No matter how prepared you feel entering motherhood, no one tells you how much your social circle shrinks once you have kids. Those early years can feel particularly isolating for new mothers, especially stay-at-home moms without a workplace environment with other adults. And if you became a mother right before or during the pandemic, chances are you’re still trying to find your mom tribe and new mom friends. Making friends as an adult can feel scary and a bit intimidating. It can feel like everyone already has their social circle, so figuring out where you fit in can feel strange if you’re in a new place and don’t know anyone.
My husband and I settled down in his hometown, away from my closest friends, and I became a mother in 2017. Our oldest began preschool in 2020, so our school experience didn’t look how I expected, thanks to the pandemic. Initially, I had a hard time making mom friends. But now that our kids are in school and life is finding a new sense of normalcy, I’m finding my way and making friends with fellow moms. If you are having a hard time finding your mom network – maybe you’ve recently moved, or you’ve been a SAHM, and your kids just started school – whatever the reason, here are some ways to make new mom friends.
6 Ways to Make New Mom Friends
Join Your School’s Parent Association
Most schools have a PTA or something similar for parents to volunteer with. It’s not only an excellent way for you to meet other parents but also a way for you to get to know the school staff. Many PTAs hold parent socials and other events where parents can meet and get to know each other. You can attend PTA meetings, join the board, or do whatever feels right.
Volunteer at School
See if your child’s school needs volunteers to serve lunch or monitor the playground during recess. If your child’s class is having a party, volunteer to help. Many schools also have “room parents” who help plan parties and celebrations. Or email your child’s teacher and see if you can volunteer in the class during instruction time. Many teachers welcome an extra set of hands to help prep activities, so they’re freer to teach. And perhaps your child’s teacher will have more than one parent come to help, and you can meet another mom from your child’s classroom.
Arrive Early to Pick Up Your Child
Something as simple as arriving early and waiting for your child near the front of the school provides opportunities to meet other moms. Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself and strike up a conversation! Maybe they also feel isolated and would love to get to know another mom friend.
Schedule Play Dates
Talk to your child about who they like to play with at school. Maybe you can contact their friends’ parents and plan a meeting time. Who knows? Perhaps their best friend’s mom is your soon-to-be BFF. Networking with other parents is also really helpful. Let other moms know you’re looking to meet more mom friends, and maybe they’ll introduce you to a new group. Don’t be afraid to reach out to well-networked moms – they’re a great resource.
Explore Your Local Area
On weekends, visit your local park or playground with your kids. Chances are, they might run into someone they know from school, and you can meet their parents. Or maybe your local library or bookstore offers free reading time where you can bring your younger kids. At the very least, you can meet other parents from your town, even if your kids don’t go to school together.
Sign Your Kids Up for Extracurricular Activities
Getting your kids involved in sports or other extracurricular activities benefits them and you. Sure, your weekends will be consumed by team snack duties, practices, and game day schedules, but you’ll also be thrust into a whole new social group. I can’t tell you how often I’ve struck up conversations with parents at our kids’ various activities. There are almost always other moms wrangling younger siblings, looking for other moms to connect with, so use that to your advantage! Shake off the nerves, and just go up and say hello. What’s the worst that can happen?
Motherhood Bonds Moms Together
Making mom friends is an essential aspect of becoming a mother. If I’ve learned anything in my time sharing about motherhood online, the experience bonds us together in more ways than we know. Motherhood can sometimes feel isolating, and we often feel like we’re the only ones struggling. Finding moms you can relate to online is incredibly valuable – especially the ones who share the real side of motherhood, not just the beautifully curated photos of a seemingly perfect family. But real-life friends are important too. The friends you can meet up with for coffee on a whim, the friends you can call to pick up your child from school if you’re sick or running late, the friends you can ask for help. We all need a village.
If you’re lucky enough to live near your childhood friends and you all become moms around the same time, you likely already have a well-established social network. But for those who don’t live near your close friends, I encourage you to branch out and put yourself out there. I know how intimidating it can feel, trust me, I’ve been there. I’m only just now feeling like I’m finding my mom tribe. But once you start, it’s a great feeling. Everyone needs friends who understand them and friends they can lean on. And mom friends are a special breed because motherhood is unlike any other experience.
So get out there. Make new friends. Be the example for your kids to make friends and find their way. And at the end of the day, if you need an online mom friend, I’ll be here.