Making mom friends can be so hard.
It’s easy to find people who have kids. Narrow that down to people whose kids are the same age as yours and you have slightly less to choose from. Take that number and narrow it down some more, because some of those kids will be bullies or too rough or just not get along with your kids. I’ve met some moms that I really like and can see myself being good friends with, but having to pull someone else’s child off of yours over and over again just gets to be too much.
So now you have a group of mamas whose kids are the same age as yours. Their kids get along with yours. But what about you? Do you have any connection, or is it awkward or slightly boring when you’re together?
After all of those factors, I think the most important one is how well you click with the other mama.
So let’s talk about ways to meet these ‘unicorn moms’ as I’ll call them.
When I had Leopold, my mom was my best friend. My sister and I are pretty close too but she lives a couple hours away. I had friends from high school that I spoke to occasionally, and of course my husband is my friend, but I didn’t have a lot of ‘mom’ friends. The other women I had that I could relate to were in my What to Expect facebook group.
Sure, cyber friends aren’t there physically, but these girls were invaluable during my pregnancy and Leopold’s early days! I even joined a sub-group of ‘crunchy mamas’ from that group and we all got pretty close. I even met two of them when I went to New Orleans this spring!
The best thing about online mom friends and mom groups is that there is almost always someone around. They answer your questions, calm your fears, or laugh at whatever ridiculous thing your husband/toddler said that day. These mamas aren’t afraid to tell you to go ahead and have that second glass of wine. You earned it!
If you are pregnant and don’t hate Facebook groups, I strongly suggest checking out the What to Expect app and finding a Facebook group dedicated to your due date month. It’s such a great way to ask things that are relevant to the exact situation you are in. “I’m having these weird leg cramps, anyone else?” etc etc. Obviously never get serious medical advice from Facebook groups, but for little things it’s nice to know if it’s super normal or if maybe you SHOULD get checked out.
After Leopold was born, this same group helped me through breastfeeding, lack of sleep, diet plans, etc. There was always someone online at 3am doing the same thing as me!
Then my mom got sick, and I spent almost all of my free time taking care of her and hosting the company that came into town in the days surrounding her passing.
Once she was gone, there was a huge void. I quit my job to stay home with Leopold, but I had always been so excited to spend many of those days with my mom. We were going to walk, go shopping, hang out at each others houses, and eventually go do fun things with Leopold. It was all planned out. Then she died, and I didn’t know what to do with myself. All my plans had to be changed and I had to get used to being a mom without my mom there.
When I was pregnant, my parents took me to breakfast and while we were standing in line we met the sweetest family! I told her I was pregnant and she gave me a card with information about a play group she had started. It was a lot of people from her church, but everyone was welcome!
I went to a couple of play dates while pregnant (we took our puppy) and met a few really sweet people. This was sort of my ‘starter’ mommy group. It only met during the summer and Leopold was born in September so I had to keep looking around if I wanted to stay busy.
Isn’t that one way to deal with grief? Staying busy?
I went to a few meetings of Babywearing International and met a few more cool people, but none that I really clicked with.
Eventually I met up with a few of the local girls who were part of my WTE Facebook group. I’m happy to say that I’m still pretty good friends with those ladies because while we don’t see much of each other, we will always have that connection!
The most successful tool for me so far has been using Meetup (it’s an app and a website). I found a handful of local mom (and parent) groups on there and joined just about all of them. They ask you to come to a public meetup so they can confirm that you’re not a creep, and then you are invited into the group and can see all of the play dates. Some of them charge a small fee (usually 5$) because it costs money to host a group!
I went to play dates here and there and eventually got ‘kicked out’ of most of the groups. The app is set up so that if you don’t RSVP or attend a certain number of play dates, it automatically kicks you out. I’m still facebook friends with many of those mamas and see them time to time!
The one group I stayed with is called ‘Mommy and Chill’. The creator of the group wanted to keep it small (30 members) so that we could better form connections and get to know each other. The other ‘rule’ of the group was that you had to be a first time mom with a child under two years old. It sounds a little ‘extra’ to many people but I really think that is why I love the group so much. The kids are all just about my son’s age and we are all going through similar things.
In some of the other groups I was in, half of the events were geared to the older children. The ones I did go to got crazy with 5 year olds running in circles next to our crawlers. This group was perfect for me and Leopold and the mamas in it are all wonderful!
The creator of the group has started a bigger ‘Mommy and Chill’ website. It encourages mamas from all over to create their own chapter of Mommy and Chill. Make up your own ‘rules’, and find some mamas near you that you can call your tribe! Check it out on Instagram, Facebook, or the Mommy and Chill website!
I’m not going to lie, I’ve gotten pretty good at asking for phone numbers. I was never great at actual dating, but mom dating is right up my alley. I’ve gotten numbers at the grocery store, the playground, our walking path, and the open gym by my house. If you run into someone out in public that you connect with, don’t be shy! You could have found your newest mom friend!
I typically ask if they live nearby. If they say yes, I say “we should get together sometime for a play date”! Or “I am always looking for walking buddies! Let me give you my number and maybe we can walk some afternoons”. I haven’t gotten rejected yet! Sometimes you will never hear from this person, but there is no harm in trying!
I haven’t signed us up for any classes yet because we are on a budget. Those are a great way to meet people too! Your local Gymboree, swimming lessons, dance class, soccer, etc.
I actually met one of my good blogging mama friends on a Facebook group for bloggers! She posted a blog about moving states and making friends and I realized she lived in my city! What a crazy coincidence
Have you made a mom friend in a random way? I want to hear about it!