When I was pregnant I wanted all my friends to be, as well. I knew my lifestyle was going to change and I worried about the impact it would have on my friendships. While a few of my friends already had babies, it seemed they had already formed their mommy cliques and I was too far behind to catch up.
My husband encouraged me to make new groups of friends and felt in addition to benefiting me, it was important for Ryder to have playdates and observe how his mom plays nicely with others. Eeek! I thought, he’s not even here yet and I’m already letting him down. I’m shy and the thought of introducing myself to strangers was frightening.
At nine months old, Ryder and I have a playdate scheduled almost every single day. Literally. Some days even two. Making mommy friends is a lot like dating – something I was never good at. By pushing myself to uncomfortable limits, I’ve become much more confident in approaching complete strangers (um, i like your diaper bag. Is that spit up in your hair? I have some too! Wanna hang out?) and have built an incredible core group of mom friends who I lean on tremendously.
Read below for some of my suggestions on how to meet your new MBFF.
Reach out to old contacts
You know those Facebook “friends” you knew at some point in your past, who you don’t really stay in touch with except to “like” the occasional photo? Now is the perfect opportunity to catch up.
The first time I went to register for Ryder, I broke down in tears. I was so overwhelmed by the endless choices. I posted about my experience on FB and a former colleague reached out to me and emailed over a super helpful list of must haves in the first year, as well as some interesting pregnancy and mom blogs to follow. She also invited me over for lunch and a couple hours to visit with her and her baby. It was really neat to see someone I knew in one light, in a completely new one. Since I was really fearful I was more of a career gal than a mom, it was good to see that the two can blend.
Online parenting boards – WTE app
I love the What to Expect app. You enter in your due date and it keeps you up to date on everything you need to know – how baby is developing, what you’ll experience during pregnancy, even tips on subjects such as baby naming or communicating with your partner. I was totally one of those, “my baby is the size of a cantaloupe this week” kinda gals, and this app kept me up to date.
Even cooler than the wealth of knowledge the app provides, it has a community board where you can connect with expecting moms from all around the world, due in your same birth month, boards on any topic of interest (moms of twins, moms of multiples, Dealing with MIL’s, etc.), as well as local boards.. I posted an add on an Orange County local group to grab coffee at a mall and met my BMFF (Best Mom Friend Forever). Together, Jenn and I started a Mom’s group on Facebook, which is where I have met my core group of girls. More on that below.
As I mentioned above, Jenn and I started an Orange County Mom’s group on Facebook just a little over a year ago and today it has 650+ members. The moms all have babies born in 2014 / 2015, so the babes and any milestone/issues we are experiencing occur close together.
It’s been an incredible place to turn when looking for local recommendations (Can anyone recommend a pediatrician who belongs to this hospital and accepts this kind of insurance), support from other moms (my baby keeps escaping his swaddle. Help!), and most of all an easy way to create and attend meetups with other moms (Must leave house today. Need Starbucks. Human contact would be great!).
Events range from a weekly back bay walk to lunch at the mall. We’ve even pulled together to give back to our community with events like a Thanksgiving food drive at the park. Not only have I met incredible moms who I call my best friends today, I see so many other groups of friends who formed through our Facebook group. It’s such a helpful and incredible resource and gives you the opportunity to find the type of moms you want to hang with.
Mommy and Me
While I was still pregnant, a dear friend recommended I sign up for OC Mommy and Me. To this day, my Mom is still best friends with a woman she met at Mommy and Me, so I thought I’d give it a shot. If you’ve read my story about Colic, you’ve heard about my mom crush on OC Mommy and Me, Founder, Alex for discovering Ryder’s reflux.
Mommy and Me is so neat, because the classes are grouped by birth month so you are all literally going through the same things at the same time. Sleep regression? Me too!! Look, our babies both just rolled over! How cute!
Additionally, the classes were super informative and I truly learned so much from them. Subjects ranged on various helpful topics, such as Setting Up Healthy Sleep Patterns to Infant Massage and included expert speakers, too. Each class also included a round robin for each of us to check in and really open up and get to know one another. I strongly recommend checking out a Mommy and Me class in your area, or if you’re local to Orange County, checking out OC Mommy and Me.
Local Store Events
Check out local baby stores and ask if they offer events – many of them do. My favorite store to check out in Costa Mesa, is Granola Babies. In addition to carrying incredible, eco friendly products, Granola Babies offers a wide range of classes from pre-natal yoga to breastfeeding support groups. Ryder absolutely loves music class and a few of the other moms and I usually will grab lunch together after class.
Meetup has so many local groups. Check out your area and you’ll find classes on every subject under the moon. Say, you’re a yoga loving, book reading, coffee drinking Mom, who enjoys cupcakes (who isn’t?) there’s probably a group and meetups for that. And the best part – if one doesn’t already exist, it’s super easy to create one.
Stroller Strides is a stroller based workout program. Who doesn’t want to get back to their pre-pregnancy figure? We all do, but sometimes it’s hard to find the time and the opportunity to work out. Stroller Strides makes it simple since you bring your baby (and a stroller) to work out amongst other moms and their littles. SS also has a private community and monthly mom’s nights out.
Ryder LOVES MyGym. He has so much fun and is so exhausted after class, he goes down for a nap without a fight (SCORE!) I love watching him interact with the other babies his age and it’s the perfect icebreaker to start talking with the other moms. Bonus: You can try out your first class for free.
So if you’re on the hunt to meet your new BMFF, what are you waiting for? Get out there and build your mommy network!