Meeting new people or making mommy friends can be scary as a new mom or even just living in a new neighborhood. Connie, from our iFamily Mom & Dad Squad, shares some ways to find your tribe! Take a look…
Finding Your Tribe & Making Mommy Friends
So, I love the movie “I Love You Man”. Honestly, I love just about anything Paul Rudd does, but that’s beside the point. I know the movie is meant to be pure entertainment, but there is an underlying truth to it. Making friends as an adult is not as easy as it was when we were kids. As a kid, you walk up to someone at the park and say “let’s play!” and boom—a friendship is born.
When I had my son, I became a part of a whole new category of people. Category: Mom. I was one of the first among my group of friends to join this whole new scene and I had no idea what I was doing. I needed to ask questions and vent and get advice from people who knew what they were doing. But who was I going to ask? Where do you meet mommy friends?
It’s a little bit of trial and error.
When I had my oldest, I was completely lost and overwhelmed. I tried going to a breastfeeding support group at the hospital, and while everyone there was very friendly and supportive, it was just not the place for me. Part of me just wanted to be a recluse-stay at home in my happy little bubble, just me and my boy. But that got pretty lonely pretty quickly.
I got myself out and just started going places. Running errands, going for a walk, etc. Whatever got me out of the house and moving was helpful. Babies are people magnets, and I found myself chatting with new people all the time. As my kids got a little older, we started heading to parks, and the zoo, and indoor playgrounds. In the summer we basically lived at the pool. Those places were crawling with moms and potential play dates.
I found a mommy and me class at the gym. It was designed to be a baby play time, with the moms there to help with the kids and meet new moms. I went back to the gym for my own workouts. I met moms when I was dropping my son off at the daycare there. When my kids got old enough to start preschool, that’s when I really came into my own and started making real connections with other moms.
Mason struggled with separation anxiety and those first couple weeks of drop offs were awful. He would cling to my leg and cry and beg me not to leave him. This always led to me crying the whole way out of the school. One day another mom whose son was in Mason’s class stopped me and reassured me that she had been through the same thing with her son and that everything was going to be okay. We have been friends ever since.
My kids started joining activities, and I met tons of parents that way. Bailey is in dance, and the friends I have made there are some of my closest. Both of my kids play sports, most of which I coach, and so I have gotten to know lots of parents that way as well.
I mentioned previously that I coach, and I volunteer when I can at my kids school. PTA is a great way to get involved and to meet other parents in your schools attendance area. There are lots of local moms groups on Facebook and MOPS groups that meet at churches around town as well. I looked for events to take my kids to—festivals, kids club events from iFamilyKC, free classes at Gymboree, etc.
It was all about just getting out there. I was never going to meet anyone sitting at home. And while it was hard at first, it definitely got easier. No, I didn’t love every parent I met or every place I went, but I did eventually find my people. And these are the people I count on to help me get through the tough stuff and laugh through the funny times. They are the people I can call if I need help getting a kid to a practice or game or dance class. The people I can text and ask if it’s too early for wine at noon on a Tuesday when it’s been a rough day. They are the people who understand that parenting is work and while it is the best job we will ever have, it’s also the most frustrating and challenging.
From iFamily to Yours,