Making friends as an adult is tough. But it’s even more difficult when you’re a new mom. Not only do you have to find the time to actually make friends, but you also need to get out of the house to meet them in the first place. Not so easy! Here’s some tried and true tips to make friends as a new mom.
As a parent myself, I know first hand how tricky it can be to make friends when your kids are small. There’s never enough time, and if you have friends without kids it can be difficult to stay in touch when your life stages are so different.
Having a newborn is isolating enough even with friends – but without them it can be super lonely. Especially if you’re a stay at home mom that spends all day alone with the kids.
Why You Need to Make Friends as a New Mom
You’re probably thinking: why bother? The task of making friends as a new mom probably seems daunting even before you set out. If you’re like me and have major anxiety issues, it’s even more difficult. Let’s face it; making friends is super awkward.
Add in lack of sleep, the stress of having a new baby, and all the other challenges that new mom face and well… Yeah. You get it, you’re there.
But it’s that very reason that makes it so important to make friends as a new mom!
- You need people who can understand what you’re going through. By making other new mom friends, you’ll be able to share in the trenches of motherhood together. The kids don’t need to be exactly the same age, but having pals at similar stages can be great for solidarity.
- You need adult conversation. Especially if you’re a new mom who spends most of their time at home alone with the kids.
- Friends are a part of you that’s separate from your family. While most of the time you spend with your mom friends will probably be centered around the kids, the relationships you’re building will give you something outside of your family
How to Make Friends as a New Mom
OK so now you know why it’s important, but how on earth do you make friends as a new mom? It can be difficult, but certainly not impossible! The one saving grace here is that the biggest barrier to making and keeping friends (your kids) is also the ticket to meeting new people.
Just like your baby will soon be doing in the schoolyard, you’ll be able to make friends simply because you’re in the same place and experiencing the same thing as your peers.
Anyway, let’s get to it. Here’s how you can make friends as a new mom (even if you’re shy!).
Attend Playgroups or Mommy and Me Classes
This is probably my best tip so I’m leading with it here. Find a nearby class that runs at least weekly and for several weeks. You likely won’t make friends the first week (especially if you’re nervous) but after several weeks of seeing the same group of people eventually (hopefully) you’ll gravitate towards someone.
Most of these classes tend to be geared towards toddlers, but there are definitely newborn baby ones out there too if you’re still in that stage.
One of my favorite options is library story time. It’s usually free and you can take a baby of any age!
Join a Support Group
Like the classes, support groups are another way to make friends just because you happen to see the same people again and again. These groups tend to be focused on the parents, not the child, so there’s the added bonus of finding someone who might be going through the same things as you to hang out with.
You get what you put into these groups so make sure you participate for the best chances of success.
I have connected with so many of my local friends through social media, especially Facebook. If you’re new to the area or just a new mom looking to make some friends, add local people you see in online groups to your friends list and start chatting. If that’s too forward, keep things slow for a bit and leave a comment here and there until. you feel more comfortable.
Look for local mom or parenting groups to. We have one in our rural area that has over a thousand members!
Another thing to look for is a due date club. It’s best to join while you’re pregnant, but you may be able to still participate after the fact too. While it’s tough to find local ones, these can be a fantastic way to make friends with parents that have babies the same age as yours.
Chat With Other Parents at Daycare
If you’re a working mom or send your baby to daycare to get a break, try chatting with some of the other parents you see there regularly at drop off and pick up. This is especially great if you’re career focused since you’re more likely to meet other parents who have similar challenges.
While stay at home moms and working moms can definitely be great friends, it’s nice when you’re both on the same schedule.
Another idea is to volunteer at the daycare (when you can) on special days when you know other parents will be attending too.
Frequent Local Parks
I know it’s cliché but the park really is a great place to meet other parents, especially ones that live in your area. You’ll have to be brave here, yes, but striking up a conversation at the park is a great way to meet new people. Plan your day so you visit at the same time as other parents with kids the same age as yours.
If your baby is still quite young there’s still plenty of benefits to visiting the park to get some fresh air.
Keep an Open Mind
This one of the most important things to remember if you want to make friends as a new mom. You never know who you’re going to hit it off personality-wise; don’t judge someone just by their appearance.
That perfectly Instagramable mom may turn out to be the one person you can turn to with the baby blues because she’s going through it too. That mom with tattoos and piercings might make you giggle until your sides hurt while you walk together with your babies. You get the idea.
Be welcoming to everyone you meet and always keep an open mind.
Actually Engage When People Talk to You
This is another really important tip, especially if you’re someone (like me) who struggles with social anxiety. Instead of trying to get out of the situation as quickly as possible, actually try and engage with other moms when they strike up a conversation with you.
Once you start talking, show that you’re interested through active listening. That means looking at them (if you can take your eyes off baby), asking open ended questions, and responding genuinely to theirs.
How to Turn A Chat Into a Friendship
OK so you’ve started talking to someone, now what? How do you turn that new acquaintance into a proper friendship?
- Exchange contact information. Cellphone numbers for texting or social media is perfect.
- Connect with them again. That can be a short message like “it was nice meeting you today” along with something that promotes conversation and ties back to your initial chat. For example, “it was nice meeting you today, and I can’t wait to try that brownie recipe you recommended!”
- Invite them out or over. This is really the next level to get things more serious. If you’re still not super close, you can invite them to a less formal get together like a playgroup or the park. If you met somewhere specific, you can also ask if they want to meet up again there.
- Stay in touch. At this point you should already know if this person is clicking with you. Like romantic relationships, good friendships tend to happen on their own once the spark is there. If you have it, make sure you keep staying in touch to build that friendship!
In Summary: How to Make Friends as a New Mom
Basically, the only way to make friends as a new mom is to put yourself out there. I know it’s hard, but you just have to be brave and do it! Once you break the ice though, friendships should happen naturally if you click with that person.
The biggest thing is to stay open and say yes to new things. Don’t forget to be nice to moms who are trying to make friends with you too!