“How to make mom friends” has been one of the most requested crowdsourced topics, probably since I’ve become a mom myself!
As you know, I’m quite vocal about the importance of making time for yourself in motherhood. (It’s a non-negotiable!) A big part of that is surrounding yourself with the best possible support system. It’s literally IMPOSSIBLE to do it all yourself. (Also, why would you want to?) You have to lean on people.
And the core of that support system? Mom friends.
Sometimes making mom friends is easy (if you happen to have kids around the same time as your existing friend group) but sometimes it can be really hard, too!
For me, I was lucky that we had June around the same time many of my other friends started having kids, so it was a natural progression that many of my existing friends also became my mom friends. But I’ve also become close with friends of friends who were pregnant at the same time, had their babies the same time–and truly became lifelines to me in the past (almost 2! 😭) years of motherhood. I credit so much of my overall wellbeing and happiness to my mom friends!
So what happens if you aren’t in the same phase of life as your current friends? Or if you live in a different place than your existing friends? Where do you find your village? It’s not always easy, especially when your kids aren’t in school yet!
If you’re looking for tips–you’ve come to the right place! I polled all of you on stories, and you came through, as always, with the amazing tips. The good news: everyone who answered reassured me that your people are in fact out there–you just have to know where (and how!) to look.
The importance of having mom friends:
I think before having a baby, I didn’t realize the differing ways mom friends vs. non mom friends were important. BOTH are so important! But in the early days of motherhood (especially before your kid has started school and it’s easy to meet friends that way), I think it’s really crucial to make a mom friend or two, so you can navigate this new world together and not feel like you’re stumbling around alone in the dark!
Mom friends are your motherhood support system:
This isn’t to say friends who AREN’T moms aren’t also a support system, but it’s different with friends who are literally *in the trenches with you.* Motherhood can seem like an endless collection of stressful phases that are so intense at the time and then as soon as they pass–poof–you forget all about them. Without a village to go through it with, it can feel isolating no matter what age your kid is! But if you have a trusted sidekick going through the exact same things you are, someone to bounce ideas off of, vent, laugh, and cry with, then it just makes motherhood so much lighter. Mom friends mean motherhood doesn’t feel lonely anymore!
Mom friends GET you in ways nobody else can:
Motherhood can bring about some of the most unique and specific frustrations and struggles that nobody else gets unless they’re right there with you. Not your mom (she doesn’t remember and had kids in a TOTALLY different world!), not your spouse (bless their heart), not your childless best friend (she’s incredible, but she has never been in your shoes!)–nothing can replace the solidarity that your mom bestie provides during crazy parenthood moments!
Mom friends are often easier to ask for help:
Because they just GET it, and they’re doing it anyway, sometimes it’s easier to ask these friends for help, and therefore, they can help make your life so much easier. They can just jump in where you left off–you don’t need to explain anything, you don’t need to give them extra details, a list, or micromanage them. They just KNOW.
For example, the other day I loved being able to go over to my best friend’s house to hang out and help get the kids down. I walked in, she handed me her 10 month old out of the tub and I took her and did her bedtime routine while she handled her 2 year old–we barely said two words to each other. We didn’t have to. I knew what to do already! Nobody else could’ve done that other than a mom friend who is in the trenches with her. It’s like you speak this other language that nobody else understands!
Mom friends lighten the load of motherhood:
For ALL the reasons above–mom friends just make everything about motherhood easier, lighter, and more fun. Don’t get me wrong, motherhood is fun no matter what. But some days are really hard, and really long, and being able to have a ride or die who gets you every step of the way will do more for your mental health than you could possibly understand.
How to make mom friends:
1. Make the first move!
As one reader put it, “it’s exactly like dating! You have to be willing to put yourself out there multiple times. You’re going to get several misses before you find your person! (Or people!) Be a little vulnerable, let other moms know you want to be friends! This doesn’t come naturally to a lot of people–so if that’s you, that’s okay! It might feel weird at first, but forming lifelong friendships that will be your lifeline at each stage of parenthood is well worth the temporary discomfort.
2. Start talking to friends of friends
This is especially helpful when moving to a new city! Ask all of your current friends (you can even put up a post on Instagram stories or Facebook) if they have any friends who are also expecting when you’re expecting, who has a newborn when you have a newborn, etc. I have made almost all of my post-college friends through other friends. I promise you, this is the easiest way to find your people!
