This blog post is a reader request that touches on some of the places I went when I was looking to connect with other moms in our new hometown after Chase was born. Please feel free to chime in with any advice you may have for mothers looking to meet friends with babies and kids in the comments section of this post!
A few months after Ryan and I moved to North Carolina, I found out I was pregnant with Chase and while I was obviously thrilled, I was also a bit anxious since this was the first time either of us had ever lived more than two hours away from our families. I was nervous about finding a supportive group of friends in our new hometown and prioritized putting myself out there in an effort to meet other moms who were going through similar changes, challenges and joys in their lives.
I’ve been working from home for a few years now and know enough about myself to know that I need to get out of the house every day and socialize. As it turns out, Chase seems to need the same thing! He does so much better during the day when we do something active away from home, so it’s been such a blessing to me that I’ve found a solid group of mom friends to plan play dates with all the time.
One of the most popular questions I receive from you guys on a weekly basis is how to meet other moms in your area and how to connect with women who are in a similar phase of life. Below is a short list of some of the places I went that helped me meet other mothers as well as some places I know have proven successful for others when it comes to meeting and connecting with other moms. (I also tried to include a variety of options that will work for both stay-at-home/work-from-home moms and working mothers. My friends are a wonderful mix of both!)
Also, I must add that though going to baby and kid-friendly places is obviously helpful, I’d be lying if I said that just showing up helped me find instant friends. Wouldn’t that be nice!? It definitely took that little bit of extra effort (stepping out of my comfort zone and introducing myself to other mothers, etc.) but I found it a lot easier to approach mothers with babies who appeared to be similar in age to Chase since we automatically seemed to have a lot in common.
Thankfully it was my experience that many new moms are looking to connect with other mothers for the exact same reasons you may be interested in meeting other mothers. It is so incredibly helpful to be able to have honest, thoughtful conversations with women who are going through similar challenges at the same time and I truly think play dates for babies and toddlers are almost more beneficial to the mothers than they are to the kids! It’s great for the little ones to crawl around and interact and moms need supportive women in their lives, too!
So let’s dive right in…
Where to Meet Mom Friends
- Gymboree Play & Learn
Gymboree is so much fun and I only wish I would’ve taken Chase to the interactive class sooner! I was kind of confused by Gymboree at first – I thought it was only a retail store – but once I learned that Gymboree Play & Music centers offer classes for kids from infancy through five years old, I was immediately intrigued. If I could recommend one place to go to meet mom friends, it would be Gymboree. Classes are divided into age-specific groups which makes it incredibly easy to connect with moms who have babies of a similar age.
We love the Play & Learn classes and Gymboree Music classes and regularly attend our local Gymboree with a handful of my closest mom friends one to two times a week. Gymboree also often offers classes on Saturdays which may be a good option for those who want to connect with other mothers but cannot attend classes during typical work hours. (I’ve also seen working mothers meet up with their child’s caregivers to attend the occasional lunchtime Gymboree class.) And your first Gymboree class is free!
- Swim Lessons
Signing up for swim lessons helped me meet three additional mom friends with little ones who happened to be within four months of Chase’s age. For several months, we attended weekly swim lessons for babies and it was such a fun way to get Chase acclimated to the water in an environment that allowed us to meet other moms and babies. The swim school where I took Chase had a variety of lesson times available both during the day and in the early evening and also had weekend classes available.
- Library (or Book Store) Story Time
This is a wonderful and often FREE way to meet other moms with little ones. One of my girlfriends from out of town met one of her closest friends at a local library story time so this was one of the first places I went to try to meet other moms. It was such a fun environment (I was surprised by how much Chase enjoyed story time at only a few months old!) and our local story time always concludes with 15-20 minutes of “free play” where kids play with toys and books and adults chat and get to know each other.
Weekend library story times are also often available and our local Barnes & Noble offers free story time on Saturdays as well!
- Workout Classes / Gyms with Childcare
Going to a gym with childcare (in my case Burn Boot Camp) was so helpful to me because it allowed me to connect with other moms who share my interest in healthy living and fitness. The friends I’ve made through BBC are some of my closest friends and I think a lot of this is due to the fact that we see each other so often since we seem to have unspoken workout dates all week long! We’ll often stay a little late and chat in the childcare area and plan a playdate for later in the day after our little ones’ morning naps.
