When I made the transition to stay home with BabyCoolJ last year I went from having a very full calendar to not a thing to do. No mom friends, no playdates, no activites. As a social (yet love-my-alone-time) person, I knew I needed to work on changing that stat.
Within months I had met the most amazing moms, joined multiple groups and built real community. If we hadn’t moved, I like to think my kiddo would have grown up with all these friends, and I’d continue to have lots of play dates and mommy dates.
Now that we’re in a new town, I am starting from scratch. And I’m not letting any time pass! We enjoyed our first few weeks being home and getting to know our new town, but both my son and I need friends. We need community.
So I think I’m in a pretty good place to make some suggestions to moms out there that are seeking friendships. Here are some of my favorite ways I’ve met my mom friends:
Join and engage with mom groups on Facebook
Okay, these groups can be totally intimidating. Many women only want a safe space to ask questions and not actually make friends, while others already have their mom tribes in place. But don’t let that hold you back! Lurk a little, introduce yourself and either attend a playdate or plan your own! I know, you think I’m crazy. But I’ve planned my fair share of small playdates at parks. My latest one only one other mom attended, but it allowed us to totally connect and I am so glad we had the chance to get to know one another!
At a museum or playscape, scope out a loner mom
Not everyone wants to make a new friend, but most women will be super open to it! Don’t be creepy, just let conversation naturally flow. I’ve met so many people just by commenting on their outfit or kiddo accessories. This is a great way to make a real connection because if y’all actually have something in common it will be apparent pretty quickly.
Join MOPS or another faith-based mom group
My old church hosted “Roots and Fruits,” a bible study for moms on Monday mornings with free childcare (where they learn about Jesus too!). I met one of my dearest and closest friends through R&F, which led to connecting with so many other moms. If you are a Christian, joining a group like this will help you grow as a mom, as a believer and offer you amazing like-minded community. And your kiddo makes real friends too! And, if you’re not a believer, look out for a similar type group like a mommy & me book club in your community.
Search for events on Facebook
Every week I go to the “discover” option to find local events that cater to toddlers. Not only does it keep our social life fun, but it is a great way to meet other mamas out with their littles too! Make sure you click your city or location for the best curated lists.
Meet your neighbors
Lots of neighborhoods have HOA sponsored activities or events going on at the common areas or nearby schools. Plus, joining Facebook groups or Nextdoor helps you stay connected too. I actually met a great friend of mine in our old neighborhood through Nextdoor! I just posted that I had a 2-year-old and was headed to our neighborhood park, and she joined me. Now, in our new ‘hood, I’ve met my closest friend so far at our neighborhood playground too! (Although, it was random and not pre-planned). So get out of your house and meet your neighbors!
Check out Meetup.com
Just like those Facebook groups, meetup is another great way to build community. Depending on your location, there could be tons of groups perfect for you. In New Braunfels, I’ve joined one mom-group that is super organized and I’m excited to attend more events. When I was in Austin, there were tons of specific groups: age, crunchy moms, Christians, pagans, autistic….anything you can think of! (Oh, and dog moms – there are a ton of meetup groups for you too!).
There’s an app for that
Okay, so I have admittedly not tried this but really wanted to share! This totally intimidates me, but may be the best option for some of y’all. There’s an app like Tinder especially for moms called Peanut. Has anyone ever tried it? I’d love to hear about your experience!
So, there you have it. Just a few of my favorite ways to meet moms, build community and have a great friend-filled environment for our kiddos. And, next time you’re out, make sure to stay aware of those around you instead of on your phone – you never know if you are sitting next to your future bestie!