Congrats, you've had a baby! You've just gone through a huge life transition which will be met with a flurry of well-wishes and visits from friends and family. However, you may find that some of your friends that have yet to enter motherhood can't fully relate to some of the changes and experiences you are going through. That's why it's really helpful to also have a group of "mom friends" that can help support your physical and mental wellbeing during parenthood. Just making plans to get out of the house for a coffee or a walk makes a huge difference!
Making new friends as a mom can be daunting, but extremely worthwhile. Here are a few ways you can build a new tribe to accompany you on this fresh and rewarding phase of life:
Strike up a conversation with the mom next to you in the ward! The first night in the hospital without my partner and a brand new baby, I felt incredibly isolated. The lady next door had sounded friendly enough so I started up a conversation by speaking to the curtain "Hi there! I can't believe they've just left us alone with our babies like this. Do you mind if I come over?!". It turns out we have a lot in common and 6 months later, we are still friends.
Start a Whatsapp Group. A friend of mine invited me to a Whatsapp group for first-time moms when T was 3 months. I was the 5th person to join chat and we were all encouraged to make referrals to new moms we knew. In less than 3 months, we had over 20 first-time moms in the group! A Whatsapp group is a great source of information, especially from moms that have older tots and have gone through the paces already. It can also fantastic support during those late-night feeds... it's very likely that someone else is also awake at 3am!
Join a local moms group in your area. It's a great way to meet other moms and get out of the house. In the UK, you can register with your local Children Centre and take part in classes such as baby massage. There are also new digital apps such as Peanut that connect you to moms nearby.
Join a mommy and me class. These classes serve the dual purpose of teaching you helpful tips about your baby and connecting you to moms with children at a similar age. For those who are more nomadic or live in homes away from home, there are online parenting classes that offer the opportunity to connect digitally with a community.
Ask your friends and family. Chances are they know other moms who would make great friends. Don't be afraid to reach out and ask for an introduction!
Take initiative. Don’t be afraid to reach out to other moms that you meet in passing in your local area. If they are just as hungry as you for a connection, a simple “Hi” or “How are you finding things?” could be enough to get the ball rolling and lead to casual meet-ups.