Bet that title piqued your interest. 😉 We all ask this one.
So… Are you a brand new mom and not sure how to navigate connecting with other new moms in this stage of life? To find a real friend? Maybe you’re feeling a little lonely with just you and baby on your own a lot of the time. Or you may have some friends from your pre-baby days who drifted away now that your daily routine and needs are different. That can feel both lonely and painful.
Or are you a mom who’s been doing this mom thing for a while now but still hasn’t quite figured out how to find those good moms friends? It seems like it should be easier, right?
I have been there. Oh have I ever.
When I had my first baby we moved to another state when he was just 7 months old. And my husband had classes two nights a week so not only was I alone with my baby most of the day, sometimes it was all day and all evening as well. I had no family around either. I would often find myself bringing my little guy to the park and basically just hoping someone would think I looked nice and would start talking to me and we’d become fast friends!
Surprise… that never happened.
It didn’t help much that I’m pretty quiet and worry that people won’t like me or don’t want to be bothered or I’ll be awkward, or…. You get the idea. You’ve probably been there too!
Isn’t it funny how we all want mom friends but we’re all worried the other moms won’t like us? We’re all going around in our little bubbles wanting to connect, but not connecting!
We all know there’s not a magic spell for this, but here are my best strategies for making mom friends.
1. Go outside your house
If you have a front yard, sidewalk, or even a common outdoor area where you live, let your kid play out there. I’ve gotten to know more of my neighbors through my kids than any other way. Just being outside more helps you see more people and encourages other parents to play outside with their kids! Right now I’ve got a fantastic next-door neighbor and we watch each other’s kids occasionally!
2. Find a group of moms who meets regularly.
Seeing people regularly is a lot better way to get acquainted than hoping you’ll hit it off with someone the first time you see them. It feels good to see familiar faces even if you don’t know them super well yet. So make your face one of the familiar ones by showing up! MOPS groups and Fit 4 Mom are two local suggestions I’m currently aware of. There is a Partners in Parenting group in Austin if you are near there. (Most of these groups do have a fee to participate.)
3. Attend casual meetups that are specifically for moms in your time of life!
I love La Leche League meetings. Luminary Birth Center in San Marcos has scheduled gatherings for moms with their babies – it doesn’t matter how or where you birthed your baby – all are welcome! I’m also a big fan of Full Circle Community in San Marcos. The library has regular story groups for a variety of ages – even babies! If you are in my Facebook group (see below), keep an eye out for when I arrange an open playdate!
4. Facebook Groups
I don’t mean online friendships (though they have their place too), but using FB groups as a way to find people to get together with in person. I often see people in these groups say “I am looking for friends! My baby is ___ old and I enjoy doing ____ things!” I see people respond who are looking for the same thing! Sometimes it just takes someone to start the conversation, and that could be you! You can also let people know you’d like to get a group together at ______ place at ______ time. (This tends to work better with advance notice rather than announcing where you’ll be this afternoon, though you can try that too.)
There are lots of local mom groups. Some that I enjoy are: Pregnancy, Birth, and Sweet Little Babies Around New Braunfels (I admin this one), Moms of New Braunfels, Holistic Moms of New Braunfels, and Crunchy Moms of New Braunfels.
5. Going to places other moms are likely to be.
Go ahead and try the park strategy I tried myself when I was younger, but go with the intention of being the one reaching out to the lonely mom. Start the conversation with a compliment or a question about herself or her kid. Find out how long she’s lived in the area. If she’s new to town you can share some of your favorite places. If you’re newer, ask her for her favorites! And of course talking about your kids is as easy as falling off a log! You might ask if she often comes to that park and ask if she’d like to meet you there again next week.
I know this isn’t for everyone but churches are fantastic places for making friends. These are often places where there are other young families and ideally those who share a similar worldview. Or if you haven’t been to church much but are curious, the people are warm and welcoming and usually eager to give your arms a rest if you’re open to letting someone else hold your baby! If you’re new to town and usually go to church but haven’t gotten connected yet, I encourage you to make the effort. Personally it’s been a lifeline for me in the friend department. And of course there are many more reasons aside from friends.
(If you’re looking for a recommendation in the New Braunfels and San Marcos, TX area, I’ll take a moment to suggest looking at the church I attend. 😉 You will definitely be warmly welcomed by me and many others and I also lead the Children’s Ministry there so you know your little ones will be in good hands if you use the nursery!)
7. Your house
When you start feeling a good connection with someone, invite them over to your home! It does NOT need to be clean. In fact, they’ll probably appreciate that your home looks like a baby lives there, just like their home does! And you both understand about nap times. No pressure to stay long or look all put together.
8. Go out and do things with your baby
If you want some more ideas for where to go with your baby that you might also be able to meet new friends, check out my blog post Things To Do With Your Baby in New Braunfels.
9. Put in the effort
Final note and perhaps the most important: You need to put in the effort to make real mom friends.
I don’t mean you need to suddenly become outgoing if you’re normally reserved, or that you need to go places you don’t like to go. I mean that unlike my younger self, you can’t just hope that someone will come up to you. You need to start a conversation. You might need to take the awkward step of being the one to say “I am enjoying my time with you. I’d really like to see you more often!” Honestly, most of my friends that I see regularly have become so because I said something like that. It’s worth it! And it might turn out that you’re usually the one saying “Let’s get together!” and that’s okay. It doesn’t mean they don’t like you. In fact, they may be grateful! We all know how hard it can be to reach out and start something, so when you do that for a friend it’s a gift!
(And believe me, I tend toward the shy, I-don’t-want-to-bother-anyone side. But I still made the effort and I’m so thankful I did.)
Bonus idea (But you need to do this one while you’re still pregnant.): Take a childbirth class!
This is an amazing way to both prepare for birth and make friends! The people in your class with you are getting ready to do the same thing you are, they care about their birth experience, and would probably be great people to talk about it with after you’ve all had your babies! I’ve seen real friendships come out of classes I’ve taught and I’d love to see you have the opportunity for both education and friendship at the same time!