Or at least some mommy friends. After Keanne’s guest post about needing more mom friends and my comments, I had a lot of questions via Twitter and e-mail about how to find new mom friends (and I had lunch and a playdate with Keanne!). How to start a conversation at the park, how to get people to not think you are crazy and how to find that parent (and kid) that you can just relax around. Basically how to date again…but this time you are trying to find new friends in a new landscape.
I realize I have gotten lucky with this but it didn’t happen over night. I got married young and had Landon relatively young. My college friends all went to grad school. I didn’t. So when I got pregnant, none of my friends were any where near that point. I was kind of lost. I didn’t have someone to whine with about sore legs or talk about nursery decorations. I knew I needed to remedy this and this is when my “mommy dating” began. I signed up for a series of classes at my workplace for pregnant ladies and their partners. We learned about newborn basics, breastfeeding, first aid etc. I started eyeballing people in there. “She looks like she is nice” “Oh she said something snarky…I like he.r” And the glory here was they worked at the same place so I could stalk them even better. I could even e-mail them! It ended up that a few of them ended up being in our daycare class too. So I “knew” someone. It was a relief.
Over the last 2.5 years, I have acquired AWESOME mommy friends. Ones I know I could call at 3am and wouldn’t bat an eye. Ones that are always up for a playdate at the park last minute. Ones that I have lunch with SANS kids. And as a working mom, I wanted to share with you some of the ways I have assembled my entourage:
- Look at Daycare: I took photos at daycare for a project for the teachers (I have done this 3 times now). To do so, I had to interact with the other moms and dads via email and in the class. If they liked my work, they seemed to want to chat…and I was happy to oblige. The ones I clicked with, we make playdates. We know if our kids click already through the daycare setting…next is to see if you do as parents. This is how I met Landon’s best friend’s mom Cara. I realized she had a knack for blogging and photography like me…and we have been friends ever since.
- Workplace Connections: At work I volunteered for a working mom support group panel to talk to preggos about coming back to work. I met a girl who wanted to know more about my writing and more about my specific journey. I took her to lunch one day to calm her fears and even went out again once she came back to work to let her vent. We are great friends now and pregnant together again. So maybe look for opportunities to talk with other moms at work. Reach out to a new mom looking for guidance and get to know each other that way.
- Find a Common Goal: I volunteered for a beginning running club. I just did a run once a week but I got to see those women make tons of friends. They would get together to run together on the off days. Carpool for weekly runs. Etc. It was a great way to meet motivated women of all ages. Also? Best cheerleading possible for a common goal. If you don’t do running, look for a volunteer group for community service. Volunteer to help run something at daycare like a festival or teacher appreciation project. People will HAVE to talk to you. If you click, bingo!
- The Interwebs: I know a lot of people who still keep up with their friends from Baby Center boards or from The Nest/The Bump. There are also local mom groups in many cities and towns if you just look. I met most of my mom friends through Twitter. Simple as that. We would chat back and forth online and then one would say, “Hey let’s have lunch.” Worst they can say is no. Playdates are the easiest. You could have been going to the same park any way. No harm, no foul.
- Femfessionals: I am currently a founding member of the Raleigh chapter, but they have city chapters across the US. They have monthly lunch networking events as well as other member events to help promote local businesses and just get women talking in a community. I have met some great people this way. I highly recommend it. Could even help you professionally!
These are just a few ideas. Not going to say making friends is easy…and I know I am outgoing but all it takes is that one push. I have never in my life had so many girlfriends and I am so happy. I feel protected and loved…and isn’t that what we all want?