Motherhood can at times be really lonely and overwhelming, after all they say it takes a village to raise a child. What happens if that ‘village’ isn’t quite as visible and supportive as you’d like? “Have you made any mum friends yet?” seems to be a typical question fired at new mums and there’s no denying that having a network of other mums who have little ones of a similar age to yours can be invaluable. But discovering them isn’t always easy! Making friends in your adult years can feel a lot more daunting and can feel A LOT like dating but before you get the icck, we’ve lined up a few of our tried and tested techniques to help you make mum friends and build your own epic village.
Start before the baby arrives
Think making mum friends is reserved for after your little one arrives? Think again! Setting out the ground work during one of the most transformative nine months of your life can be a real leg up, especially during those hazy newborn days. Making the most of all prenatal opportunities available to you will help you be in the right place at the right time to meet other expectant mums in your area. If you can afford to invest in antenatal classes then go for it but also investigate your hospital for free classes they run.
Another great way to make mum friends when you’re pregnant is to make the most of all those prenatal appointments and take the plunge to get chatting with other pregnant women in the waiting room. As a pregnant mum, you can also go along to sessions such as breastfeeding cafes, pregnancy yoga and other classes – you never know who you might click with! A “do you fancy a coffee/going for a walk?” is a low pressure way to make mum friends.
Connect with local mums
Baby classes can often get a bad rep as being cliquey but our advice is don’t tar all with the same brush. A main reason for this less than inviting reputation is due to the fact that they can be hard to discover unless you’re already ‘in the know’. A top tip is to make use of the internet! Most local communities tend to have a Facebook group to keep residents up to date with goings on. Pop a post live asking about recommendations for local toddler and baby groups and you’d be amazed as to how many mums come out of the woodwork in the comments. You could drop them a message privately and gently suggest meeting up at the next class.
Or, go along solo and make an effort to chat to the other mums. Even if you don’t immediately make a best friend it’s a fab excuse to get out of the house and have fun doing it! Plus, we think secretly everyone is waiting for someone else to invite them for a coffee afterwards.
Technology is your friend
Want to make mum-friends? There’s an app for that! No, really! Introducing the Peanut app a safe space to meet like minded women going through the journey of fertility, pregnancy, and motherhood all from your phone! It’s a fantastic place where you can make genuine connections and find an app-full of other people awake during that 3am feed. You can also easily find those people by scrolling through any social media you already have, looking for other users who are wide awake at the same time as you! Even if you never actually make contact, simply knowing that other people are also going through the exact same thing in real time can do wonders for your mental health and to feel less alone.
If you do get chatting to someone you know to be local, why not suggest a lowkey meet up?
It’s never too late to make mum friends
Sometimes you genuinely just don’t click with people when your little ones are small. After all, just because you have a baby the same age doesn’t mean you’re bound to get on. The thing to take away is that it’s NEVER too late to make mum friends if you want to; there will always be new opportunities and scenarios to meet people. School is an obvious place to start with the vast majority of lasting friendships being made in the playground. With your babies growing up and being less dependent on you, their own personalities and interests will start to emerge. Making the most of those afterschool clubs or sports teams sidelines is always a sure fire way to finding people with similar values and interests to mum and dad!
Remember you also have your own interests
We want to shout this loud and proud: you were a person with hobbies, passions and interests before you started your family and that person still matters! Just because you now have a baby doesn’t mean you have to leave those interests behind. Mum’s still like to go to the gym, join sports teams, and book clubs etc etc. Getting out and about doing what you love will bring you into contact with new people who may or may not also be parents! Making connections based on a shared passion AND being a mum is one of the fastest ways to create a lasting friendship and when you’re bored of talking about sleep schedules, feeding, surviving temper tantrums (more on those, here) you’ll have genuine things in common to fall back on!