Becoming a Mom is hard - but navigating motherhood without support from friends makes it even tougher. You might have a great set of friends from before you became a parent, but if they don't have children, they probably just "don't get it". Finding your Mom-tribe is essential in surviving this crazy thing called parenthood (really!).
Maybe you've just had your first baby or maybe you've moved to a new town with all three of your kids (yep, happened to me). Regardless, you will need to put yourself out there to build these new friendships. Here are some tips to get you going...
Use Your Resources
Social media is going to be a huge help! Facebook has tons of moms' groups and most towns (even neighborhoods) have their own groups to join. If you live in a big city, chances are there are multiple moms' groups so take some time to look through them all to find the best fit.
One tip: try searching for groups that are age specific. It's hugely beneficial if you can find other moms with have babies around the same age as yours. Trust me, this is possible!
If you're pregnant, getting ideas from instructors and other soon-to-be parents in your prenatal classes is a great place to start. Most places that offer prenatal instruction will also offer a new moms class. Some of my very first and best mom friendships originated in those exact classes.
There's a great app called Peanut that can help too! "Peanut is an app (free on iOS and Android) that helps you connect with moms who share similar interests and are located in your area. Similar to dating apps, after building a profile, you get matched with other moms." It's easy and fun - definitely worth a look during your next middle of the night feeding!
Put Yourself Out There
It's not easy because it can feel somewhat awkward but finding new mom friends might mean needing to go outside your comfort zone. It is going to take some work but if you can hit the ground running, it will pay off in the end. Make an effort to go to those get togethers that might not seem appealing at first. Try a new playground. In fact, try ALL the playgrounds! You're not going to meet anyone new just sitting at home.
Keep in mind that it can be a process. Keep your eyes peeled for other moms doing the same activities as you as you go about your daily routine. If you see a mom at the playground the same time of day as you, chances are you are on similar schedules. Maybe you hear a mom talking while you are shopping at your favorite store... go and strike up a conversation. If you are new to the area, tell them! Often times, moms will want to help newbies to the area and will be so happy to chat. Recently, a woman approached me while I was shopping with a friend and began asking about my kids. We got into a nice conversation and she literally said to us "Will you be my mom friends!? I haven't found any yet." It was so sweet and endearing and clear how much she needed to find her tribe.
There can be a lot of nerves going into your first "mom-friend" date. Maybe you're headed to your first new mom meeting at the prenantal yoga studio or you've made plans to meet a few local Moms for coffee with your babies. Regardless, you are all feeling the same feelings. The best advice I can give is to be honest and be yourself. All these women are all going through similar experiences (maybe even feeling not so great and happy) so sharing your story even if it feels slightly embarrassing or self-conscious will be the one thing that makes that mom smile or feel like she's not alone!
So... take a deep breath and feel confident knowing that your Mom-tribe is out there, you just have to find them!