When we’re in grade school, we spend a LOT of time with friends. From kindergarten all the way through to high school and even college, we tend to visit our friends often — from playdates to shopping dates, sleepovers to hanging out at a cafe pouring over textbooks. But what about after school when everyone begins to take off in their own direction? As soon as pals start creating families, moving across the country (or even the world), and beginning exciting careers, many of us find ourselves separated from the pals who we used to see on a daily basis — and now only see during the holidays.
It’s a strange transition, especially when those times of change and transformation are the ones where you really need some good friends by your side. If your old friends are far and wide, how exactly do you go about making friends? It’s not as easy as sharing your snack at recess or trading lecture notes after study hall. But it’s not impossible!
When I became a new mother, one of the first places I really reached out to meet other mothers was online. This has quickly become the go-to networking place for new mothers who are often staying home with their babies and find that the web is the easiest way to connect with like-minded mamas from all over.
But what about meeting new friends in the real world? It’s wonderful to connect with mothers online, and goodness knows many of my closest pals are ones who I met through blogging and spending time on the internet — but how exactly can moms go about making friends in their neighborhoods and communities? Today I wanted to share a few methods that might help if you’re feeling nervous or shy about making new friends. It sometimes feels like “new friends” are only made when you’re a child, but trust me, the women who you meet and bond with via motherhood can be just as close as your best friends growing up. It’s all about finding people you feel comfortable with, who understand where you’re coming from, and who you feel supported by.
Here are a few ways to connect with the moms around you. It’s easier than you might think!
The next time you take your kiddos to the park, strike up a conversation with others mothers nearby. While your respective children are swinging on the monkey bars, feel out the crowd and chat with someone nearby who you get a positive vibe from. Maybe you overhear them chatting about a recipe you’d love to try, or maybe their kids go to the same school as yours. Ask about how their summer holidays were, are they new to the area, and so on. If you hit it off, and your children are having fun playing together, feel free to pass on an email or calling card to get the kids together another time. Or invite them over for a coffee while the kids are in school.
Volunteering to help out at your child’s school or daycare is a great way to meet other involved moms! You’ll already have a common interest which means you’ve got a built-in topic of conversation.
Is there a neighborhood event taking place? A movie in the park, a day of free skating at the arena, or a story teller at the library? Take your kids and sit near someone you might want to chat with. Again, you’ll be meeting like-minded folks and they probably live close enough for playdates/coffee visits!
Go Online To Get Offline!
If you’re new to your area, or if you’re a new mom who hasn’t had a chance to scope out the local parenting scene, try a website like meetup.com to find local mom groups nearby! These are great resources to meet other mothers and (especially when your babies are small) it’s a great reason to get out of the house!
Keep this in mind when you’re out on a mission to make new mom friends: If YOU are looking for a new pal, you’re NOT the only one! Approaching mothers with children who seem about the same age as your own gives you an immediate pal who is on your side and knows what you’re going through. Don’t feel alone in motherhood — there are so many others just like you, and they can’t wait to meet you!