Last week we talked about the importance of building your village, and the many reasons why connecting with other moms — and getting out of your house (yes, even with a newborn!) — is so important. If you’re an introvert like me, this may be just one or two meaningful relationships with other like-minded moms, and a stroll with them — or by yourself — around the block.
But what if you don’t have a village? What if you’re one of the first of your friends to have a child – or you just moved to a new place? Or you live in a more rural area where there simply aren’t groups of new moms hanging out at nearby coffee shops, chatting each other up while their babes sleep soundly in their car seats or carriers (ha! Yeah right!)?
How, then, are you supposed to meet these elusive people?
I get it. I really do. You don’t want to feel like you’re “dating” moms (looking for the most eligible mom-friend candidates— she has to have a baby relatively the same age, she should live somewhat close to you for convenient get-togethers, you should probably have a shared interest or two … ). But let’s be honest: the whole “dating other moms” thing? That’s kind of (okay, exactly) what it’s like. But don’t worry! We’re all in this together, and generally we are all looking for the same thing: a friend who “gets it.”
How to Meet Other Moms
If you live in a big city, it’s highly likely there are existing clubs you can join. If you’re in a small town or in the sticks, you may have to get a little creative. There is no single go-to organization, but the following resources should help the vast majority of you locate a new mom (or dad!) group:
— The hospital or birthing center where your baby was born – they usually offer nursing support groups that are the perfect places to meet other moms with babies your age.
— Google: “New moms/parents group _________ (your city/town)”
— Local libraries and bookstores usually have infant storytimes
— Meetup.com – Tip: Search for “moms”, “dads” or “parenting.”
— Yahoo Groups Tip: Start by searching for your neighborhood or town name.
— MOPS (Moms of Preschoolers — Don’t worry, it’s not just for preschoolers!)
— MOMS Club – Scroll to the bottom and click on your state.
— La Leche League – In person nursing support groups available in some areas
— Fit4Mom Moms who love working out will enjoy this one. Search for a Fit4Mom group near you, head out with baby in tow, and get a great workout while bonding with baby and meeting new friends. Bonus: it’s super fun! (Marissa, Melissa and Meg did this after giving birth to their first kids, and met tons of other moms … and got back in shape, too). Tip: A jogging stroller comes in handy, here.
— Hike it Baby Sticking with the fitness theme, search for a Hike it Baby chapter near you, and sign up for a fun hike for you and your baby (or bring the whole family). The goal? Getting outside and into nature with your little one, while meeting others who also like to do the same. You’ll be amazed how easy it is to start chatting once you hit the trail.
— Music Together A global parent-child music class. Music Together feels that music and rhythm are universal languages and being exposed to music from birth enriches early childhood development. These weekly classes are great fun and help you connect with other parents in your neighborhood.
These apps have moved beyond online dating to help you find other like-minded parents near you. Don’t be shy, this is the new age we live in 🙂
— Peanut — Like Tinder for new moms! Swipe up to meet other like-minded moms in your area. Sounds so Millennial and cool.
— Mom.Life — This one is sort of like a Facebook group. Anyone (from anywhere) can join to connect with other moms, seek out mom and kid-related advice, etc.
— Hello Mamas — Kind of like Match.com, Hello Mamas uses a matching system to set you up with other moms in the same stage of parenthood who live in your area.
See also: Where’s the App to make dad friends?
— Facebook Groups — A quick FB search will help you find local mom or parenting groups, or search for very specific types of FB groups tailored to your unique interests/needs (i.e. Stay at Home Moms, Working Moms, Moms who Hate to Cook, Moms with Colicky Babies, Moms with Special Needs Kids, Moms of Multiples, etc.).
No luck? Don’t fret. Start your own village! Try making a post on a bulletin board, listserv, or even on Craigslist.
Picking up Chicks on Aisle 12. My husband jokes that he can’t take me anywhere without me picking up women. It’s true. If I strike up a conversation with a mom I think is cool and has a kid my age, damn right I’m gonna ask her out on a mom-date. (It’s funny, I get all nervous: Should I wait three days before calling her? Will she date me again?)
So don’t be shy; you’d be surprised how many other women are in the same boat. Go to the cafe, the library, or the park…wherever! Even if you don’t meet anyone, it’s still good for you to get out of the house and get some fresh air. And hey, a little caffeine wouldn’t hurt either.