Hi friends. Today I’m going to write about mommyhood, and finding your tribe, and how important it is. As a new mommy, possibly your world is completely turned upside down, and you might be thinking, “How do I find mom friends?” Well, today I have five tips on where to find mommy friends, and five tips on how to go about doing it.
Most of My Married Friends Had Older Kids….
When my oldest daughter was born in 2012, I was probably the last of my friends to have a child outside of my single friends who didn’t have children. I was in a weird dynamic as most of my married friends had children, but they were older.
I had my single friends who were not married and didn’t have children, and here I was with a newborn. I had friends, don’t get me wrong, but I didn’t really have mommy friends that were in that same season as me. So I was like, I’m grateful for my friends, but I was really yearning for someone who was in the same place as me. That’s what started me thinking about this video today – finding mommy friends.
….And Then We Moved. A Long Ways.
When my oldest daughter was 15 months, we moved from the place that I had lived my entire life, and starting over in Northern California definitely prompted me to look at what it means to make a friend. About how important it is to have a tribe of mommies in my life as I’m going through the little kid years, the baby years especially. But certainly as our kids get older as well.
#1 Place MOPS and Church
All right, so to get to the five places that I mentioned, ideas on where to meet mommies, the first one is at church, or a lot of places have MOPS groups and you don’t actually have to belong to a church to go to MOPS. MOPS stands for mothers of preschoolers, and it’s a great place to connect.
With MOPS, usually childcare is included in the price you pay which isn’t usually a lot, especially not when you look at what you’re getting out of it. There’s friendship and connecting to other adults. So there’s church and MOPS groups. I mention church first because that’s actually where I met my first friend when I moved here, and our kids are actually the same age, like two days apart.
We had both left the church service at the same time to hover, and peek through the nursery door to make sure our babes were doing okay. They were about 18 months. Mine had been in the nursery a little bit longer so she was pretty okay. But I remember when I first left her in the nursery, she was like, “What? You’re leaving me? Oh no, no, no.” It took a few times for her to realize that it was okay and that I was coming back.
We Connected Right Outside the Church Nursery
My daughter had started to really enjoy the church nursery. However, my friend’s child, who had just started coming to church was just starting the process. So, we were both peeking in to make sure our kids were okay. We saw each other in the hallway and connected. Our eyes locked, we started laughing and a conversation started from there.
You know… how old is your kid? Oh my gosh, they’re super close in age. We exchanged email addresses, and I thought, “Okay, I’ll shoot her an email and we’ll plan a playdate.” Because I was like, “Yes, my first friend.” We took the kiddos out for a walk on a nearby a river trail that’s really popular, and the kids threw rocks in the river and had a great time.
We ended up really connecting and the awesome thing was that our kids connected as well. She was my very first friend in Northern California. So if you belong to church, I would encourage you to take a peek in the nursery, find the kids that are about the same age as yours and maybe see about meeting the moms, or alternatively, look into MOPS group.
Now that my little is a little bit older, I’m thinking about potentially looking into MOPS again for myself and my little.
#2 Use Social Media
Utilize social media. I mean, it’s already taken over everything, so you might as well check it out and see if you find anything in your area.
That was one of the things that I did when I first got here. I actually got on Facebook and I typed in the county where I live and searched for moms. I found a mom’s group, asked to be added and was accepted. They did a group thing in the summer. They scheduled a particular day, at a particular place once a week, every week for the entire summer.
It was a great place for kids, and it was awesome, It was open to anyone to come, whenever they wanted during that time frame and stay as long or as little as they liked. If you were not digging it, then the place was huge and you could go off and do your own thing. So, social media, if you are on social media, I would definitely encourage you to utilize that resource.
Type in the name of your city and put moms’ group, or moms, or whatever. You’ll possibly find something that you can plug into and try out.
#3 Go Where Other Mommies Hang Out
Place number three would be where are some places that mommies hang out? Here where I live, some examples would be the library for story hour, the trampoline park for toddler time, or a gym that has open playtime for kids under five. They also have days for kids over five, and so you’re pretty much guaranteed to meet parents. It’s usually the mom, sometimes the dad, but you know what? It’s usually the moms so it’s almost a guarantee that you will run into some moms there. If there’s like a splash pad in the summer, that’s another great place or if your mall has a play structure, that’s another place.
Barnes & Noble bookstores will sometimes have little play areas for kids. Think about where you want to go with your kid, when you need to get out of the house because you’re about to go crazy? There’s probably another mom that’s thinking the same thing. Go to the places where other moms hang out.
#4 Community Support Groups
Point number four, would be a community support group. I’m talking about a specific group, for example, the one that sticks out in my mind is a breastfeeding support group.
There’s are La Leche Leagues everywhere, so if you are a breastfeeding mom and you are down to spend time with other moms who are learning about breastfeeding and trying to get the hang of it, believe it or not, it generally takes a bit of encouragement and work to get the hang of nursing, (but that’s another video). Look into the La Leche League and see if there is a group nearby that you can join. Go to a couple meetings and see if you can meet other like-minded mamas.
#5 Random Places
The last point is number five, and this is random places. Now, this is like walking around a store, the mall or at a park and you see a mom that has a kid that’s about the age of your child. I actually have a fun random story to share with you about meeting a mom friend in a random place.
I was at the World Market alone when I heard Curious George. I’m looking around trying to see what is going on and why I’m hearing Curious George? I see a mom about my age, with a little girl about the same age as my oldest, with really long legs the same as my oldest.
