When you’re a new mom, some things may seem elusive. Sleep. Time to eat a meal. Mom friends. Here’s help for one of those.
When I became a mom for the first time at 24, I found myself all alone in a lot of ways. I had my husband to rely on for day-to-day support. I had a few childless, long-distance friends from childhood who I could always call in the middle of the night if I needed to talk.
But, new to the city and new to motherhood, what I really craved were mom friends.
When I thought about what I wanted in a mom friend I thought of the classic must-have types of women mentioned in any postpartum survival guide. Women who would support me when I was feeling low, commiserate over spilled milk and dirty diapers, and not judge the mounds of goldfish crushed into the backseat of my car.
Eager to make mom friends, I joined a labor and delivery class before birth. While everyone was friendly, I didn’t quite click with anyone and left pregnancy behind still without even one mom friend.
As I moved through new motherhood I heard time and again that I should join a new moms group. Unfortunately, as a working mom with limited maternity leave, I was back to work just about the time I felt like I could get myself and my baby out of the house on my own. Along with that, most of the new moms groups I saw advertised met during work hours.
As my baby began to get older and I began to get lonelier, I realized that I would have to get creative about where I looked for mom friends.
After polling women online, talking to acquaintances about where they’d found their mom squad, and doing some deep thinking, I came up with a list of places to find my next mom friend.
If you’re on the hunt for mom friends, check out the ideas below for where your next (or first) mom friend may be!
If you’re a churchgoer, you may want to spend the next couple Sundays scanning the room for other new parents after the service.
Finding a friend at church means that you’re likely to find a friend who shares your values and has many of the same concerns as you do. Plus, even when life gets busy you’ll always get to see them at least once a week.
While you’re working hard to squeeze everything into your workday, don’t forget to be on the lookout for potential friends at your workplace.
Whether it’s the woman who came back from maternity leave just as you stepped out, or an officemate with slightly older children, your next mom friend might be just a cube away.
If moving your body post-baby makes you feel good, then you’ll love hitting up local fitness classes. Even better than getting moving is potentially making new friends.
Sign up for a new-mom-focused class, like a stroller workout or mom and baby yoga, and you’ll likely be surrounded by parents in a similar life place as you who are also eager to make new friends.
While there are lots of moms groups out there, a lot of them may not be accessible to you and your schedule.
Joining a different sort of club — one based on your interests outside of motherhood, like a book, gaming, or craft-focused club — will give you the chance to connect with other people who might just be your next best friends!
As a bonus, many of these clubs are scheduled to meet in the evenings or weekends, making them more accessible to working moms than many weekday meetups.
As a new mom, you know how tough it is to squeeze your full day into the 24 hours you have. So, thinking about searching for mom friends somewhere new or joining a club might not feel realistic. Luckily, if your child goes to day care, you have an automatic pool of other parents that could be potential friends.
Next time you pick up or drop off your little one, take a few minutes to introduce yourself to another mom. Or, if your little one seems to have a buddy, consider inviting them over for a weekend playdate.
It can feel really lonely to go to the park or playground and see other groups of moms all talking and laughing together. Chances are, though, there are at least a few other moms who are there solo.
Next time you’re at the park or the playground, take a look around for who else might be there on their own, and take a chance by striking up a conversation. One easy way to start? Ask her advice about something baby related!
Finding mom friends is never easy, but with a little creativity and a little luck, you’ll have a squad of supportive moms you can call friends in no time.
Julia Pelly has a master’s degree in public health and works full time in the field of positive youth development. Julia loves hiking after work, swimming during the summer, and taking long, cuddly afternoon naps with her two sons on the weekends. Julia lives in North Carolina with her husband and two young boys. You can find more of her work at JuliaPelly.com.