If you’ve read my About Me page, you’d see that I’m a military wife. And, if you’ve been reading for a while, you’d know that we move around the country…a lot. So far, we have moved twice since I’ve been a Mom.
One of the most difficult parts of all the moving is finding good quality Mommy friends.
It can be so hard to find new people that you connect with. Seriously, it’s almost like dating again. First of all, it’s so hard to know where to find good quality friends. When you do happen to find a potential friend, you don’t want to seem eager, nor too stand offish. I worry about making a good first impression and not looking like a fool. Just like I felt when I was dating.
Well, I can’t say I know everything about making new friends…because I don’t. However, this is something I have to go through a lot and I’ve found a method that’s worked well for me.
So, whether you’re a new Mom trying to get into the Mommy scene, recently moved to a new city, or just looking for some Mommy support, I’ve got some pointers for you.
Go where the Mommies are:
- I look for local activities that are good for J’s age. Head to a library reading time, join a Kid’s Gym, or attend Mommy and Me classes. The internet and a good Google search helps out a ton with this.
- Go to a local park. I find that the busier the park, the better. Find ones with a splash pad or sandbox…they’re usually the most popular.
- Meetup.com is a great great way to find Mommy Groups. I do a simple search of my city and Mommy groups pop right up! Most of the groups meet several times a week. Some groups do have membership dues, but they are usually cheap and they’ll let you attend a few meetings to test the waters before you join.
- I’ve had some pretty good success at finding friends at church. So, if you’re religious, find a good church, temple, synagogue, etc.. Many of them have study groups or a women’s group. These are great for meeting other like-minded Moms. Many also have a Mother’s Day out (preschool) program a few days a week, which might be a good way of meeting Moms in your child’s class.
You’re there…Now What?
- I find that it’s so much easier to introduce myself to a Mom who’s by herself. It’s so much harder to infiltrate a large group of women. This may not be true at organized classes or in a small group.
- I start off by a question about her kids. As a Mom, we love to talk about our children. “Oh, how old is your little one?”, “Do you have other children?”, etc.. It’s a great ice breaker.
- Or, ask a question about how the group works. “Excuse me, what time is the class over?”, “does it matter where we put our stuff?”, or “ are you using this bench?”. You know introductory questions.
- I let them know I’m new to the area. I always ask about what good kid stuff is in the area. Most people I have met love to introduce “the newbie” to all the great stuff the city holds.
- I try to just be myself and relax.
- Hopefully the conversation will evolve naturally from there. If not…I go ahead and move on to another Mommy.
- Get their number if you hit it off. Getting a phone number used to intimidate me for some reason. But now I’m not afraid…guess I’ve done it enough. It’s super important to do and really the only way you’re going to make friends. **A hint: I call them right when they give me their number so that they have my number too.**
I certainly don’t find someone every time I go out with J. But I always try to make an attempt.
Now that I have their number…
- I seriously wait a couple days before calling them. For some reason, I don’t like to seem desperate for friends. However, I love it when someone calls me for a playdate, even if I met them the day before. Honestly, I don’t think it matters either way.
- I find a good public place to meet for a playdate like a park, zoo, or children’s museum. The place needs to be somewhere where the kids can play so I can talk to my new potential friend.
- Meeting at a restaurant is hard because I’m always coaxing my child to eat, making sure he doesn’t spill his milk, or keeping him from crawling over the seat to see the nice people sitting behind him. Basically, it’s chaos, which kind of makes it hard to have a conversation. Even if your child does well at restaurants, her child may not. Picnics on the other hand are fantastic!
- I call my potential friend to meet up. If we end up playing a long game of phone tag, I text instead. We’re all busy Moms and talking on the phone can be hard with kids around.
- Once plans are made, I will sometimes text to confirm the day of the meeting.
- Hopefully from there a friendship is born.
I’ll tell you though. I have to play this game A LOT when looking for new friends. Some people I’ll click with more than others. Sadly, it usually takes me a year to feel fully comfortable in my new town…most of that comfort comes from finding my Mommy friends.
It may take a while to find “the ones”, but in the meantime I get to meet lots of new people and make some great connections.