All moms crave friendship. But this is especially true as a new mom. After your partner goes back to work or your mom flies home, you’ll start craving connections and conversations with someone whose diapers you don’t change and who can actually talk back to you in complete sentences. And while all of us moms need MFFLs (mom friends for life), we may feel too awkward to put ourselves out there or know how to connect with other new moms. I can’t give you the courage to do it, but I can tell you some places to go for when you’re ready to meet and make mom friends.
Attend a Mommy and Me Class
Music, parenting, swimming, play and learn, gym and movement classes—there are so many different Mommy and Me classes out there you and your baby can attend. Look online or ask your pediatrician to learn what classes and activities are in your area. The good news for all you introverts-like me-is that several Mommy and Me classes are only about an hour long one day a week. Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, getting out for even one hour a week around other moms gives you something to look forward to each week and will help you keep your sanity, especially during those first months of being a new mom.
Visit Your Local Library
Most community libraries offer free weekly parent-child story times for babies, toddlers and older kids. Many libraries should also have a children’s area where kids can read and play. It’s a win-win for you and your kid. They get to listen to stories and play in a kid-friendly environment, while you get to drink coffee and chat with other moms about the latest episode of your favorite reality TV show.
Find Local In-Person Mom Groups
If you want to join a weekly or monthly in-person mom group, you should be able to find plenty of local ones to join. Get yourself a quality baby stroller and join a stroller walking group or strollercize class. Grab your hiking baby carrier and join a mom hiking group. In-person mom groups range from exercise groups for new moms wanting to get back into or stay in shape to babywearing groups to local neighborhood or church playgroups. Look online or ask around your neighborhood for local meet-up mom groups. You should also check with the hospital where you gave birth or your pediatrician because the hospital likely has a list of local groups with shared struggles and interests, like breastfeeding support or moms of multiples groups.
Mom groups take the pressure off one-on-one playdates, but they’re also a great place to meet other new moms you click with and may want to have playdates with in the future.
Form Your Own Mom Group
Haven’t found a local mom group you like or that works with your schedule? Start your own! As the founder, you can choose how often you get together, what type of activities you do, who to invite, etc. You can do outings with kids once a month or rotate hosting hangouts at each other’s homes. I’d also recommend throwing a monthly (or every other month) ladies’ night out without kids.
Here are some mom-approved mom group activity ideas:
- Babes and Bagels
- Cookies and Cocktails (or Macaroons and Mocktails)
- Book club (rotate reading parenting-related books)
- Holiday-themed get-togethers
- Parties planned around all the different fun, unusual National Days
- Rom-Com marathon
Go to a Park or Indoor Play Space
Neither of these places is ideal for newborns, but once your baby is able to sit up and likes those baby swings and the weather is nice, hit up a local park. And when it’s rainy or too cold for the park, go to an indoor play space. There will be no shortage of new and veteran moms at both places, and you might even notice some of the same moms and their kids are there when you are. So don’t be shy; say hi to these moms. There’s a good chance many of these moms live nearby and have similar schedules to you, which will make it easier to make new mom friends and schedule regular playdates or meetups at the park.
Join an Online Mom Community
Technology makes it easier than ever to connect with new moms who live in your city. And the easiest place to find an online community of like-minded moms is on social media. There are near-endless amounts of mom groups on Facebook. Just do a quick Google search of something similar to “moms who run + mom group + [insert your city]” or a more general “mom support groups” on Facebook. These online communities make it more comfortable and convenient for every kind of mom to find new moms to connect, socialize, share advice, give encouragement and ask questions and get answers from moms who have been there or are currently going through what you’re going through. So get on your phone and find your virtual village, or a few of them, and don’t be surprised if these social connections and supporters turn into lasting mom connections and supporters IRL (in real life).
Use a Mom Connection App
Dating apps may not have been your thing, but an app to help you connect with new moms like yourself might be. These apps are becoming more and more mainstream as a way to connect with women like you and learn from moms who share similar interests, hobbies, parenting styles, etc. A popular one is Peanut, which is like Tinder for moms looking for new mom friends. You swipe through a list of local moms, and if you match then you can start a texting conversation. Peanut also has a Peanut Pages, which is a bigger community and lets you ask questions, share topics and find relevant mom content. Mom.life and Social.mom are two others, but do an online search and you will find even more apps to meet other new moms.
Put Yourself Out There
All it really takes to meet and connect with other new moms is to simply put yourself out there. So get out of your house. Put your child in their stroller and go for a walk around the neighborhood. Visit a local playground. And while you’re there, say hello to another mom, mention what a nice day it is to be outside, compliment her or her child, etc. A small but polite greeting is usually all it takes to strike up a meaningful conversation with another mom. A short, “Hi, how is your day going?” can quickly turn your small talk into a conversation about all the normal mom and life topics (poop, sleep, baby’s firsts, tantrums, shopping, meal planning, etc.). Who knows, that seemingly small choice to go to the park instead of watching Ellen (just DVR it) could lead you to your newest MFFL.