Before the child, if you don’t have friends, it doesn’t bother much. But once the child comes along, the need to have mom friends with whom you can share your parenting woes, your frustration and milestones becomes imperative. The same happened with me. I moved to Mumbai post marriage and immediately found work. A 14-hour work schedule and demands of a new marriage and home, I admit I didn’t have the inclination to find friends in my adopted city. And what’s more surprising – I was absolutely fine with my friend-less situation. But then my daughter came. And suddenly I found myself lonely and developed the need to make mom friends. It took time, but 7 years later, I have some very good friends who I can count on for everything. This is my guide on how to make mom friends in a new city.
Firstly, let me tell you the ways you can find mom friends in a new city.
Neighbourhood: The closest and the most appropriate place to find friends is your own neighbourhood. It can be your building complex or the neighbourhood park, you can always see a mother or two carrying an infant or pushing a stroller. Keep an eye on mothers whom you meet on daily basis in the parks, strike up a conversation and let the chemistry work.
Schools: Imagine a hundred kids your child’s age studying with her; it definitely widens your scope. I made my mom friends from my daughter’s school. It didn’t happen overnight.
- I would meet fellow mothers during school functions and PTA and make it a point to say hello or share gossip with them.
- I would go for mommy get-togethers. That gave me the opportunity to know other mothers.
- Gradually, I planned play dates with select mothers and kids. It helped me in further knowing the mothers better.
Today, I have a very close-knit group of friends on whom I can count at all times. Then I have a larger circle of mom friends too (my daughter’s friends’ mothers or the mothers who stay close by) who I meet on various occasions.
Extra-curricular classes/Daycare centers: You take your child to a hobby class and meet other mothers who come to drop and pick up their wards. Yes, it’s a good place as any to make new friends. Seek them out, talk to them and decide whether you find them interesting to make friends with.
Facebook groups: With so many mommy Facebook groups today, it shouldn’t come as a surprise. There are city-specific Facebook groups, join one, interact on it daily, find out like-minded mothers and connect with them offline too. These groups hold frequent meet ups for the same reason. Whenever there is one, do join.
Blogs: Another online channel where you can connect with mommies. If you are a blogger who blogs on parenting, child health and nutrition, education, etc, try to connect with other bloggers in the same niche. This has worked for me though I was not specifically looking to make offline friends. I have made some awesome mommy blogger friends through blogging and we meet with and without kids.
There are various blogging platforms like Momspresso, BabyChakra, World of Moms, BlogChatter, Women’s Web where you can contribute your articles and interact with other mommy bloggers.
Now, that I have already told you where you can find mom friends, let’s learn tips on how to make mom friends in a new city:
Don’t just talk about kids: Though you are connecting because of your kids, they don’t have to monopolise your conversation. It’s all about making your friends, so talk about your interests and your hobbies.
Be yourself: You are connecting with people and not going out to win a war. So relax. The best strategy is to be yourself. You want to connect with a person who likes you for what you are. However, try not to be overly opinionated about everything. That definitely rubs people the wrong way.
Don’t be pushy: The moment I realised I was lacking good mom friends in my life, I was desperate to have them. I started seeing friends in every random mother I talked to. I must have scared so many of them with my over-zealousness. Every relationship needs space, this one too. If you find someone you like, don’t be cloying with your neediness. It tends to push away people.
Don’t be in a hurry: My mother often says, when you make friends in a hurry, you lose them in a hurry. I know it’s important to have friends in your life, but what is more important is to have few but good ones. Don’t expect to strike friendship with the first person you meet. Take your time to know mothers and connect with them. Just go with the flow and see things clicking.
Enjoy the process: You might make some mom friends as soon as you start looking for them, while for some it might take some time. Don’t worry. Just enjoy the process of meeting new mothers, talking to them and bonding with them. You will find your friends sooner or later. Everyone does!
Choose well: While it’s every mother’s dream to make friends with mothers of your child’s friends, it is not always possible. And it is OK. As I said before, it’s all about your friends, if they happen to be your child’s friends’ mothers, good, otherwise don’t lose your sleep over it. The same way, sometimes your child can be friends with someone whose mother you don’t gel with. That’s completely fine too. You both are free to choose your own friends.
While I have written the post on how to make mom friends in a new city, all these rules and tips even apply to moms who are finding mom friends in their own city. You might have your school and college friends or colleagues, but not all are on the same biological clock as yours. Some friends might have older kids and having been there, done that might not be that sympathetic to your needs. Other friends might not have kids and fail to empathise with your pain points.