I’m sure we’ve all experienced the same feeling after finishing the last year of school – how the heck do we make friends now? All of a sudden, our social circle dries up and pretty soon our friends are tied to our jobs. It’s who we see everyday and the people who start to know everything about us.
Then we leave that job to stay home with our kids. That’s when the social circle really dries up. Not to mention that now you’re at a whole new phase of life with new concerns, challenges, and a new demanding schedule.
The good news is that there are more of us than we think! I was convinced that I would be the only stay-at-home mom around and was SHOCKED to find that there were tons of other women just like me that made the choice to stay at home. It was just a matter of finding them at the right places.
So here’s where I got luckiest meeting other new moms:
The Grocery Store
Here’s the key to meeting your next best friend at the grocery store – shop during regular working hours (when the store contains only other stay at home moms) and scope out the carts with babies the same age as yours. I guarantee you that anyone with a baby your age is going to want to be friends – because we’re all in desperate need of someone who’s going through the exact same phases we are. The grocery store is the perfect place, not only because of timing, but also because you’re guaranteed to find someone that lives really close to you (because who shops at a grocery store that’s far away?).
This was the biggest shocker for me, but also holds the most potential. What you need to do is find Facebook groups of parents in your town. I guarantee you that there are a TON. The best part of these groups is that once you join, you can be a passive observer until you feel comfortable jumping in. You’ll get a feel for the different activities and meet-ups that everyone participates in and then you can join them when you’re ready.
Your Own Neighborhood
This is a pretty obvious one and probably the most natural – load your baby up in the stroller and walk around the neighborhood! I guarantee you will be surprised by how many other babies and kids there are. Most likely your child will be playing with these kids one day, so why not make life easier by befriending the parents? Not to mention that there are tons of other benefits to having close friends and fellow parents for emergencies (and a variety of non-emergencies).
If you’ve never considered swim lessons for your baby before, then you might think this sounds crazy. But odds are that if you think you’re going to be around the water AT ALL during the first few years of your baby’s life, then you’ve probably thought about it. DO IT. Not only is it a great activity for you and your baby to do together, but it’s an awesome way to meet other moms. Same deal as the grocery store – go during hours that you know will be filled with other stay-at-home moms. The classes will already be sorted by age, so all you have to do is pick a time and sign up.
Definitely check with your local library and get a list of all the classes that they hold throughout the day. They will all be free and, again, you’re pretty much guaranteed to meet moms that live close by. Also check with the towns immediately surrounding you because their libraries will have different times and different classes, but will almost always let you join in. One of the nice things about these classes is that they are usually really, really short, which can be really nice if you’re baby is still on a multi-nap schedule.
This is another obvious one, but you should definitely take advantage of it! Just about everyone there will be a local neighbor and it’s a great (free) way to get the kids out of the house.
If you’re part of a church, then make sure you are taking advantage of any groups they have organized for moms. Most will be free, which is an added bonus. Some churches have daycare during services, which is another chance to run into new parents. Don’t be shy! This is your built-in community, so take a chance and strike up a conversation with a fellow mom.
Of course, I saved the best for last – and most likely the one you’ve already tried. I have found moms groups, as well as fun local activities all with the help of google.
It’s really hard to approach someone you don’t know, and I won’t lie – it’s a little reminiscent of picking someone up in a bar. But it’s so worth it and in the end you’ll have a great friend. Good Luck!!