I value my morning workouts so much because I think it’s great for Chase to be around other kids every day and the 45 minutes I spend at the gym are often the only 45 minutes I get to myself every day. Burn Boot Camp ended up being such a blessing to me in many ways, but helping me connect with other mothers who share an interest in living a healthy lifestyle was an unexpected bonus.
- Music Class
Similar to Gymboree Play & Learn classes, local music classes can be a great way to meet moms with little ones! I wasn’t sure Chase would get much out of music classes at a young age, but he’s REALLY into them and loves playing with instruments, listening to the teachers sing and clapping his hands. Right now we’re attending Gymboree music classes as part of our Gymboree monthly membership but there are a bunch of music-specific programs out there you can check out as well. We also had a great experience with Music Together classes and you can see if there is a location near you here.
- Children’s Museums
This one is a little more challenging because I feel like anytime I would show up to a place without a structured activity, it was a little harder to feel confident enough to randomly approach a stranger and start a conversation. For me, participating in a class of some sort makes it easier to chat with the person sitting next to me, but a local children’s museum can still be a great place to meet other mothers in your area. Our local Discovery Place KIDS is always hoppin’ with babies and kids!
One of my friends from Pure Barre invited me to attend Stroller Strides class with her since we both had little ones around the same time and I agreed to go even though I knew nothing about the workout at the time! I’m so glad I went because it led me to Carrie, one of my closest friends!
Stroller Strides is a 60-minute stroller-based total body fitness program designed for moms with little ones. Most Stroller Strides locations also plan a TON of meet ups for moms which is also a wonderful way to connect with moms in your area!
- Local Mom-Friendly Facebook Groups
I didn’t know Facebook Mom Groups existed until a girlfriend added me to one when I was pregnant. Holy cow! Theses groups are incredibly popular (I swear there’s a Facebook group out there for everything!) and searching for local Facebook mom groups is a great way to stay on top of what is going on in your community while connecting with other moms. Moms often ask for advice, share experiences and plan play dates through Facebook groups and finding one in your area might be a great way to meet moms you didn’t even realize lived close by!
- Neighborhood Newsletters
This idea comes from my friend Brittany who put out a small ad in her neighborhood newsletter when she was looking to connect with moms in her area. She said she was looking for a walking buddy and ended up meeting one of her best friends through her ad! If you happen to live in a neighborhood with a local newsletter (or Facebook group!) consider placing a small ad with your email address so other moms can email you if they’re also looking to connect!
Question of the Day
- Have you ever moved to a new town and had to meet new friends?
- Where/how did you meet people in your new hometown?
Patricia @Sweet And Strong says
I’m not a Mom, but I totally get that it must be nice to have others to talk to about your baby. I will definitely use this advice when I become one. I moved to MD six years ago and met a lot of friends and my husband through work.
Several of my friends have children so that has helped me. As a new mom who works, it’s difficult to connect when I don’t attend regular classes, so I love the idea of workout groups. I am typically shy, but environments with moms and babies around my son’s age make it easier to connect.
I’m not a mom, but recently moved to a new town. Though it’s not too far from my hometown it’s hard to meet up with friends after work during the week – when you moved to NC, how did you find ways to meet new people before having Chase? Any advice would be greatly appreciated 🙂
I met most of my friends before Chase through Pure Barre! I attended the 6 a.m. class regularly and even though it took me a little while to feel comfortable enough to chat with other people and step out of my comfort zone, after attending regularly I felt more comfortable and felt like it was a great way to connect with people! (Our studio also hosted a lot of social events to help people get to know each other which was helpful!) I also feel fortunate that I met two friends through the blog who happened to be readers who were also new to the area.
Thank you so much! There is a new gym in our town that I’m interested in trying, so maybe I’ll start there! I live in a smaller town with no Purre Barre but I may leave my home workouts at home and try the gym route to meet new people. Sincerely appreciate the advice!! <3
Oh! I also had a friend put me in contact with one of her friends who she knew when she lived in NYC! It was the whole friend-of-a-friend thing and we met up for lunch on day and hit it off!
