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I made so many internet mom friends from online forums and Facebook/Whatsapp groups while I was pregnant and during lockdown when many of us were feeling increasingly isolated. It was easy to do so because we were all cluelessly trying to navigate the realities of pregnancy and motherhood from the comfort of our homes. Now that my child is older, I don’t really keep up with those pages anymore. I have very few mom friends in real life whom I’ve had even before we entered this new phase. We stay in different towns, might I add, so the logistics of organizing mom dates is a challenge.
My close friends are child-free and I don’t need them to have kids to be friends with me. That also means I mostly avoid motherhood conversations when with them. I was just getting to know 2 of my neighbors who are also moms but they moved recently. Anyway long story short, I want to make meaningful friendships with moms, hang out every now and then, and nurture these connections. Is it just me? How did you do it?
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This is a great questions and I found the same challenges having a baby during the first year of the pandemic.
I found making mum friends easier when as others have said, going to playgroups, nature plays and other organised activities. I actually met a few mum friends from reaching out to my online Physio group ! As it was online, a few of us mums asked if there were others living close to the areas we lived in and offered to catch up at a park. Since then we have been meeting up regularly. And then of course going to activities with these mums has led to meeting other mums out.
It might just be about thinking outside the box sometimes about where you are currently networking and see if there are opportunities for catching up??
As a born introvert, it is a challenge for me to put myself out there and meet new people, much less male new friends. I applaud you continued interest in cultivating genuine friendships.
The local library and recreational centers can be great places to meet other women who want to make connections. Yoga classes, cooking seminars, and craft nights seem to be some of the more popular offerings.
Finding a local walking/hiking group is also a good option, as it combines the benefits of a diverse group of people with the health of being outdoors.
Amd what about trying a local art shop for classes or a choral group for music interests? Your local government offices or co-op board may have suggestions for these areas.
Good blessings to you as you seek to reach out for a community of women.
I think this resonates with a lot of moms! When I had my first son, I was so clueless and had no idea how to go about making friends. We ended up moving to a small community where it was much easier to make friends. The friends I made in those first few weeks are some of my best friends now.
We mostly met through library storytimes and playgroups. From there, we segregated a bit, based on our own hobbies. For example, so of us like to run, so we run together. I've also found local groups through Facebook. Some are parenting-oriented and some are similar to local book clubs...and some are both! Sometimes, the parents in a Facebook community (similar to this one, but regional, of course) throw it out there that they want to meet up with people. More often than not, people are always eager to get out of the house and meet someone new!
Additionally, my husband has met a bunch of new people by joining various community groups. He is on a few committees and plays recreational sports. This has been a really great opportunity for him to meet new people.
I think you speak for many moms out there who feel lonely and desire to connect to a supportive and friendly circle of likeminded moms.
There are so many like you, including me, but we might not have been able to voice it so explicitly and nicely like you.
If I look back I think the loneliest and most struggling time was when my kids were between 1 to 8 years. They required all the time possible, I was running around managing house chores and professional responsibilities. The only mom I connected with on regular basis, during that time was my own mom. She looked after my kids during my office hours. She was a refuge and support system I could depend on.
It was really hectic and I literally lost meaningful connection with my friends. I have two younger sisters and our kids are of almost same ages. I was used to arrange kids cum mom dates with them whenever they were in the city. I remember I longed for such time out with an age mate. Thanks to my sisters I was able to sneak in some joyful moments in those busy days.
As children grow older you can plan outings with your friends having children of same age. Another supporting mom system I was able to develop was at my workplace. I had colleagues who had kids, we always tried to have lunch break together. We even planned shopping days together here and there while our spouse or family members looked after kids for us.
These are few things that worked for me. I wonder if any of these can be helpful for you.
Best of luck.
After the birth of each of my babies I joined a mothers group. I found these groups beneficial for so many reasons and have many lasting friendships that have come out of them. Our local health service organises the groups and many of them are only intended to run for the first year after baby is born but I know many mothers groups who still meet up and their 'babies' are now in their teens.
I also enjoyed attending local playgroups and kindergym sessions to meet other mums and this is how I met one of my nearest and dearest friends to this day. Basically, i think that getting out and about in the community is really the best way to meet other mums. Unfortunately the challenge here is that so many of these services have reduced due to covid and have become online alternatives. Perhaps you could even think about starting your own mothers group in your local area if nothing is available. I bet there are plenty of other mothers who are just as keen as you are to connect. Since you mentioned that your kids are a bit older, have you tried attending any groups at the local library or 'club' or sports for kids your children's ages? I am sure there are some other mothers attending those who are also in your position. Best of luck.