How to make mom friends
When I became pregnant with my first I quickly realized how few friends I had in the same boat. The handful of friends I had with kids lived in different states and I found myself scrambling to find friends undergoing the same life transition. Having a community full of diverse life experiences is beautiful and so beneficial, but it also helps to have some people in a similar boat to you! I ended up keeping an eagle eye out for making some new parent friends. Some of the friendships I made I no longer have, but a few have grown deep and rich. Here are my tips for making new parent friends:
Extrovert yourself — It can be uncomfortable if this is not your natural tendency, but just like with dating, sometimes making friendships requires putting yourself out there. If I was in a social setting and noticed someone who looked about as pregnant as I was, I’d try to make conversation with them. I’d mention my pregnancy and see if they brought up theirs too. Once upon doing this, I met someone whose due date was only 10 days after mine. When we discovered this, we decided to get together for walks for the rest of our pregnancy. This grew into a lovely friendship that continues to this day.
You’re not the only one looking for friends — It is a vulnerable experience to go looking for a friend. Remind yourself that many people feel unsatisfied with their social life and we all need close relationships. You’re not the only one looking for friends!
Share your contact information — If you’re chatting with someone you click with, don’t be afraid to offer your contact information so you can plan a time to get together. Once through a breastfeeding group, a person I had connected with gave me a notecard with her phone number, instagram handle, and email address so we could stay in contact. Sometimes if can feel a little awkward trying to suss out how interested someone is in meeting up with you. When my friend offered her contact card it clearly communicated she cared about being my friend, which felt so validating! I once met someone who had made a “family business card”. It had her phone number and family member’s names—what a great idea to be able to share your contact information in a personable and simple fashion.
Join groups — Perhaps you may not have many social settings that naturally lend themselves to meeting new parents. Look for groups your community offers that corals people going through similar stages of parenting. Often times organizations offer pregnancy classes, New Mom groups, breastfeeding groups, parents of preschoolers/toddlers/etc. Try searching for organizations that work with parents or families. If you’re unfamiliar of any, try asking your OBGYN or pediatrician if they’re familiar with any. Sometimes public activities, such as library story times or prenatal yoga, can be just as good a place to make new friendships as formal groups.
Find people to get real with — Once you’ve found someone you click with, aim to have an honest and down to earth friendship. Perhaps you could both agree not to clean before each other comes over, to take the pressure off hosting. Or you could do what my mom and her parenting bestie did: take turn folding clothes at each other’s house. It’s the best to find a friend where you feel completely at ease being around each other while you’re littles run around.
Solid friendship takes time — As you and your new friend begin to get together, remember it takes time to develop a deep, trusting friendship. You may feel rushed to find a life-long friend, but keep in mind that takes time and consistency.
Don’t let yourself be alone — Even if you don’t find friends in a similar life transition, make sure to have a few people in life you can reach out to. As delightful as it can be, parenting can be a lonely and worrisome journey. Having people in your life who care about you can make a great difference in having the mental energy needed for parenting. Try to arrange regular get togethers, FaceTimes, or even email correspondences with people you care about to shoo loneliness away.
We’re not meant to parent alone. Even if you have the world’s most supportive partner, it’s crucial to have friends to share in the parenting process together. So go out there and find some friends! They need you too.
We’re rooting for you. 😍
~Written by Megan Weed