I had a similar issue… I REALLY put myself out there. Any party, any lunch date, any event with coworkers, basically almost anytime someone invited me to something I’m remotely interested in I say yes and try to have a good attitude. You never know who you may meet! I also made a point to come early and stay a bit late to chat at workout classes. I attended a bunch of alumni events for my high school, college, and sorority which definitely helped. I found once I made it known to my friends and peers that I liked certain things people felt comfortable inviting me or connecting me with others- for example, a coworker told me about a local food sampling event and we went together, a free yoga class, or a local party series at a museum near me.
One of the hardest parts of meeting new people is I work in an industry where I’m the only (yes, only lol) female in my field/company so hanging out with coworkers is the only unfortunate part of my job. Julie also mentioned she met people at a gym, so I’ll be ditching my home workout and attempting that route. I’m incredibly sociable, but it’s hard to know where to start in a new town lol. At the very least I could ask coworkers about events in the area, not to attend with them, but see whats around. Thank you sooo much for your advice <3!
Check for local exercise groups too – they may be free. One of our local running shoe stores hosts a casual, go-at-your-own-pace weekly group run/walk for free. I’ve found runners to be a bit more sociable than yogis, but that may be based on the people in my area, and our yoga studios don’t host meet-ups like Julie’s barre studio.
I’ve also heard of a group called Moms Run This Town that was started as a mom group for running but welcomes all women and is available nationwide, depending on local interest. If your local county or city has a published magazine like ours, it can be a good source of this info since they cover so much local news.
It’s really, really hard to make new friends as an adult! I had always been sociable but after working from home for a while now, I’ve become more introverted and am realizing how much more energy it takes for me to socialize like I used to. Good luck! 🙂
I had no idea shoe stores offered weekly walk/run groups – I’ll definitely ask the stores at our local mall about this. Living in a smaller town then where I’m from has made it even more difficult, especially not having a child so many of the people I do meet don’t have much extra time in the evenings or weekends.
I believe there is a local magazine and had never thought to check it. I tried the local coffee shop that I love but it’s actually hard to meet people there (most are working or with other friends). There really should be an app or website (aside from Meetup – not too helpful in smaller towns) on ways to meet friends, ha!!
The magazine & shoe store are 2 ideas I’m definitely going to purse, thank you for the suggetions!! 🙂
These are all great tips! I am having a baby girl in February and looking to meet other moms! What stroller/car seat do you use? And would you recommend it?
Hi Ashley! We have the Chicco Keyfit 30 car seat and it’s wonderful! It’s compatible with the Chicco Bravo stroller (great for traveling) and the Tre jogging stroller (we have both and like both)! I also received the BOB to review (I still need to blog about it!) and cannot recommend that stroller enough. It’s fantastic! I’m not sure if you’ve checked out LuciesList.com but that site has a TON of stroller and car seat reviews that might interest you!
I’m not a mum (cat mama instead), but making new friends as you get older is hard! I’m with you on the gym being a place to make friends. Most of my friends are from the gym however plucking up courage to talk to them initially in the changing room takes effort as most don’t seem to smile or think you’re weird!
Sara @ RunningWife says
Love this! I am due with our first child at the beginning of December and I too have wondered where to meet other Moms. Our city isn’t very family friendly, but thankfully we won’t be here forever (only 1 more year). Hopefully I can use these when we move as well as a way to connect into a new community and meet others with little ones!
Kaitlyn @ Powered by Sass says
I’m not a mom, but I recently moved from New Orleans to Washington, D.C. and had to make new friends all over again. I think the most important thing to do is just to step outside of your comfort zone and put yourself out there. It’s terrifying, but the reward of new friendships and people you just click with is worth the initial uncomfortableness.
P.S. I just love your blog, Julie! I’ve been reading for like, four years. I found it randomly one day and haven’t stopped reading since!
->Recently posted: https://poweredbysass.com/2016/09/14/my-quarter-life-crisis-submissions/
As a working mom I find it difficult to make new mom friends. It seems like all the play groups etc are during the day when I am at work. like someone else said, making friends as an adult is hard. I imagine once my kid is a bit older I will become friends with his classmates parents or if he does sports, his teammates parents. thankfully a couple of my best friends has kids right around my babe’s age so that helps.
