Meeting new people and finding new friends can be an anxious experience, even for new moms or moms living in a new neighborhood. Follow these simple steps toward scheduling the first play-date and connecting with mommy friends.
Meeting or making mom friends (moms with kids the same age as yours) that you click with, laugh with, and share your deepest fears with isn’t an easy feat, but it’s an important one.
“The whole process of making or Meeting new people can feel a bit like you’re an adolescent in high school,” says Los Angeles-based child psychologist Joanna Jacobs, a mother of two. “But no matter how awkward you feel, just remember every new mom is in the same situation, and all moms, no matter what stage of motherhood they are in, crave friendship.” So whether you’re a new mom or a mom in a new situation (for example, you just moved to a new location), brushing up on those friend-making skills is key.
Like any first date
making a first play-date with a new mom friend can be nerve-racking. Here are five tips to help you break the ice, make the first play-date, and survive the initial awkward moments of making mommy friends.
Half the battle is getting out the door. Yes, your baby sleeps — a lot — but that doesn’t mean you need to be home all the time. Put the little one in the stroller and walk around to explore the neighborhood.
“A baby in a stroller is the perfect conversation starter,” says Lyss Stern, founder of Divalysscious Moms, a networking event company for New York City moms. “You’ll be amazed at how many people will stop to look at and comment on your adorable little baby — and though it might seem annoying at first, don’t be afraid to use it to your advantage.
People love to connect people
You never know who will have a daughter or a friend with a baby the same age.” Find your local playground (some are tailored to infants and toddlers), sign up for a music class, look online for local meet-up mom groups, or simply plant yourself at a coffee shop.
“Don’t wait around for some amazing mom to come up to you,” says Samantha Ettus, mother of three and President of Mama Nation. “If you see someone you could connect with, go up to her. Remember that we’re all in the same parenting boat and that other moms, no matter how together they may appear to be, are just as desirous of mom friendship as you are.” So how do you break the ice? Compliment her! “Find something you like about her kid and tell her. Just make sure the compliment is sincere or it will come across as a vapid pick-up line,
Bring extra toys to the park.
Kids gravitate toward balls, bubbles, and push toys. The more you have, the more kids (and moms) you attract. Get your kids to play together first and you will have broken the ice without even trying.” Once the kids are playing, you can “play,” too. Start with small talk — ask the mom her child’s name and age, and which neighborhood they live in. Commonalities help build a potential relationship. If you have a girl and the other mom has a boy, mention that you have a friend with a boy the same age and that everyone should get together. Don’t let the moment pass without mentioning a play-date.
Once you’ve broken the ice and shared a few laughs, be sure to end any impromptu playground or supermarket meet by exchanging contact information with your potential mom friend. In the beginning, keep things simple. Find out how your new friend likes to be reached — phone calls, texts, emails — and stick to that.
Exchanging contact information
is a must Otherwise you end up stuck in this limbo of let’s do this again sometime, even though it may be months before you run into each other.” If she tells you to find her on Facebook, be sure to get her last name. Or offer your information first and give her the option of reaching out to you. Just don’t feel disappointed if she doesn’t reciprocate or follow up. You can focus on connecting with other moms. No matter how clumsy and awkward it may be, find a concrete way to stay connected.
You don’t always have to wash the bottles or clean up your place while your kids are sleeping. Instead, put them in a stroller for a walk with your new friend, grab a coffee together, or meet at a park bench. There’s nothing wrong with meeting another mom for a quieter, follow-up play date while your kids snooze. You can really focus on one another and determine if there is a true connection.
“I was all over the place, and being able to meet moms for stroller walks while the kids were sleeping was always a nice and less chaotic way to connect,”Whatever the situation may be, a nap-time “play-date” gives moms a chance to relax without feeling like their attention is occupied elsewhere or feeling like they’re neglecting the kids.