3. Reach out on social media
Speaking of friends of friends, many of you said you’ve reached out to friends of friends via DM and made good friends this way! Instagram is a really easy way to establish friendships with people in your outer social circles that you wouldn’t necessarily run into on a daily basis, but want to become better friends with!
This is how I became close with my friend Sam, who I had met a few times (and knew I liked her) through another friend but we didn’t know each other well. We started talking on IG when we both found out we were due around the same time! Her friendship in the newborn days was such a lifeline for me. Plus, it was so great to have someone to hang out with on maternity leave! We helped each other get comfortable being out and about with our babies, going to restaurants, comparing notes on sleeping/eating/ etc–all the things that are so all-consuming at the time. She made postpartum life so much brighter! (And still makes my life better, obviously! Love you Sam!)
4. Say “Hi!” to your neighbors
On that note, say “hi” to the moms you pass on the street! This might not apply to everyone, but if you happen to pass parents with kids your age often when out and about in your neighborhood, say hi! Even if you feel awkward, say so! Something like, “I know we pass you sometimes but I’ve never stopped to say hi and introduce myself! I’m X and we live around the corner–we should grab coffee and meet at the park sometime and the girls can play!” Exchange contact info, and make it happen.
5. Library reading hour
SO many people mentioned the library as the place they met their crew–who knew!? Most libraries will have free story time or reading hours weekly–look them up and start going regularly. (For Chicago Public Libraries, it looks like all kids events are listed on this page, by the way!)
6. Kid birthday parties
Parties are a no-brainer, they’re the PERFECT place to meet more mom friends. If someone is friends with YOUR friend, likely, you will love them too! You just have to put yourself out there.
7. The park
The park is a great place to meet mom friends–there are so many potential friends to choose from! 😂 Obviously popular/busy parks might yield more successful results, so make a point to go to those regularly. Other moms said it’s also helpful to go to the same park over and over, or at the same time every day so you keep running into the same people. (Or, maybe if you don’t run into anyone, try a different time or a different park, haha!)
8. Join a mom’s fitness group
SO many moms recommended Fit4Moms! I had never heard of this before, but they have it all over, apparently! It’s a fitness focused moms group that has everything from “stroller strides” to “stroller barre” and tons of other workouts designed to bring your kids and to bring other moms together.
9. Join Facebook groups
Personally, I think this is one of the easiest ways to connect with other moms, especially those in your area. Search “moms group + your city” and so many come up. Try out a broader and more narrow searches. (I.E. “Chicago new moms group” and “Lincoln Park moms group”). Also, I’ve heard of people having great success posting in your favorite blogger or specific interest Facebook groups as well.
10. Google moms groups in your area
Same as above–try different searches that are a bit more broad and some that are more specific. The Chicago New Mom’s Group came highly recommended by local moms in Chicago and they offer 6 week sessions designed to help new moms with everything from feeding to infant sleep, PP recovery and more, AND have a community aspect that is a great way to meet new friends!
11. Download the Peanut app
Many readers have had success with the Peanut app, which is basically like Bumble or Tinder for mom friends! (I feel like this might be a lot less daunting than approaching moms in person because you automatically know the other person is looking for friends!)
12. Chat with other parents at daycare/school pick up
Obviously this goes back to making the first move, but going out of your way to chat at daycare/preschool pickup/drop-off is an easy way to make friends! Suggest going for a walk/coffee before or after pickup with or without the kids, or, arrange a play-date, since the kids already know each other from class and are used to playing with one another.
13. Read city-specific blogs and find out what is happening in your city
Google to the rescue here again. Searching things like “[your city] and “toddler events,” “mommy and me events,” “things to do with toddler” “summer events for kids” etc will all lead you to some cool local events with lots of great friendship networking opportunities!
14. Local in-person baby/toddler classes or play cafes.
Google some popular activities or “mommy and me” classes to take your baby or toddler in your area. For example, in Chicago, some popular activities are Mr. Dave’s Music classes, Lil Kickers soccer, Goldfish swim school, and Bubbles Academy. Indoor play cafes are also an easy place to meet other moms, like Etheria Cafe in Humboldt Park, or Little Beans in Evanston. You never know when small talk is going to lead to a lifelong friendship!
Thanks to all the moms who weighed in on this one, and I hope this helps you find your village! ♥️
(P.S. If you’re not a mom, but still want tips on how to make friends as an adult, I shared a lot of tips in this post, and will also be refreshing it soon!)