We have found that many of the fellow parents of kids in my daughter’s daycare class become our friends. We moved when my daughter was 6 months to a new town and when my daughter turned 1, we invited all of the kids in her daycare class to her party. Two of the families have become friends that we do stuff with regularly. Agree that the above this is not quite the same for working moms. But there are Saturday Gymboree classes and we also make sure that any downtown city events we attend and try to just be friendly and open to any other parents we see.
I love this!!! Thanks for sharing your experience, Susan!
Mrs. B says
Such a good post. Currently trying to have a baby so I am hoping I can but this to good use in the next 10 months! 🙂
I will be a working mom (I love my job) but I think it is worth mentioning that child care facilities do a lot of these above things. There were a few times when I was reading that I felt a little bummed because I won’t be able to do some of these things during the week with my little one. Then I remembered that we have an amazing childcare facility on site and I believe they do a lot of the above!
Yes!! I think it’s great when childcare facilities help working moms connect. Thank you for adding this!
Heather @ Polyglot Jot says
This is a great resource for mamas! My church also does mom groups, bible studies where you can bring kids, etc. I think thats another great place!
I love this post Julie! Research shows that people benefit so much from friendships and feeling connection with others. This is such a great resource and really seems like it would appeal to a variety of people and schedules. I also didn’t event consider but love the idea of meeting up with your child care person at a class like this! Could be a win-win so you get some time with baby and your caregiver gets a midday break 🙂
Moms Run This Town (MRTT) is also a great place to meet moms. You can search facebook (or probably google too) to see if there is a chapter near you.
My hospital also has a new moms group that is free to attend. I was only able to go during maternity leave but they also have a facebook group where people can connect and ask questions. It’s worth seeing if any local hospitals have these groups available!
Yes! Great tip! One of my friends from Chicago met other moms through breastfeeding support groups through her hospital as well!
Honestly Angela says
Good tips! I have also met mom friends at church and at the park. I actually find it easier making friends now that I’m a mom as having kids means you instantly have things in common!
Church is another amazing way to meet friends! Since having a baby, it’s been so nice to meet with like-minded women who push me in my faith. Ours provides childcare too which is so nice ??! Thanks for all the tips, Julie!
I became a SAHM when I had my son at the beginning of the year and it has been quite a life changing experience in so many ways. I was so used to taking the bus to the city for work and being around other people everyday. When I became a SAHM, I discovered so many local mom groups on FB. There’s one group that I meet every week for a walk at the park and we grab coffee and lunch afterwards. It’s something that I look forward to every week since I get adult interaction and my son also does better when we’re outside our home. I’ve heard about library story time and need to check it out. I never knew Gymboree was more than just a retail store! How awesome!
Maybe you have mentioned this on the blog before, but this seems like a good time to ask. How do you schedule your outings and meet-ups around Chase’s naps? I have a 6 month old who naps three times a day which makes it so hard to plan to meet up with anyone!
Honestly, I think the fact that I met moms at classes like Gymboree helped a lot with that since we picked classes that worked with our schedules and therefore worked with our babies! Most of my friends have babies within 2-3 months of Chase and admittedly I plan most of my playdates with the 2-4 moms who have kids on a similar schedule (aka our meet ups are usually from 12:30 – 2:30ish and then after 4:30pm)… It all changes all the time which can be hard! Also, I will say that I feel like it wasn’t until AFTER the 6 month mark that I felt like I was able to really plan around Chase and a more predictable schedule, so it might get easier for you soon!! <3
Great tips! I would stress being PATIENT and not being discouraged if you don’t make friends right away when you are starting in mommy and me type classes. Eventually, someone with the same mindset as you will be looking for a mom buddy as well and you will click. I found it tough at first to just randomly connect with moms in strollerfit, but after going for a few months (yes, months – I’m shy) it felt a lot more natural to talk with the other moms and start branching out. So if you’re shy like me, don’t give up, be persistent, and the right person or people will definitely come along!
My son just turned two weeks old (!!) and I’m trying to think this through too. I work from home as well, which I am very thankful for! , however, I want to make sure Benaiah and I get out of the house too. Thank you for the tips and advice Julie!!
