Are you on the hunt for some more ‘mom friends’? It’s not always easy trying to find ‘mom friends’, especially when you keep running into groups of moms who are already friends. Befriending other parents is so important for our mental wellbeing and generally makes the whole parenting journey a lot more enjoyable too.
However, it is not always easy to find that support network as a mom. Perhaps you have recently moved to a new area? Or maybe you worked all the way through your pregnancy and didn’t get a chance to meet other mums-to-be at pre-natal classes? Or, like me, perhaps you adopted and become a mom to a toddler or child, instead of starting out with a new-born.
There are so many reasons why making ‘mom friends’ can be a bit harder. The good news is, that there are so many ways to go about making these connections with other moms and it’s never too late to start.
How to find ‘mom friends’ at baby and toddler groups
Finding these groups in your area
One of the best ways to find ‘mom friends’ when your kids are under school age is to look for groups, activities and classes to join with your kid. This has the added advantage that your kid is making friends at the same time as you. Look for local playgroups, mums and toddler groups, sing and sign classes, Messy Play sessions and in the UK there are free Bookbug sessions (story and song time) at local libraries. You can find details of these activities on local ‘what’s on for kids’ social media pages, in local newspapers, or posters in shops, or at your local library.
Making friends at these groups
These should be easy places to find like-minded moms to make friends with. That being said, I have heard tales of playgroups that are cliquey and new moms going along, only to find that no-one talks to them. Thankfully I have not experienced this myself, but if you do, please don’t take it personally. It’s worth trying again with a different group as it’s unlikely to happen again. There have been times at groups where no-one has spoken to me in the first 10 minutes. It’s awkward and I want to run away and hide. However, I try to assume it’s because they are shy or haven’t noticed me yet.
I try to look for someone else who looks on the edge, or anyone who smiles back and then walk over and strike up a conversation. This definitely does not come naturally to me. I am incredibly shy when I don’t know people, so it takes a ton of effort and mental pep-talking to get there! It’s usually worth it though! Most people feel a bit shy and awkward talking to new people and are relieved when someone else makes the first move.
Once you have a few regular friends that you chat to at these groups, you can take the friendship to the next level by suggesting a playdate. Take advantage of this time while your kids are so small and parents need to stay on playdates. Offer tea and biscuits and chat to one another while your kids play. Everyone loves talking about their kids, so ask them lots about their kids and you’ll never run out of things to talk about. Also, throw in a few questions about them, as a person, and not just as a mom. These are always nice and make mums feel seen as actual people too!
How to find ‘mom friends’ out and about
I have found a number of kid’s activities can be great places to strike up conversations with other mums. While I haven’t made any close friends at these, I have had some lovely conversations with other moms at soft play, the local library and at kids activities where you stay and watch with other parents (like climbing sessions). You never know when a casual conversation might turn into a friendship. And I remind myself, that even if I don’t make a friend out of it, it’s all good practice for me and generally the interactions build my confidence.
Kid’s birthday parties are a great place to find ‘mom friends’. While the kids are playing, we are all there sitting around watching them. It’s similar to the school gates, except that at a party you have more time to chat and generally we aren’t all busy thinking about what to cook for dinner! I have made a couple of friends this way. I now chat with them at the school gates, and have enjoyed playdates with them.
How to find ‘mom friends’ at the school gates
I feel that this is probably one of the hardest ways to make ‘mom friends’. You only have a short amount of time to build a rapport. If you find someone you click with, you do have the opportunity to build on it each day though, so if the other options won’t work for you, then this one is definitely worth a try.
The best way to go about this isn’t to approach a group of moms deep in conversation. I read in one of those social media parenting groups that one poor lady had kept trying this and was getting no-where. It just ends up coming across as rather awkward. This is especially the case if they already know each other well and are deep in conversation before you nuzzle in.
I would try to find someone on their own. Look for someone who looks approachable and smile or comment something about the weather or the school. Then you can see how they respond. Do they smile back or just give you a funny look? If you get the go ahead, then introduce yourself. I have found it works quite well, if I have already chatted to them at a birthday party, as well as at the school gates. It’s then easy to suggest a playdate for the kids and go from there.
Opportunities to make ‘mom friends’ by getting involved
This one has worked really well for me. When I first started going to the local playgroup with my toddlers, it was taking me a while to make friends. Other parents were friendly and chatted but I seemed to talk to different moms each week. Then a call went out for volunteers to join the playgroup committee. I jumped at the chance to get more involved and get to know some other moms better. This was such a great way to make friends. I am still friends with a number of the moms that I was on the committee with.
The school parent council is another way I made new ‘mom friends’ once my kids outgrew playgroup. The other moms were so friendly and greatful to have more members. However, I found that the fundraising that I helped with was where I really developed those friendships. It’s often in those moments where you are sorting jumble or selling raffle tickets side by side that you naturally strike up conversations with fellow mums and friendships begin.
If you don’t have time to join these committees, try to make a little time to volunteer with them. Helping out with fundraising once in a while, gives you great opportunities to meet other parents. I have made friends with mums who can’t join the parent council, but come along to help at jumble sales or the Christmas fayre. You just can’t help but naturally get chatting to the person working alongside you.
Online ‘moms’ groups
In the area that I live, there is a Facebook group for moms. It’s both a selling page and an information sharing platform. Mom’s will use it to ask about activities in specific areas or for specific age groups. This is a great way to find out what is on in your local area. Then you can be in the right place to meet other moms. If you are on a lower income, many of the activities are free or low-cost to make them as inclusive as possible.
I have seen mums ask about playgroups and recommendations for inclusive, friendly playgroups to join with their kid. Often someone from the playgroup will respond and offer to look out for them, if they know they’re coming. This really helped my confidence when going along to a playgroup for the first time. It was lovely knowing that someone was looking out for me when I arrived. I got given a cup of tea and introduced to some other mums almost straight away.
Rejections happen, but they are rarely personal
As with everything in life. it won’t always be easy or straightforward and it will probably take some time.
If you keep going though, you will find your people.
Sometimes other moms are too busy or overwhelmed to cope with making new friends. Other times, you might just catch them on a bad day. Sometimes of course, people are just mean or snobs! I haven’t found the latter too often though, thankfully!
If you’re struggling with rejection from other mums, check out my article, How to remain confident making ‘mum friends’. Although it may be blooming hard work to begin with, I promise you, it is worth all the effort in the end!