Once upon a time I was a mother – an only mother, a lonely mother. Within weeks of giving birth I began my descent into motherhood alone (hold me). By the time my son became an active toddler, I finally came to the realization that motherhood was a team sport. It was obvious we were the kind of people who needed people.
And why shouldn’t we have friends? We were super fun; we even knew the words to “Fruit Salad.” We also needed more than just each other. I needed to find imperfect moms who had baby weight to lose and thought their toddlers were crazy; moms like me. My son needed to find imperfect kids with snotty sleeves and problems sharing; kids like him.
With my toddler as my wingman, we set out to make friends and establish a community. Here’s how we did it sans the stench of desperation.
Joining an online birth club: Like anyone searching for anything, I began my search online. I typed in “awesome mom friends,” and 6 pages into my search results I landed on my birth club, an online community for parents with children born the same month and year. Wow, you really can find anything online! My birth club was chatting about picky eaters, potty training struggles, feeling fat, and having no sex drive. I instantly knew these were my people. I jumped in, introduced myself as a newbie, and was welcomed with virtual open arms.
Going local: Your community is a great place to begin your search for local moms. We checked out our city’s Parks and Recreation Department for music, art, and movement classes specifically designed for toddlers. These interactive classes are a wonderful way to meet and connect with moms in your own backyard. Best of all, local moms are your very best resource for exclusive mommy intel.
Organizing a Lamaze/birthing/breastfeeding class reunion: Your mommy alumni have seen you in enough compromising positions to earn practical BFF status. If you were savvy enough to jot down a few telephone numbers or email addys in between latching attempts, reach out and make contact! I recently connected with a friend I made in my breastfeeding class – the breast is history.
Prowling the preschool meet market: Whether you volunteer in your child’s preschool classroom, chaperone field trips, or simply strike up a convo at morning drop-off, take advantage of the mommy connections preschool can offer. As an added bonus, if your child is the naughty one in class, like mine, your preschool moms already know it. Full disclosure, check.
Children’s birthday parties: An untapped mommy goldmine. Your toddler was invited to the birthday party of a friend. You dread going, knowing there will be like a thousand toddlers there. But guess what? Each one of those toddlers brought their mom as their date. Have some cake, introduce yourself, and make a connection!
It’s all in who you know. So you have a million friends and not one of them has a toddler. Why not ask your friends for mommy referrals? Because really, any friend of a friend is a friend of yours, right? Alright, maybe not, but it’s worth investigating. If a blind mommy date sounds unappealing, consider arranging a girls’ lunch or backyard BBQ to meet your mommy referrals under less-conspicuous circumstances. Necessity is the mother of invitation.
While it can seem impossible, making mommy friends isn’t actually the hardest thing in the world, especially if you’ve ever dealt with a public diaper blowout. Remember: Arming yourself with support is necessary, and when it comes to motherhood, there’s sanity in numbers.