I am a pediatric occupational therapist, and I want to emphasize that it is crucial for all children (regardless of age or ability) to participate socially for their physical, emotional, and social well-being. It doesn’t have to be an expensive class or experience–the library (as you mentioned) and other reasonable experiences are so critical. It allows a child to explore, trust others, and learn how to transition with good frustration tolerance. I work with a lot of children whose parents are “afraid” to take them out due to physical or emotional limitations, but it’s so good for you and your child!
A great reminder! Thank you for sharing your insight, Alison!
Katie sB says
Great post, Julie! I go to some of these things with my 11 month old son, we especially love Gymboree! But I need to work harder at putting myself out there and introducing myself. I find it helpful just to BE around other moms even if I don’t try actively to make long-term friends! We live out of state from our families and don’t have any other friends with kids here. I am really introverted so I’m not good at making friends anyway, but it is easier to talk to other people when you have kids because just talking about the kids is a great conversation starter! I need to try facebook mom’s groups. That’s a great idea.
So many ideas to meet other mom friends! MOPs (mothers of preschoolers) is a great way to make new friends! Also, church and women’s bible study, and I meet a good friend through my sons preschool!
I moved to my town 2 weeks after my baby was born and didn’t know anyone! I immediately joined the town’s MOMS (Moms Offering Moms Support) club and was added to the facebook group and this is how I’ve met so many people which has been great. Two other moms had also moved recently and their babies were born 6 weeks after mine so we immediately connected. As a working mom I agree with some of the other comments that so many of these things are during the week and I can’t go which bums me out. I have done a music together class but my baby was the youngest and all others were quite a bit older so I didn’t connect with anyone really. I’m planning to start swim classes and would love to do the Gymboree classes but the closest one to me is 35 min away. Can I ask how close all of these activities are to your house? And to echo what someone else asked, how do you schedule around naps?
Julie, I just wanted to thank you for this post! I’m not a mom but have plenty of moms with young ones in my life who I frequently send links of your blog to. Thank you for always posting such great information, whether it’s about meal ideas, parenting or having a healthy lifestyle. I also love how the way you write makes it feel like you’re conversing with a good friend. Thank you!
These are great!!! One day when I don’t have to work I want to do things like this with my son! Once Dad graduates I told him I would do these. He thinks they are a great idea! Awesome list Julie!
Lindsay Ball says
All great ideas–I’m a new mom so these are definitely helpful!
What brand are Chase’s moccasins? I’ve been looking for a good pair–haven’t seen them on Zullily in a while! 🙂
When I had my first baby, I was also new in town, and I joined the local MOP’s group (Mothers of Preschoolers… you can join if you have a child age newborn through preschool). They have childcare, and fun activities for the moms. They usually meet at a church. Two of my closest friends to this day I met through MOP’s. Wonderful group 🙂
Catherine @ A Cup of Catherine says
I am a full-time working mom, but if I did work from or stay at home, I would have to find something like stroller strides, mom & me classes, MOPS, etc. because I remember how lonely I was on my 12-week maternity leave. I really don’t have a lot of mom friends that I’m close to, but then again, with work, I don’t really have much time to spend with them anyway. I’m so glad you have these outlets and have made so many mom friends in your new city. 🙂
Holly @ Peas and Pies says
Great tips, I always need new ideas on meeting more mom friends 🙂 I found a good group through Meet Up – there are a number of mom/dad (working or stay at home or a mix) groups based on location. Or you can start your own! I think I paid $5 to help pay for the group’s listing on the site but otherwise it is free.
With this group we’ve organized our own ~free~ stuff to do, like walks/stroller workouts, music “class” for the kids each week, craft days, etc. Plus it is nice to have a few people to rely on for babysitting when needed. Getting out is good for me and my daughter!
Julie – I wish I lived in NC so that I could be your mom friend <3
I have met a lot of mom friends through new mom support groups in my area. One was through my daughter's pediatricians' office and one was affiliated with a local kids' play gym (kind of like Gymboree).
You have a lot of good suggestions here. I am definitely going to look into swim classes and Gymboree. The one thing is I am a working mom and I work a LOT of hours during the week so I really wish there were more classes on weekends and holidays. My daughter loves music and I would love to take her to a music class on the weekend because I get such a kick out of watching her enjoy herself.