I’m trying not to gawk because – awkward – because I’m not a creeper, However, I’m thinking in my mind, “Yes, go talk to her, you could be friends.” And then I’m like, “But that’s weird. You know, she’ll think you’re strange. Why would you do that? That would be really awkward.” The adult grown up part of me was like, “Don’t go do that.”
“Just Go Talk to Her….”
But in the back of my mind was , “Go talk to this person.” So after a little internal battle, I went over and I said, “Sorry, I was staring but your daughter is listening to Curious George, and she’s tall, and she’s blonde-haired, and about the same as my daughter.” She asked how old she was and everything was lining up. We had this great conversation and then it was like, “Oh okay, well, have a nice day.” “Yeah, you too.”
I thought, “well, what do I do from here?” So I walked around the store having another internal battle about feeling like a dork for chasing after this person and saying, “Will you go on a playdate with my daughter and me?” Ultimately, I decided to do that so I tracked her down and I said, “I promise I’m not a weirdo, I’ll even show you a picture of my kid. I just moved here and I don’t have very many mom friends. I would love to get our girls together for a play date if you’re interested in that.”
She just laughed and said, “Yeah, I would love that.” And I’m like, “Whoo.” Thank goodness she didn’t say, “We’re all full up, thanks.” Anyway, she’s actually become one of my dearest friends and I am so grateful that I worked up the courage to speak to her pushing aside that silly insecurity we sometimes get as adults when we’re trying to make new friends. Sometimes it’s awkward.
Okay, so we’ve talked about the five places of where to look for friends. Now, let’s talk about my five ways to make it happen.
#1 Strategy: Strike Up a Conversation
So the first and most obvious thing is to strike up a conversation. If their kid is adorable or has amazing shoes, say that. Or if their kid looks like they’re the same age as your kid, ask how old their kid is. How old is your son? Or, how old is your daughter? Because that will immediately start up a conversation. And the other thing is if their kid is six and short, and your kid is three and tall, well, that may not work. That’s the best way to figure out if this is going to be a good match. If they’re open to talking, great, then you start a conversation.
#2 Act Like You’re Friends Until You Really Are
Number two, act like you’re friends until you actually really are. It’s kind of that whole fake it until you make it thing. You might be thinking, “That’s kind of weird.” Not really. I don’t know about you, but when I enter into a conversation with a stranger, I appreciate it when a stranger is kind and friendly or if they are interested in what I’m saying, or if they have a good attitude, or whatever.
So if you’re kind and you are having a conversation, if they’re sharing and talking, and it kind of feels natural, great. Fake it till you make it.
#3 Watch Who Your Child is Attracted To
Tip number three, watch who your kid is attracted to. Watch who your kid is playing with. I understand that when kids are little, it’s more parallel play versus interaction but is there a child that they’re drawn to? If so, check and see who they are playing with? Is the child with a mom or a dad? So watch your kid and see who they play with and who they gravitate towards.
Is it the crazy kid that runs up and down the slide? Oh my gosh. That’s my kid. Or is it the quiet one? Watch to see who are they gravitating towards and then check out the mom. As long as they don’t look like an axe murderer, go over and talk to them. Start up a conversation.
#4 Propose a Play Date
Point number four, propose a play date. If this mom seems like a safe enough person propose a play date in a public area where you guys can go and connect a little bit more one-on-one, and let the kids play. Maybe a city park, or go to the trampoline park, the library, the bookstore, it doesn’t really matter.
Propose some place where your kids can go and act foolish while you connect with the other mom. If they say “yes” awesome! You’re on your way!
#5 Invite Her on a Mom-Only Date
We’re moving on to point number five which is, after a couple of play dates that have gone well, my suggestion would be to ask them on a mom date, a mom only date. This could look like whatever your schedule will allow.
This could be coffee in the morning, a lunch date or dinner. If dinner doesn’t work, perhaps coffee in the evening. Maybe not coffee, maybe tea in the evening or maybe wine. Whatever sounds good to you. Propose a mom only time where you can actually have adult conversations with words that don’t usually include words like booger, or don’t push your sister.
That’s awesome to me. I look forward to those kinds of conversations. Okay, so you’ve met some mom friends and you like this person, and you want to continue a relationship. The last part of what I want to talk about is how to keep it going. I know as moms, and parents, and the busyness of life, it’s easy to focus on only our familirs and not really get out very much. So…
If you meet a mom, or two that really speak to you and you connect with, my suggestion is to be very intentional. If you find someone that you like make time for them. Talk with your husband and say, “I don’t have a lot of friends, can I have, one night a week or perhaps one night every other week to go and work on building a relationship with Sally. I really like her. Our kids are the same age, they get along and I want to foster this relationship.” This is basically me saying and me encouraging you to be intentional with the friendships that you start.
Okay guys, there you have it, these are my five and five. If you like this post and you feel it’s been helpful, I would love it if you would share it with your friends or leave a comment. Especially in this season, raising babies takes a village and we need community.
More Family Content from Family Life and Love
If this is helpful, stop over and take a look at our FaceBook page. We post new family material every day. Some of it is funny, some helpful, some inspiring and some surprising. Here’s an example >>
We also have a YouTube channel now with over 80 videos all about family. I would be delighted to have you join us on a regular basis….we publish a new video every week, and if you subscribe, you’ll get notifications when we post new material.
Thanks for stopping by today! Have a great day. 🙂