Being a new mom is overwhelming. When you get home from the hospital with your new baby, you’re focused on getting used to your new role and responsibilities and enjoying mom and baby time. At some point, though, you’re hit with the desire to get out of the house and connect with other adults. When the urge hits it may be the first time that you realize you don’t have a social network as a mom. This is especially true if you’re a first time mom. Here are some ideas for making connections and finding support and friendship as a new mom.
Check out your local Meetup groups. Meetup groups for moms are happening in large cities and small towns across the country. Simply head over to www.Meetup.com and enter your zip code and keywords. You’ll get a list of the local Meetup groups in your area. With a quick click of your mouse you can join one and sign up for a few face to face meetings. Since the groups are divided by location and interests, this free website is a wonderful way to meet other moms in your local community. You’ll find all kinds of events, from weekly play groups to field trips to the fire station or zoo. These groups also do larger gatherings with spouses and older kids on weekends. For some moms, the friends they make through their Meetup group become the biggest part of their family’s social network.
See if your church offers a mom’s group. Many churches offer an informal mom’s group for members of the church. These groups may meet in the church nursery or at a member’s home. They give you a chance to meet church members you may not have interacted with before and expand your support system, which is essential to new moms. Because all the moms share the same religion, these groups can fill a need that strictly social groups can’t. These groups also help the kids connect as they get older and help them get more involved in the congregation.
Join a community-based parenting class. Most areas offer low cost or free parenting support groups based on the age of your child. These groups help you connect with other moms who are at the same parenting stage as you are. They are led by a volunteer parenting expert and help you deal with issues covering everything from breastfeeding to getting your baby to sleep to helping your toddler adjust to being a big brother. Meeting other moms who are dealing with the same issues can be a huge support to new moms. These groups often turn into play groups once the formal program is over.
Find a new mom workout group. One of the things that lots of moms are trying to do is get back into shape after having the baby. Finding a group where you can bring your baby with you to work out is the perfect way to connect with other moms and work on your weight and exercise goals, too. For instance, an informal stroller walking group might be the right choice for you. It will get you and your baby out of the house, let you enjoy some fresh air and provide a relaxed way to get back into an exercise routine. The low impact nature of a walking group also lets you talk to other members during your walk so you can build friendships while you exercise. You may want something more challenging, so you might choose a cross training group where you can run and do strength training exercises using your body weight. Because your baby should be at least six months old before you run with him in a jogger stroller, you may have to wait a bit to take one of these classes.
Join a play group. You may not have thought about joining a play group because your baby is too young to really interact with other kids. However, these groups are just as much for you as they are for your baby. Although the babies won’t play with each other for several months, they still can enjoy parallel play and getting to know each other. Plus you’ll have the chance to get to know other moms and make new friends. Often, these play groups stay together as the kids grow and don’t break up until the kids head off to school. Both moms and kids grow close over the years. Moms often feel the other moms in the group are like extended family, and the relationship between the kids is like cousins rather than just friends.