You’ve found yourself wishing there was Tinder for mom friends, right? You could put in your weekly playdate preferences, favorite locations around town, and answer honestly about whether or not you have a pile of clean laundry that you dig through on a regular basis instead of hanging things in the closet. (My people!) Then you review local moms and ‘swipe right’ accordingly.
No need for awkwardly approaching a group of moms at your first mid-season MOPS meeting. No internal debate about how to best start up a conversation with another mom at the park—only to think of the perfect line five minutes after she leaves. No hurried hellos at the daycare drop-off before you get into your car and think, “Would it be weird to randomly text her since they gave me her number on the class contact list?”
But such a thing does not yet exist, and so many of us watch our new feed fill up with other mothers’ playdates and wonder how they crossed the gap from stranger to friend.
Wondering how you can meet other moms? Here area few tips for finding and approaching a mom in the wild:
Look for local online groups.
I met two of my local friends in a Facebook group I joined shortly after the birth of my son. I was looking for a place where I could ask questions and connect with mothers of kids that are a similar age. And out of a group of 200 moms from around the world? Two of them lived in my own hometown. What are the chances?! Honestly, probably not that high for most people. But there are local online groups all over the place, and they can be a fantastic way to make friends. A simple suggestion? When a newcomer posts that she recently relocated to the area from out-of-state? Send her a message and a friend request. Most of the time, she will be excited and receptive to making a new, local friend!
Find a local hobby or group based on your interests.
When Nashville Moms Blog held an open call for writers, I had three primary reasons for applying: to consistently write, to meet moms with similar interests, and to be a resource (and possible friend) to moms who are new to Nashville. I’m happy to say I’ve achieved all of this and more during my time as a contributor! I’ve also met some wonderful moms at my local gym which specifically appeals to women and parents. If you’re new to Nashville, put down the living room workout DVDs and head to a fitness class with childcare or one that allows you to bring your kids along. These are fantastic places to make friends while getting some time for yourself!
Check out national organizations or MeetUp groups.
Many national organizations like MOPS or MOMS Club have local chapters where you can connect regularly with other mothers. I like to try to go during a kickoff season or event if attending by myself. People seem to be more aware and open to new faces during those times.
Practice makes perfect.
If we’re honest, it’s not always that we aren’t sure where to meet moms. It’s that we don’t know what to say when we encounter a “mom in the wild.” I am generally a terrible people person in crowds, but through much practice, I am finally comfortable making the first move toward friendship. And, thankfully, the worst reaction I’ve ever received was simply polite disinterest. I can live with that. Figure out what it is that you’re afraid of when saying hello for the first time, and face that fear.
Make the time.
A gal at my church in Georgia was known for pulling out her planner whenever someone said, “We should get together sometime!” She knew that “sometime” would never come if no one made the effort to firm up some concrete plans. She’d open that planner and say, “Great! Let’s do coffee. Are you free Saturday afternoon?” Just like that, “Someday” would become “Saturday.” And an acquaintance would become a friend.
Be honest with yourself.
I’ll confess — this is the part where I should preach to myself. I get stuck at acquaintance level all the time. Like ALL. THE. TIME. Friendships require time, consistent effort, genuine caring, and follow-up. The best friendships also require chemistry – that mysterious component that makes you just click with someone right off the bat. I’m guilty of not making the time—or not staying consistent with the effort. I’m especially guilty of letting those magical “just click” friendships slide away because I get inside my own head and wonder if the chemistry is one-sided. I need to put myself out there. And if you’re reading this? There’s a good chance you do too. Let’s do the work of making mom friends the old-fashioned way. (With a little research help from the Internet, of course!) It may not be easy, but it is certainly worth it!