Jennifer (take the day off blog) says
I have met some amazing mom friends through a bible study our church puts on for mothers of preschoolers (MOPS). I am sure that or something similar is available in other cities and for other faiths. It was so wonderful to connect with other moms on a deeper level and I always walked away encouraged, inspired and with some amazing practical parenting ideas. There was also childcare which meant that conversations and connecting with other moms got my full attention. Highly recommended!
Kim from MN says
I agree with everyone that said – making friends as an adult takes so much more effort, and you really have to streeeetch yourself to make it happen. I’m naturally an extrovert, but I’m also a shy extrovert (I get my energy/fuel from socializing with other people, but I’m shy at first). So many things happen as an adult that make all this harder. Friends move, or they start to hang around with their immediate family and grandparents more after they marry, and so on. So even the very close friends we all have become less available as we get older, though totally natural circumstances (starting families, longer work hours zapping people’s energy, moving to new neighborhoods, more attention spent on aging parents and family members, and so on).
The thing that worked best for me as an adult is: casting a wide net. I joined multiple groups, went to multiple classes, and multiple events to start to bring together more friends. Not everyone who takes a class is looking to expand their social circle, for example, so you have to go with the odds! Being part of a group whose purpose is to connect people socially makes this easier (like mommy connectivity events or fitness classes with social hours) – it’s a lot like being on a dating sight – everyone else is there for the same reason; to meet someone. But not everyone who takes a painting class is looking to make new friends, sometimes they’re just there for the paint or to hang out with their best friend whom they never get to see, and so on. So if you cast a wide net, you’re likely to end up meeting more people than if you pin your hopes on just one event, class, or activity. And go to meetup! People there are always looking to connect! It’s so hard but so worth it! Two of my closest friends are people I met just two years ago through something like this! And even though I had to REALLY strong arm myself, I agreed to go to lunch with a group of total strangers after we shared a Saturday morning class together. I felt so so so so awkward, but now some of these people are some of my biggest supporters! I’m so glad I forced myself to move out of my comfort zone.
Kim, your advice is great!! Being a ‘shy’ extrovert is exactly how I am–those who know me would not at all say that I’m a quiet person by any means, but I am awfully shy when I am with new or unfamiliar person. Making friends as an adult is WAY harder & developing that close bond that you might have with someone in HS or through college seems to take longer. Plus, my husband is happily an introvert–he has a couple good, local friends, so he doesn’t always feel the urge to get out there & meet new people. I’d love more information about what sites or sources you used to find where these groups/events take place! I’ve poked around on Meetup, but haven’t attended anything yet.
Kim from MN says
Ha ha, shy extroverts unite! And I can echo your sentiments, my friends and family would describe me as gregarious, but when I have to walk into a new place with new people/strangers, i feel anxious. I don’t feel anxious if I start chatting with a stranger whom I’m not trying to connect with beyond the moment (as in, I can easily talk to someone standing in the same line with me somewhere, for example), but new people, new groups, where there may or may not be a long term component, make me nervous at first.
My husband is also an introvert. I’ve met some women here (in MN) who have all said we need a social group for “extroverted wives with introverted husbands!” lol Because my husband feels the same as yours – he doesn’t need all the connecting outside of his designated, small, inner circle (that includes me of course). I would love to go to a giant outdoor event, and he would be content to stay home. He WILL go because he’s a sweetie pie, but he doesn’t prefer it and of course is given the opportunity to opt out at any time, which he will do as needed. Whereas I want to have a game night and a bbq and a quilting group or what not (I don’t quilt but I like the sentiment); I’m interested in tons of things!
Here are my sources for meeting people, and there are tons more: I’ve taken a lot of classes through community adult ed programs (painting or cooking or swim aerobics), and I’ve met people through those. I’m not going there specifically to meet people, but it’s a side interest I have. Like, I’m genuinely there because I want to learn piano or what not, but I’m also really open and interested in connecting with people. However note that not everybody in these environments is looking to expand their social circles. They’re sometimes already too busy and don’t have enough time for the existing friends they already have. BUT, it does put you into contact with a lot of different people (hence, “cast a wide net”). I’ve met a good friend through a choir that I joined (we sing at holiday shows every year.) I just met a total stranger today through a mutual acquaintance. We had a nice lunch (the mutual acquaintance was supposed to be there but canceled last minute). I don’t know if it will turn into a full on friendship, but it was pleasant nonetheless. (She owns her own business and works 60 hours a week and has kids, so even if I wanted to BE deeper friends, i don’t know if she has the bandwidth for more contacts beyond this superficial lunch. <—and that happens all the time with people, most of the time it's not personal, it's just timing and energy available).
