Resources for Moms
The task of finding friends after having kids is mighty but so important!
I remember as a kid it was so easy to find and make new friends. We moved around fairly often when I was younger– my dad wasn’t military but he got transferred a LOT! Every few years we were in a new city, a new school, leaving “old” friends, and on the mission to find new ones. Back then it was pretty easy…I’d meet my new bestest girlfriend in home room or science class. In fact….my VERY bestest friend I met in Mr. Sykes 8th grade homeroom class….Tara and I haven’t shut up since! 😉
In college things got a little more complicated….everyone was like “what’s your major”….well, since I had no idea it was hard to find my niche….until I joined a sorority. Now before you start thinking I’m some Valley Girl that says “like” and “as if” all the time I must tell you my sorority was full of normal girls…we weren’t the super skinny mean girls you see today….I knew I was at the right spot when, in the middle of Rush, we all started talking about Dawson’s Creek and how Pacey was so much better for Joey than Dawson….I mean…..as if! Anyway, once bid night rolled around and I got to run up to meet all my new “sisters” I immediately became BFFs with Joy, Dawn, and Natalie….to this day we’re still super close and you’ll hear me talking about them all the time….like with Joy’s yummy Breakfast Stuffed Peppers and Natalie’s delicious/addictive Pot Stickers and Dawn’s latest animal rights passion!
After college things began to get a little bit more difficult in the making true friendships department. Then after Little Man arrived it became even more difficult to meet new people with common interests and develop lasting friendships. That is until Hubs was offered a job over 400 miles away from home and I was forced to leave my comfort zone and meet new people….if not for me then for Little Man who desperately needed play mates!
That’s when I found LakeNormanMommies….a website for moms that had a calendar with real live in person play dates. I was determined to get out and meet new people….so I took a look at the calendar and clicked RSVP on the very next event that was to take place. Now, I will tell you, I’m a SUPER shy person in real life….I was soooooo nervous when I walked into that little bakery where the meet-up was being held. It was for kids in Little Man’s age group (which was 7 months at the time) so we could still do simple coffee chat meet ups back then. I kid you not when I tell you I changed my outfit at least 6 times and Little Man’s at least 3-4 times! I wanted to make a good impression…..it was like the first day of school!
Well I walked in to that bakery and met 2 of the women who would eventually become part of my inner circle up here. Marianna and Ashley were so nice and welcoming….from there I’ve met so many other women and have made truly lasting friendships….we have a of about 8-10 women who are ALWAYS there for each other….during the good times and the bad….we even have an open group chat so we can hop on and talk anytime day or night and there’s always someone there to respond!
Friendships are so important for women….but as we get older it becomes harder and harder to make those connections. So today I’m going to share with you some national resources for moms so that hopefully you can enter a little bakery and find your mom friends too!
The Mommies Network is the parent site for the Lake Norman Mommies– where I found all of my new friends. The parent network will direct you to a local chapter where you can meet other moms…either online in the forums or in person at meet ups scheduled on their calendar.
2. The Library
Check your local library for story time and other events for children. This is a great place for your child to interact with other children and for you to meet other moms. Now you do have to make some effort here….just start talking to some of the other moms…comment about how cute their kids is….ask a question…get the conversation going and you’ll meet some great ladies!
I just recently learned about MOPS from another mommy I met at the library. It’s short for Mother’s of Pre-Schoolers. MOPS groups are held all across the nation and are a great way for you to meet a whole network of moms.
Yep, that same site that had singles events has mom events too! I joined a few local meetup.com groups when we first moved here and am still friends with several of the mothers I met. Plus, it’s usually the same moms that you’ll see at the library, on the Mommies Network, and in MOPS….so you’ll start seeing the same moms over and over again….which is why it’s so easy to make friends in school….because your world becomes just a little bit smaller and a little bit less intimidating. When you see the same moms over and over in different groups you realize you have stuff in common….and (don’t tell anyone) but you’re BOTH looking for friends! 😉
Another online forum…this one is still in Beta…but already seems to have a pretty good group started…I put in my zipcode and found a bunch of moms near me!
MomsClub is focused on stay at home moms and creating play dates for those moms. They are set up similarly to the Mommies Network in that you’re assigned to a particular local group and everything is held more privately. I like this because you don’t want just anyone to have access to where play dates are taking place or where the moms are meeting up.
7. Local Parks & Rec Department
Always check your local Parks & Rec department because they usually have some kind of weekly activity going on. For instance our parks and rec department has a rotating schedule of activities including a toddler tumbling class, toddler “cooking” class, art classes, dance classes, etc. and the pricing is usually pretty good…ours is just $20 a month!
8. Gymboree Classes
Did you know that the children’s store Gymboree has a sister company that does infant and toddler classes? From music classes to tumbling classes there’s something for everyone! These classes usually meet once a week and it’s a great way to meet other moms with kids the same age as your own. From there you can plan a play date or coffee meet up and develop a friendship.
What ever path you choose to take I truly hope you’ll take that leap and step out of your comfort zone! It’s so important for mothers/women/people in general to have meaningful friendships! It’s not only good for our sanity as moms but our health too….both mental and physical.
AND….always follow the Rule of 5! Go to 5 meetups or post at least 5 times or talk to the same person 5 times….it takes us about 5 tries at something to begin to feel comfortable. I can completely attest to that fact…it did take about 5 events for me to start recognizing other moms and it took me about 5 times of talking to each of my now wonderful girlfriends to feel comfortable and not as self conscious.
What are your tips for helping moms find new friends?