The past few months have been a real struggle for me. I know how unbelievably fortunate I am to be able to stay home full time with my son. Every day I get to watch him grow into this incredible little human. My days are filled with laughter and more love than I ever could have expected. Of course, my days are also filled with an indescribable amount of work. I always knew that having a child would be the hardest (and most rewarding) job I could take on. But what I didn’t expect was how ineffably lonely and isolated motherhood would be. This new mama needs some new mom friends.
Prior to becoming a mom, loneliness wasn’t a feeling I was all that familiar with. I enjoyed the time I spent alone. My life allowed for me to go out when I wanted, to sleep when I wanted, to bathe when I wanted. Before becoming a mom, I had so much freedom.
It is almost funny, the amount I had taken for granted back then.
These days my life is dictated by a person who can’t speak.
Sure, I have conversations with him all the time, and he responds, just not in English. Or in any other intelligible language. Most days, my only real life interaction with other adult human beings is limited to the casual smiles from the strangers we pass on our morning walks or the small talk from the barista at the local coffee shop. Some days I will go full 8 hours without speaking to anyone other than my 15-month-old son.
Those are usually the days when my partner has an evening rehearsal or some other event that requires him to go out again once our kid goes to bed (#lifeofamusicianswife).
I know that most people say that you should sleep when your baby sleeps, especially when they aren’t sleeping through the night (hello molars). But I can’t do that. My kid goes to bed at 7. I would get nothing done if I went to bed at 7. So while I can appreciate the quiet time I could take for myself, that time is usually spent cleaning, doing laundry, or trying to accomplish whatever work that didn’t get completed during that day. Again, with no one to speak to but my self. Or the dog.but she’s not much of a talker.
Or the dog.
But she’s not much of a talker.
Sometimes I feel as though motherhood has made me a little crazy.
I swear I never used to talk to myself this much.
If I did, I certainly wasn’t aware of it.
I have lost touch with most of my pre-mom friends. Our lives are moving in different directions, we have different priorities, the things we once had in common aren’t there anymore. It makes sense. I mean, giving birth was a huge life event. I am not the same person I was before, and I doubt many of non-mom friends care to hear about my kid’s pain-free bowel movement.
Because let’s be honest here… that was probably the most exciting part of my day.
Losing touch with the people I used to be close with might be one of the reasons I feel so lonely on a regular basis. Even if I was feeling this way before we started to drift apart. Frankly, though, I think I feel the way I do is because my life is severely lacking in the new mom friend category.
If you thought making friends as an adult was hard, trying making friends as a new mom.
I am not just talking about finding other moms to get advice from, or to join you on a play date to the park. I am talking about genuine friendship. You know, the kind that extends past social media. Where the play dates to the park are more about you getting together than it is about your kids.
If you are anything like me, the thought of putting yourself out there might terrify you a little. For some reason, motherhood has actually turned me into far more of an introvert than I used to be. There is something incredibly intimidating about approaching a group of moms who seem to have it all together – even though a part of me knows that looks aren’t always what they seem.
To help me get over this (completely irrational) fear, I have a compiled a list. A list of places, or avenues I should say, to try and make some new mom friends.
7 Ways to Make Mom Friends
- Mom Meet Up Facebook Groups – This a great way to ‘meet’ people within your community. These groups are a great way to make connections with other moms looking to make mom friends. I do need to say, that while I have joined a number of these groups, I haven’t actually met up with any moms as of yet. Either our schedules didn’t line up, location wasn’t accessible for me, or else our kids weren’t close enough in age for them to be interested in the same things. Did I mention that making mom friends was tough yet?
- Baby and Me Fitness – Most cities have some sort of baby and me fitness type groups. Whether it is yoga, a boot camp style workout, or just a group that goes for regular walks/hikes, there is always some type of group or class you can join. Prior to baby making, I was incredibly athletic (Roller Derby can do that to a person), so at first this idea really excited me. Everything about the idea of getting back into shape and spending quality time with my little, while being surrounded by a group like-minded people felt like the perfect fit. Just be wary that some of the classes and groups can cost upwards of $50+ a month to join!
- Baby Talks – Here in the Okanagan Valley, Interior Health holds a series of drop-in parenting classes that are free to those with infants between 0-12months of age. Each class discusses topics like caring for sick children, the importance of attachment, introducing your baby to solid foods etc. It is a safe space for you to go and learn or share your experiences and connect with other parents. Talk to your local health practitioner to see if anything like this program is available near you. My little one no longer fits the age requirements, but I have heard that some moms absolutely swear by this program.
- Story Time and the Libary – This is a great opportunity to socialize your little one if you don’t know many other parents. I have taken little Tuna a number of times and he loves it. There are always a ton of kids (and parents) that go. I have said hello a few times and made small talk with a number of fellow moms. Sure it can be an intimidating to approach a group of women that seem to already know each other, but I am positive that there are connections to be made here! I’ll let you know when that small talk sticks!
- The Playground – These places are always packed with kids. I can’t tell you how many conversations I have had at the playground. We live close to a very tourist friendly area. Most of the families that play at our local park are usually from out of town, at least during the summer. I keep hoping, that by going at relatively the same time every day, I will start to run into some of the same people. The way I see it if our kids play well together, it gives us an excuse to plan to meet up at the same time. The first step in building a friendship right? Finding something we have in common.
- Swimming Lessons – Before your child is old enough to swim on their own, you have to be in the pool with them. Which guarantees you are going to be surrounded by other parents and their kids! I would definitely use this opportunity to connect with other parents. Last time we went to the pool we met a small family whose daughter was practically the same age as Tuna. Afer the pool we noticed them sitting in front of the cafe and decided to join them for a coffee. I am still kicking myself for not attempting future plans.
- Indoor Play Gyms – In Kelowna, we have a number of indoor play gyms. There are even a few that are designed specifically for kids under 6. Most have a small cafe area, where you can sit with other parents while supervising your child. Sure there is a small drop in fee, but it is totally worth it. Plus, if you don’t spend a ton of time with other children and your kid isn’t in daycare, it gives them a chance to be exposed to other kids germs (gotta build up that immune system right?).
Finding friendship and taking the time to care of yourself is incredibly important as a mama. I know that many of us feel some sort of mom guilt when we put ourselves first, but collectively we need to work on getting over it. There is nothing more contagious than a happy mom.
So let’s challenge ourselves and each other to push outside our comfort zone and try to make that real life connection with other parents in our communities. Today I said hello to a stranger and spent a half hour speaking with a woman from Alberta while our kids played in the playground.
Do you have any tips or tricks when it comes to making mom friends? If you do, please share them below. If you don’t I would love to hear about a time when you stepped out of your comfort zone to try and make new friends. At least then I’ll know I am not the only one who struggles with this! Ha!