Whether you are a new mom or a mom of three, you need mom friends. Now, I’m not saying let go of your friends who aren’t parents. In this season, though it is really nice to have someone to relate to and share your journey with. Whether, you’re a working mom or stay at home mom, it’s nice to have mom friends.
It’s nice for your children to have friends. Yes, even if they’re babies. Kids learn from each other. In fact, one of my best tips for dealing with a picky eater is to have them eat with other kids. My toddler son would not touch mango until he saw my friend’s daughter eating it. Without me even saying a word, he picked up a little slice and started eating it, because she was! He’s now a mango fanatic. I actually have to buy frozen mango when they’re not in season because I get the request from him so often. It’s also one of the main reasons I started a learning playdates group within my circle of mom friends. They learn so much by being with others!
As a mom of a baby and a toddler, a survivor of two under two, who moved three times for my husband’s job in one year, I know a little something about how to make friends.
I was just getting in my groove when we lived in Houston. My son was six months old and as a newborn, his bloodwork results for his newborn screening were sent to the wrong hospital and we were dismissed, only to find out he had a dangerously high level of bilirubin in his system. He was in the ER at only three days old and then in the NICU. Talk about a traumatic start to life for my son and for me to enter into motherhood.
I had so many struggles the first few months my son was born. I had torn a ligament in my leg and was on crutches before I delivered him. I had been on bedrest for two weeks before that and I still couldn’t walk well for the first few weeks afterwards. I had a hard time breastfeeding my son since he couldn’t leave the lights at all (his jaundice was that severe) for me to breastfeed him during his NICU stay (right when my milk came in). I pumped like a mad woman but if you’ve ever pumped you know it’s a lot of work. My son had a bad case of colic and never, ever slept. Later, I got mastitis, my son had the flu, my grandmother who I was very close with passed away.
It was a rough first few months for me, to say the least.
I deserve a drink, right? I’m not telling you this because I want you to feel bad for me. I know way worse things have happened to people. I’m telling you this because I really could have used a mom friend then. My friends without kids, I absolutely love them but they didn’t understand how bad it was, how tired I was and what it felt like to be up every two hours with my son for months. I’m saying this, because if you’re a mom, you need mom friends to relate to. I could have really used a mom friend then. I hope no one else has to go on their motherhood journey alone. I want so share some tips with you on how to and where to make mom friends.
OK, still with me? Things got a lot better after those first few months. I really started to get in a good groove. My son still wasn’t sleeping through the night but I was getting some sleep. It was enough sleep to kind of function.
I went on walks with a neighbor who also had a baby a few months before me.
I made friends from my son’s baby sign language class.
I was reconnecting with an old coworker who was a mom of three and had an awesome parenting style.
I was finally getting it together as mom and making some mom friends. Then my husband’s job let us know that we would be moving to Canada! And we would be moving as soon as possible.
I had to start all over!
There was a period after we moved to Canada for about six weeks, where the only other adult I had talked to besides my husband was the grocery store clerk. I was pregnant and not feeling well, and my son was only eleven months old. Oh, and I was drowning in a sea of unpacked boxes. Stuff was everywhere. It was a disaster. We had left all of our friends and family back in Texas for this new adventure and I knew no one. I met seriously, the sweetest friend through Peanut.
She had survived two under two and gave me all of her tips since I was about to experience it myself. I met up with her a few times. I learned a lot from her about parenting and about a lot of things I needed to know about Canada (like, how is a Texan going to survive winter?). My husband’s job ended up transferring him back to Texas a lot sooner than originally planned. I ended up losing touch with my sweet friend but her friendship came at a crucial time. I think I could have really spiraled into the blues without a friend at that time in my life. It was very lonely being all on my own in a new country, even if they did speak the same language!
Take a class
Classes with your little one are great, but it could be any sort of class. When my son was little, we did a baby sign language class and then in Canada we did a Gymboree baby gym class. These classes are great for socializing your little one and getting out of the house if you’re a stay at home mom.
After my daughter was born, I took an adult American Sign Language class. It was great for me to learn something new. I’ve also made a friend by going to the gym and just randomly chatting with her while we were both feeding our babies. My best advice is just to find what interests you or what is in your budget. I am very lucky to have a great gym near us that is reasonably priced and provides childcare. My ASL class was done through a local community center and was also very affordable. Moms are people too! We have interests and things we want to do and learn.
I don’t personally have experience with MOMS club but I’ve heard wonderful things about it. The group’s name is acronym, Moms Offering Moms Support. I know that my local chapter is very, very active for all age ranges. They also connect moms of school aged children by what school their children attend. This is really nice so you can keep up to date with the going ons at school, especially if you’re new to the area. You can check out their website here.
