Congratulations! You’ve just given birth, and now you have no idea what you’re doing. Sure, you may have a good support system from your family, but what if they haven’t had children in the past five years?
It can be hard, finding someone to relate to as a parent, especially when it’s your first go-around. I’ve found solace in my group of mom friends. But where do you find these elusive unicorns? Finding a good mom's group is intimidating, and it takes plenty of trial and error, so let’s try to streamline that process, shall we?
It’s Okay to Mom Date
Yes, I know. Mom dating is the literal worst. But, just like with regular dating, it will take a few bad ones before you hit the jackpot. The point is, you can’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Keeping to yourself is lonely and while that may seem ideal to some, having mom friends to support you far outweighs the latter.
With that being said, you shouldn’t feel like you have to stick to one person. If you don’t get good vibes from another mom or you simply can’t relate to their ideals, don’t be afraid to dump them.
It’s also important to know that it will take time to find the right group for you. A lot of the time, it can take a while to find someone else you can relate to.
Making a Match
Chances are, you’ll meet several different moms before you land on the right one. To make your search less stressful and much more manageable, here are a few handy tips to follow:
- Find someone with similar interests: If you find a group of moms with similar interests as you, it gives you something to talk about. Book clubs, fitness groups, and coffee shop meetups are a few common groups.
- Stick to moms in the same stage of motherhood as you: You don’t necessarily have to do this, but it gives you someone who knows exactly what you’re going through. They’re going through the same things, so it’s good to have that support. Plus, that way you can exchange tips on which baby wipe warmer is the best, or where to find deals on eco friendly diapers.
- Go local: Keeping your search local is nice because you’ll make mom friends and your child will potentially make friends with their children.
- Make sure your values are linked: Just like with any friendship, make sure you have similar values. You don’t need to believe in the same things, but having common ground will make you more compatible.
- Practice patience: Finding a good mom’s group will take time. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t find one right away.
Where to Find Your Girls
It doesn’t matter how badly you want to find a group to fit in with if you don’t know where to look. It’s highly unlikely you’ll just stumble upon a pack of moms while you’re out running errands. Luckily, it’s easier than ever to find a list of groups through the internet, apps, and other means.
In many places like doctors’ offices, coffee shops, churches, and others, there’s likely a bulletin board with several different announcements and ads. It’s certainly worth checking out to see if there’s anything posted about mom’s groups in the area.
With the rise of the internet and social media, bulletin boards are probably the least popular way to find a good mom's group. This is perhaps because most people spend the majority of their time perusing Facebook.
Speaking of Facebook, the “Groups” feature on this social media website is an excellent tool. You can essentially find a group for just about anything by using the search function. Whether you’re looking for a local group for playdates or a broader group for conversation, you’ll likely find a good mom's group this way.
Apps and Websites
There are also plenty of other apps and websites you can use too. There’s even been an app developed that follows the same structure as Tinder. You swipe up if you think you’ve found a good mom friend and swipe down to pass to the next.
The great thing about using an app or a website is convenience. You don’t need to make a huge commitment, and it allows you to “shop around” a little easier. Using an app or website can be especially helpful for anybody who deals with social anxiety. Some people have a hard time trying to connect with others in person, so having an online presence may make them feel more at ease.
Here are some handy apps and websites to check out:
- Meetup: While there is a monthly fee for this website, you have access to a local playdate calendar as well as several different groups in your area that regularly meet.
- Peanut App: This app is the “Tinder-Esque” app I mentioned above. You can add photos to your profile along with a bio, your children’s ages, and you can pick three attributes that best describe you.
- BabyCenter: BabyCenter is an informational website, but they also have a forum where moms can go and ask about different topics. Other moms have the opportunity to answer, thus creating a relationship.
- The Bump: This one is also an informational website that also offers a forum. The Bump focuses more on pregnancy, though.
The Old-Fashioned Way
There’s also the old-fashioned way. You may prefer to straight-up put yourself out there. Take your little one to library storytimes, indoor playspaces, the zoo, etc. Chances are, your kid will do most of the work for you. As they play and interact with other kids, they form a bond.
The bond between two kiddos can easily forge a friendship between two moms. After all, that’s pretty much what they did back before the internet existed, right?
When All Else Fails, DIY
While most cities and towns have several different groups, there’s still a possibility that you won’t find what you’re looking for. If this is the case for you, why not start a group of your own? I’ll be honest, getting a group started probably won’t be easy, especially if you’re a new mom without any other mom friends.
If this interests you, the best ways to get the word out are through the outlets I explained above. Start a Facebook group and share it in other local groups. You can also make fliers to put on different bulletin boards around you. Also, taking to online forums to advertise your group will help you as well.
Here are some helpful tips to get you started:
- Think about what you want your group to be: Are you looking for a few moms, or do you want to create a shared space for many?
- Where will you “recruit”? Keep in mind the kind of mom you want to attract to your group and cater to that.
- Plan fun activities: Once you have your idea down, make sure you have a few fun get-togethers planned in your head to hype other moms up.
- Make rules: I’m not saying you need to be a total stickler, but having a few set rules will keep things peaceful.
Come Together, Mommas!
Being a mom is tough, but the support from a good mom's group makes all the difference in the world. These moms are going to be the ones who are there for you at your best and worst. They’ll be there to totally gas you up, and they’ll be there to listen when you’re upset.
Sometimes, good mom’s groups are the only support system a woman has. Whether or not that woman is you, it doesn’t matter. Find a good mom's group, and you won’t regret it.