being grateful when their baby is healthy. This increased focus makes new moms more receptive to volunteering for children’s charities — everything from charities addressing congenital defects to autism to children living in poverty. It’s a positive place to meet other new moms and to do good at the same time,” she explained.
Just reach out!
Anna Luther blogs at My Life and Kids, and she says sometimes all you need to do to make a friend is reach out.
“I met a woman in my neighborhood while we were both on a walk with our kids. We exchanged names and chatted briefly. Two days later, I had a letter from her in my mailbox. She said she was a new stay-at-home mom and was looking to meet other moms in the neighborhood. She gave me her name, phone number and email address. We’ve been having playdates ever since!” she said.