5 Ways to Make Mom Friends in a New Town
Building a comfortable social circle is one of the most challenging things about moving to a new city. Making friends in a new town is much different as a mom than it was as pre-kiddos. It was simple to network before having kids because my evenings after work and weekends were open to socializing. Rec leagues, weekend getaways, and happy hours are much more challenging to schedule now that we have kids. It can be challenging to make mom friends.
Have you ever heard of the Seattle freeze? This means that it is tough to make friends. You meet people and, click well, exchange numbers to meet up again, but neither party initiates any future meetups. I can’t tell you how often I experienced this when moving to a new city. I hit it off well with a gal, but we never reach out to each other again. As I go through my contacts on my phone right now, I see more than 20 people I met once and exchanged numbers with but never met up with again.
Why is it hard to make mom friends?
Making friends with other moms in a new city is a new ball game. Finding like-minded mamas can be challenging. Making friends with people with whom you can have an honest, enjoyable, and supportive relationship is essential. Just because someone else is a mom doesn’t mean you will have much in common. Forcing a friendship just because you both have kids is inorganic and uncomfortable.
After our most recent move, Chulengo would wake up, and I would attempt to unpack items while he played. Anyone who has tried to unpack boxes while caring for a mobile infant knows that only a little will get done. Before Chulengo, I could quickly unpack our entire house in two days. With Chulengo, I am lucky to get a few boxes emptied daily. Because of this, I could easily spend weeks alone at home unpacking. But I need to get out of the house. Otherwise, Chulengo and I are going to drive each other nuts.
To ease my sanity, I saved the unpacking for when Chulengo was napping or when my husband was home from work. He would spend time with Chulengo, and I could unpack without disruption. It’s incredible what I can get done with 30 minutes of alone time.
I realized I needed to spend my day branching out, interacting with people, and making friends to build my tribe. Being out of the house allows me to gain a new perspective and not get frustrated by what I didn’t get done with little Chulengo crawling around. Socializing with others brings me joy, even if it feels difficult sometimes.
After multiple moves and making friends in various cities, I have come up with five fundamental ways to make friends in a new town:
Join a Class or Local Group
Learning something new or regularly participating in a group activity with other moms helps you build a tribe. There are many types of classes available these days. Fitness, music, sign language, and swim classes are just a few examples.
I joined Fit4Mom, a mom-and-baby fitness group. Classes are offered six mornings weekly, and we meet at a nearby park. I push Chulengo in the stroller while working out. I love this class because I get a great workout and don’t have to get a sitter for Chulengo. As we work out and move from station to station, we sing songs to entertain our children.
I’ve made some dear friendships during this class because we see each other regularly, are in the same season of motherhood, and enjoy working out together.
I’ve also joined MOPS (Moms of Preschoolers). And it has been a great way to meet other moms who have little kiddos like me. We meet once a week during the Fall and Spring and have a local speaker and group discussions. I appreciate this low-key way of socializing too, where I am doing a craft and chatting with my group.
Meet Up with an Alumni Group
Reaching out to an alumi group is an easy way to meet folks. You bond with your past experiences, shared interests, and sometimes even common friends. Each time we moved, I reached out to my sorority alumna group in our new city. It is an easy way for me to connect with women who have similar college experiences and share similar values.
Some of my greatest friends are moms in the same sorority as me but at a different college. We met through alumnae groups. I also contact my college alumni group when I move to a new city. Coming from a smaller university, we quickly bond over campus traditions, favorite faculty, and shared history.
Connect via Social Apps
There is one app out there that every mom needs — Peanut. When creating your profile, you can enter your neighborhood and the age of your child(ren). You also choose 3 “packs.” “Packs” are terms you choose from a bank of 33 options to describe yourself. Some possibilities are a hot mess, mom boss, routine queen, outdoorsy, bookworm, but first food, single mama, adventurous, or mama of multiples.
You are given access to a bank of mamas in your area after you create your profile. You look at each mom’s profile and choose whether or not you want to connect with them. Moms in your area also can see your profile. You swipe up if you are interested in connecting, and you swipe down if you don’t think you would be a good match. If both moms swipe up, you get a notification and the opportunity to message each other.
I love this app because it removes awkward introductions. You can quickly message moms with who you know you have something in common. Before using Peanut, I spent so much time meeting other mamas only to discover we didn’t click as friends and had little in common. Peanut allows me to be more efficient when finding new like-minded women who are also mamas nearby.
I also like to connect with moms in local social media groups on Facebook and Instagram. I’ve even gone as far as creating a SAHM group in my local area, because other SAHMs can be hard to find. But, worth their weight in gold.
Go to the Library
Our library has been a gold mine for free age-appropriate activities for kids. Storytime and lego club have been fun with our kids. I love that these activities are typically at same time and day every week. As a mom, very few things in life are predictable, so I love an activity always at the same time and place. After attending a couple of weeks in a row, I have been able to meet other moms. Once you see a mom a couple of times at the library, it is much easier to approach them. Also, typically, those that go to the library live nearby, which is always a perk when making friends.
Get Out Into Your Neighborhood
Introduce yourself to those in the community around you. When we moved into our last apartment, I introduced myself to anyone I saw in the elevator. In this recent move, the fire alarms kept going off due to maintenance work in our complex. So, Chulengo and I would go out in the hallway, and we quickly learned there were two other mamas on our floor.
This is a unique way of meeting folks in our building. Still, I took advantage of the opportunity to introduce Chulengo and myself. The following week, one of those mamas invited us to a birthday party. We wouldn’t have had that opportunity if we didn’t try to get to know them in an unfortunate situation.
Also, say hello to your postal service person, delivery people, grocery clerk, and anyone else who is a regular face you will see in your neighborhood. If you are like me, you get at least a couple packages each week. On those days when I cannot get out of the house much, it is nice to chat with folks I see regularly. They may not be close friends of mine, but they are familiar faces. The security guard at our back gate has become one of my favorite people to see. He always says hi to Chulengo and chats with us as we walk by on our way home.
Making friends in a new town as a mom does require some effort. But with some work and putting yourself out there, you will find your people. Do you have other ways you’ve met your friends since becoming a parent?
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