I've also joined entrepreneurial groups and creativity groups (because I have a genuine interest in those, and I took the class for the info., not to meet people, but I was open to it), and I've made friends that way too. I've gone to uncomfortable networking events, to genuinely network and stretch myself, but some of those people have turned into friends. I've also joined art groups, and I've made friends that way. I would say in any of the above situations, about 95-98% of the people there are time strapped and just there for the activity alone (like learning piano, for example), and then about 2-5% of the people are open and ready and looking to connect and expand their social circles. (Hence, again, the reason to cast a wide net.)
Go where your natural interests tell you to go, and be open to friendships. It's very difficult, and it takes a lot of effort, but it DOES yield results. It's like high school and college, you probably don't keep in touch with 95% of the people you went to school with, but those 5% are great. And that's ever class/activity, you'll probably remain in touch with 2-5% of any given group. (Some groups will be 0%, some groups will be 50%).
I also try to go to most parties that I'm invited to, even when I'm only going to know one person there. Nerve wracking, but I've sloooooooooooooooowly made friends with people who were friends of friends. It takes a WHILE to develop the kind of mind-reading closeness you have with your long-term best pals! And yes, Meetup is great! Go to a bunch of events, and know that you're probably only going to connect with a small percentage of people there. And that's okay! And know that it's okay to feel shy (like me) and do it anyway. I had to strong arm myself into going to that lunch today, I did NOT feel like it! Don't mistake the shyness as a sign that you're about to make a social mistake. You're not! Just "feel the fear and do it anyway". Don't try to eliminate the fear before doing it, just do it, let the fear ride along, and keep moving forward – it will dissipate over time. (I got a hug at the end of my lunch today, and at the beginning I was grimacing with anxiety).
My daughter lives in uptown Minneapolis and finds it hard to meet other moms. When did it get so hard to meet other moms. She had tried some outlets and still hasn’t made a connection. She even wrote on her parent blogs but not many responded. If I lived in Minnesota I would be there all the time. Just breaks my heart. She’s a wonderful lady and my grandson is adorable. I just wish she had some friends to make life a little easier.
First off, Thank you Julie for creating this post! I am SO in the same position as you. I moved from the U.S. to Canada and got married and then 3 months later found out we were pregnant.
Now, I have my baby and I try to get out just about every day with my baby. Whether it’s Music class, or meeting a friend for a walk or going to get coffee. I am a happier person when I meet with people. I’ve met some great moms, but I’m still putting myself out there a TON. It takes time to make friends!
I am also grateful you wrote this because it just put OUT THERE that being an adult and making friends can be challenging. Thank you for the tips and tricks!
Alexa Tolland says
This is such a great post! With my little boy over 1.5 years now, I’m feeling more and more like I need to make more mom friends for his sake too, so he has other children his age to play with. I totally agree with you on how getting out of the house is better for him, so I’ve been trying to do that more. I always feel so awkward starting conversations with moms, like I’m girl-flirting haha! But I’m going to try some of these ideas, thank you for writing this 🙂
Story time is a great place to meet other new moms! That’s where I’ve met some moms who I meet up with regularly. I’ve been wanting to try Gymboree, but it’s so expensive!
Nevemrind, I just looked it up and I guess it’s not as expensive as I thought! I was thinking of Kindermusik!
Love this post! I’m a mommy to a 15 month old and have been wanting to connect more with moms and babies the same age as Avery. I did join a music class and have been talking to a few mom’s :)….my biggest challenge right now is going to the gym. I’m so scared to leave Avery without me questioning will she be okay, will she cry, what if she needs me? I have not left her alone in a gym setting or church setting for those reasons. I’m itching to go back as that was a huge party of my life but I can’t seem to cut the cord! Lol. Any advice?