Did anyone watch Up All Night last Wednesday where Reagan & Chris put baby Amy in a play group and obviously it wasn’t at all what they were expecting? Reagan feels bad because she is trying to have a career and join in the play group when she can. She really feels the pressure from the other moms and the need to compete with them. You can watch it on NBC’s website if you missed it.
The episode really hit home with me as I recently put my daughter in mom and baby swimming lessons. I thought it would be a great way to meet some other moms with babies around her age that live in our area. The class is made up of about 10 or so moms & their babies (and one dad). The moms are various ages ranging from what I would guess to be mid to late 20’s to their 40’s. The first day of class felt like the first day of high school. We all made some small talk like how old is your baby, what’s their name and then that was it. Everyone just did their own thing and afterwards some people left without even saying goodbye. Why is it that I could be a great business woman, have (had) an out-going social life and yet making friends with another mom seemed so difficult?
Making new “mom” friends can be tough. You’d think because you all have something in common it would be an easy bonding experience, but the truth is it’s hard to get past the awkwardness of reaching out to a total stranger. What if you get rejected? What if they feel the need to compete with you? Are you too old or too young for them to want to be friends with you? It’s also hard getting to know moms in a group setting when some of the moms have already formed a connection. There are so many various factors now that make it harder for moms to form friendships. It’s not easy and when you’re busy with your family, exhausted or feeling a little anxious it can be an experience that is sometimes easier to just skip out on attempting at all. But making friends with other moms is important. It gets you out of the house, around other people your age and gives you the chance to share stories, advice and bond over a common interest (or talk about other things woman enjoy talking about besides the kids). I thought of a few tips when trying to make mom friends as well as some places where you could meet other moms.
Tips to making mom friends:
Don’t be afraid of rejection – it’s like dating, some people will like you and you will have a lot in common but sometimes even though you are a super-friendly person another mom just might not be interested and that’s ok...rude, but ok ;)
Put yourself out there – again, like dating. Ask other moms their names not just the small talk about the baby. Ask if they live close, find out activities to they go to that you could attend as well.
Research online or around the community for mom & baby activities nearby, especially ones that are free. For example, your local library might have baby story time.
Go for walks with your baby in a variety of different parks and places in the community. Engage other moms with a smile or quick hello and maybe that will strike up a conversation.
Places/Resources to meet other moms in the lower mainland:
- Babymoon Parenting is a great resource to find classes and activities around the lower mainland. They update their site weekly with new activities and classes.
Join a mom & baby swimming class at your local community centre/swimming pool. Most swimming lessons start at babies 4 months + in age.
Check meetup.com for your city and search to find mom groups in your community. If there isn’t one in your area, start one! It could be anything from a walking club to a mommy’s night out club.
Hopefully you will have success at making friends with other moms... If it doesn’t work you can always pressure your friends to start having kids! All joking aside, I am lucky to have a few girlfriends that have babies as well but many of my friends don’t have any kids and don’t plan to for a while. I really enjoy the time I get to spend with my mom friends. Whether it's having a good laugh at the funny ways our lives have changed or sharing cute stories of what each baby did, I really look forward too! It always helps to have someone who can relate to you and the new experiences you’re going through.