I’ve relocated 7 times in the last 10 years.
I can pack and unpack an entire house in 48 hours flat. There are many things we’ve enjoyed about moving so often including new restaurants to explore, different regional attractions, etc. but my favorite thing by far is the new people I get to meet and the friendships that are formed.
It amazes me how many times I’ve had “how do I make mom friends” come up in conversation.
Even those that have lived in the area their whole lives struggle making that transition, from the friends they spent hopping from bar to bar with to now finding friends that they can hang out at the park with chasing after their kids.
As moms, we thrive on that connection, on knowing we’re not alone.
There’s something therapeutic about being able to get together with a group of moms and tell your stories from the week and everyone nodding along saying “me too, girl.” Because of this, contrary to popular belief, most moms out there are wanting to make friends and are looking for those connections! Sure, you’ll get a few sour apples here and there (it’s ok to set boundaries and realize not every mom is meant to be your friend) but most of them are in the same boat of just trying to get by and looking to connect.
Here are a few tips on how I’ve met some great moms along the way:
1. Facebook: I know, I know. It seems silly. Why would I go online to meet people I want to connect with in person? Most areas have a local moms’ groups where you can connect with people from your area from the comfort of your own couch (no shower required!). Once you build those connections, in person meetups start happening and that’s where the true connection and friendships form. To get plugged into one, just search your area along with “moms group” on Facebook and some are sure to pop up!
2. Meetup.com: this is where I found my first moms group when my son was just a few months old. I’m still in contact with these moms even though we’ve moved around since then, but they will always hold a special place in my heart. They were there as I grew into my role as a new mom and helped it me feel less alone. (I host a local one with monthly meetups for working moms in the Richmond area: https://www.meetup.com/RVA-Working-Moms)
3. Peanut (app): think Tinder but for moms. Seriously. You swipe up on someone if you think you would connect with them based on certain things they have marked (# of kids, what they enjoy to do, etc.). Check it out.
4. Community places such as churches, gyms, etc. Sometimes, you need to get out from behind the screen! Find a gym that has childcare and try some group fitness classes. A lot of cities have mommy and kid classes too (a good one to check out is Fit4MomRichmond: https://richmond.fit4mom.com/ ). Try to carry over your pre-mom interests over into your current mom life – it’ll help you from losing yourself over time.
At the end of the day though, you get out what you put in.
If you’re looking to build that mom squad you’re going to have to make the effort to put yourself out there. Whether it’s reaching out to that mom that you’ve felt connected to in the FB group you’ve joined or taking the step to attend that meetup that was planned (we know it’s easy to make 102390 excuses why you can’t go but GO!), you’re going to have to act. Friendships are like any relationship and they need attention and time to grow. If you put that in, I promise you will find a great group of friends that will help you acclimate to your new town or your new role as a mom!