MOPS was great for me when we first moved back to Texas. I was wary of going because although I truly loved our previous church overall, the moms group had not been a very good experience for me (more on this later). I decided to go since this group would be focused on studying the bible so even if the other moms weren’t inviting, I could at least learn something.
I’m really proud of myself for going. Not only were the group members warm and inviting, but I really enjoyed the spiritual aspect of the group. I met some awesome Godly ladies through MOPS. The group I attended held our meetings in the morning which allowed me to drink a cup of coffee and eat a light breakfast they provided without a baby hanging on me. It was amazing. You can learn more about MOPS here.
This one might be a little trickier to find. Playdates groups pop up all the time but mine is local through my city and managed through Facebook. You can also look on MeetUp for local playdate groups. I don’t have any advice for finding one except to look out for them and ask around. I found out about my local group from another mom in my MOPS group (mentioned above). The group is managed by a few moms in the group and there are about 300 members. It’s been a lot of fun, I highly recommend keeping a lookout for one. Please also remember to make safety a priority for yourself and your children when joining a new group! Meeting in public is always best.
I have two mom friends that I talk to on a pretty regular basis. It was nice to have someone to chat with when we moved to Canada and I was getting very little human interaction. It was also nice when my daughter was a newborn and I was too tired to talk to people in person.
Sometimes, just talking to another mom even online can make you feel 100 times better.
Talk to other moms!
Getting out of the house is a huge step but if you see another mom, just talk to her! If you’re wondering what to talk about, talk about your kids but also try not to only talk about your kids. I believe talking about your children or mommin’ is an easy conversation starter. It’s a great way to begin to get to know someone. I just don’t like when moms get set in a trap of only talking about their kids or parenting. Moms are people too, ask them questions about themselves that are unrelated to mommin’.
My friend from the gym who has six kids used to be in the military and then worked on a container ship overseas before having kids. I was blown away! I have heard the coolest stories from her. I always thought she was an amazing person for nurturing and loving six tiny humans but I have a whole new level of respect for her.
Sometimes it’s not the right fit
You’re not going to be friends with every mom you meet. With my first child, one of the very first things I ventured out to do was go to our then church’s mom group. It was really hard guys. I had a rough start to motherhood, I still wasn’t sleeping much, and I was still a new mom so everything from wearing the baby and making sure the car seat was adjusted correctly was a challenge. I really did love the church we went to, but the mom group at my church wasn’t a good fit for me. Everyone had known each other for years, it was really hard to join in on their conversations because they were all so personal. Everyone already had their clique, no one made much of an effort to talk to me, and I ended up leaving wondering if it would always be like this.
Nonetheless, I kept going. It’s important to note that things don’t just happen overnight. You get what you put into something. I could have just been totally defeated by this, but what good what that have done me? I kept going and trying new things and now I have a wonderful network of friends.
Sometimes you have to be the leader
This is my biggest piece of advice. It feels awkward to make the first move but do it any way.
In my play dates group, people love to host or go to events in the morning. When I first joined, I was just past the survival mode of two under two but it was still challenging to go to certain places with both the kids. My kids were not going to sit a coffee shop while I sipped coffee and chatted. No, that was more of a meet up for moms who had very small babies.
Those massive indoor playgrounds that you pay to get in, NO, absolutely not. Being outnumbered is already hard enough. The paid indoor playground by us is very large, very busy, and you can’t always see your child. I’ve decided that it’s a place we’ll go when my mom or husband can come or when everyone is a little older and more mature.
I found that going to places in the afternoon worked better for us since the baby was taking two naps a day then. Since there weren’t that many events that worked for me, I would create them in the group. I have had events where only one other mom showed up. I’ve had events where twenty moms showed up and everywhere in-between. Sometimes you have to be the leader because not everyone wants to take the initiative.
I want to challenge you to do the same, create what works for you. There were actually a lot of other moms who preferred the afternoon as well.
Don’t go at motherhood alone
Don’t give up, there are a lot of great ways to make friends. Sometimes life happens. When both of my children were newborns or very small babies, I honestly didn’t go very many places. I was just too sleep deprived and it wasn’t worth the risk of possibly getting the baby sick. I know other moms who went to the mall when their baby was one week old because they needed to get out of the house. I’ve seen moms of two or more, bring their babies to toddler events with my playdates group while the youngest slept in the stroller. It’s all about you and what you’re comfortable with. You’ll also get back what you put into things. You have to make an effort.
If you make an event and no one shows up, don’t give up. If you have to talk to a few moms before finding the mom you click with then keep going.
Do you feel supported in your journey through motherhood? Have you met a lot of moms if you are a new mom or you have recently relocated? What are your best tips for making mom friends?