You took the birthing classes, read all the books, and tirelessly researched all the must-have gizmos and gadgets to make the transition a seamless one. As you counted down the days until the arrival of your new addition, you felt prepared and dare I say confident.
Now baby has arrived and although you are filled with joy, the excitement of it all has begun to dwindle. The meal trains have stopped and the visitors have all made their appearances. Suddenly, you find yourself alone.
You begin to settle into your new routine of sleepless nights and milk-stained pajamas, but none of the books or classes or well-meaning advice prepared you for this feeling of isolation. It suddenly seems as if no one quite understands this new chapter in your life, nor do you understand where you fit in with the child-free friends from your past. The books never mentioned the struggle of making mom friends or the fact that finding your mom tribe is like something out of a bad online dating commercial!
As a mom of young children, I’ve experienced first-hand the rollercoaster of emotions that comes with finding and keeping good mom friends.
3 Ways to Find Mom Friends
So where do you even begin to locate these women and what’s the trick to nurturing a friendship with another new mom?
1. Social Media
When I moved to Iowa 3 years ago I had zero friends. Naturally, the first place I went searching for my new community was Facebook. Through a simple search of mom groups in Des Moines, I found a local mom playgroup that held monthly meetups for moms and their little ones. I met the coordinator of the group during that first outing and almost 4 years later, she is still one of my closest friends!
A few other Facebook groups to check out:
I also recommend looking for moms with similar interests on Instagram and just sending a message! I’ve made countless mom friends with this method and although we haven’t always been able to meet in person, I have some pretty amazing virtual pen pals as a result!
Try connecting by searching hashtags you relate to or joining a mom follow train.
This group hosts a weekly follow train I love and it has become one of my favorite places to build authentic mom connections.
2. Local Groups and Events
There are an abundance of free and low-cost groups held in our community that cater to moms. In addition to nurturing your little one’s mind and creativity, these activities will expose you to other moms who are likely in dire need of some new mama friends as well!
Libraries and Community Funded Events
Check out the events held at your local library, community center, and Parks and Recreation division. From storytimes to sports, you are bound to find an activity that piques your little one’s interest and has a mom or two for you to connect with.
Library Story Times and Events
- Ankeny Library
- Central Library
- Clive Library
- Forest Library
- Franklin Library
- Johnston Library
- Urbandale Library
- Waukee Library
- West Des Moines Library
Parks and Recreation Programs
MOPS or “Moms of Preschoolers” was founded in 1973 by a group of moms with young children looking to create a community to encourage and support one another. After nearly 50 years, MOPS has expanded to support moms with school-aged children and holds chapters in 68 countries. MOPS believes, “Every mama nurtures and parents her kiddos differently, and it’s in those differences that we learn from each other. We are better together!” I couldn’t agree more!
Click here to conduct a search of in-person and virtual groups in your area.
Whether it’s a mom group or a hobby-specific meetup, putting yourself out there and connecting with other like-minded individuals is a great way to make new friends in your area.
3. School and Sports Pickup
This may seem like a no-brainer, but you already have an “in” with these parents because your children are likely friends. Talk to the parents at your child’s activities and daycare/school pickup. Start with some small talk and go from there. After you begin to build some rapport, suggest getting the kids together for a playdate outside of their usual activity. You could also invite the mom out for a coffee if you’re in need of some solo mama time.
Tips for Nurturing a Mama Friendship
1. Ask Questions
Once you start attending a meetup or activity regularly, don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation! It may feel awkward at first, but remember the other mom is probably feeling just as nervous and isolated as you are. Start by asking her questions about herself, her interests, or her motherhood journey. You never know how much you may have in common until you ask!
2. Don’t Force It
You may find a mom who you have nothing in common with and that’s okay. Or you may feel like you have a ton in common with a mom and she doesn’t feel the same way. If she’s not interested in a friendship, it’s not a reflection of you or your worthiness. It just means she’s not the mom friend for you and that’s okay too! Making mom friends is a process, which brings me to my most important tip…
3. Give it Time
Trust that it will take time. Like any relationship, sometimes you have to kiss a few frogs (or in this case attend a few playgroups) before you find your mama match. Stay consistent with meeting up and staying in touch, even when things feel hectic with the kids. Most importantly, don’t ever feel embarrassed or judged by those other moms when you or your little ones are having a bad day! We all go through peaks and valleys in motherhood, but when you find those women you can share the highs and the lows with, it makes the process of finding mom friends completely worth it.