Becoming a mom is a huge change for most women. It impacts us in ways that are expected: late night feedings, lack of sleep, and blowouts. What most moms don’t expect is the drastic change in their social lives, particularly with maintaining current friendships and making new friends. The ideal vision is that your friends will all be on the same page and that you’ll be able to easily compromise between being a parent and being yourself, simply as an individual. This, unfortunately, does not always happen. It can be easy to lose your friends (and maybe even yourself) after becoming a mom, unless you have a group of friends who are also moms.
Parenting takes a lot of time, which takes away from friends and activities that you may have previously participated in. Priorities and interests also seem to naturally change so you may not be at the same place as many of your non-parent friends. Personally, it has been nine months since I have gone to a movie in the theater. That is one of my favorite things to do, but with an infant in the home I most often find myself using my “free” time to accomplish household tasks or other responsibilities. I also find that I would rather spend my time doing activities that my daughter can be involved in. This is where having other mom-friends is necessary. They are in the same or similar situations. They will value family friendly activities and outings but also appreciate the cherished kid-free excursions as well.
Friendships will help you through hard times, and bring you new joys, new laughter, and new memories.
If you do not already have friends who are fellow mothers there is still hope! There are several easy and nearly effortless ways to meet new mom-friends.
Where and how do I make friends?
At The Park
- Bring extra toys for your kids to share. Chat with the parents of kids who come to play with your children.
School/Summer Recreation Activities
- You will likely see these parents on a regular basis at practice and competitions and your children will already have something in common. Strike up a conversation with other teammates parents.
- Depending on the activity, often times it is useful to find out where your children’s teammates live and offer to do carpooling to save everyone time and gas. Though this may come after a few weeks or months of the activity, it is a great way to create strong bonds between parents.
- Volunteer for things! The PTA isn’t as scary as people say, and it’s a great way to meet other parents who are (quite literally) in the same situation.
Say “hi” at Daycare
- Pick up and drop off schedules are typically the same so you will run into the same parents on a regular basis. This is also a good way to ensure your friends will have kids your child’s age. If you see the same mom on a regular basis, say “hello” when you see them. Use milestones or struggles you may both be going through as a conversation starter.
- There are usually groups for moms or parents in each state or city/region on social media. Do a quick search for these in your social media or search engine of choice.
- There are also awesome apps such as HelloMamas and MomCo that are made specifically for helping moms find other moms in their area with similar interests and values.
There are options out there for everyone. Whether you are outgoing and are willing to strike up conversations in the park or you are shy or may simply appreciate the convenience of using an app and going online, there is absolutely a way for you to meet new people and make new friends! When meeting at the park or daycare, don’t forget to exchange contact information. I would also suggest using an email address or social media contact until you are comfortable exchanging telephone numbers. Also, make sure to meet in public places the first few times. It will be more comfortable for everyone involved and is less hassle than cleaning up for company.
Finding other parent friends can often feel daunting. It is a new path and can sometimes be difficult to maneuver properly. It takes courage and time, but it is worth it in the end. All parents need people on whom they can rely. Even if the friendship stems from a play date because your children are friends, it is a friendship nonetheless. Friendships will help you through hard times, and bring you new joys, new laughter, and new memories. Having someone there who can say, “I totally understand!” and then tell you a similar story can often save your sanity. Parenting isn’t easy, but it’s easier when you go through it with friends.