9 Tips for Making Mom Friends

Got mom friends? New parents often need new friends: parent friends. Keeping your old friends can be hard enough. Parents find themselves stuck between fun nights out and staying in to care for their kids. Not only that, but parents like having friends who have something in common. Who else really understands the joys and difficulties of being a parent? Read on to learn where to find mom friends and how to keep them.

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By Grace Montgomery

There’s nothing better than a mom friend. Who else will really want to hear about your baby’s latest blowout or overlook that spit-up down your back? A fellow mama will simply hand you a tissue and continue the conversation. But how do you find other parents? And once you find them, how do you sort the potential lifelong pals from the mommy mean girls? Here are nine tips to help you find kindred spirits in the parenting sphere.

Go to the Library

A great place to meet other moms and dads is the public library, many of which host storytimes for kids of all ages. “Many of the events are broken down into age ranges so you know your child will meet other kids the same age,” says stay-at-home dad Mark Blasco. “And best of all, they're free!”

Try Non-traditional Venues

If storytime isn’t your cup of tea, many children’s stores host or have information about local “mommy and me” events, such as yoga, midday movies or activities at the park. And your gym’s childcare, play areas at restaurants and the grocery store line are all places you’re likely to run into other moms—just listen for a babbling baby or whining preschoolers.

Go Online

Regional mommy blogs can point you toward local events, such as nature days at local parks. Websites such as Meetup.com and Bigtent.com offer online parent groups for specific cities and needs, such as working parents or breastfeeding moms. Thousands of chat boards exist for every type of mom in every situation. If meeting other moms face-to-face makes you wary, an online community can be a great place to start.

Be Brave

Make the first move. If you see a mom with a screaming baby in the grocery store line, don’t be shy about giving her a sympathetic smile and saying hello. Remember, she’s probably looking for some mom friends, too.

Have Something to Say

Make it easier on yourself and prepare something to say ahead of time. Something as simple as “How old is your kid?” or “How do you like being a mom here?” can break the ice. Just get the conversation started.

Prioritize “Mom Time”

Whether it’s a science fair project or a ride to soccer practice, your kid will always demand your time—so it’s critical to pencil in time for yourself, and stick to it. Friendships require effort away from kids to establish a lasting bond. Denise Cortes, who writes about raising her six kids on her blog Pearmama, agrees. “Make sure your friendship isn't centered around your kids only,” she says. “The minute your kids grow apart, so will your friendship.”

Be Yourself

Don’t worry if you went out in your yoga pants again or whether you brushed your hair this morning. Most moms are in the same boat and are just as self-conscious as you are. “Be genuine,” Cortes urges.

Follow Through

As you well know, moms are busy, so don’t be offended if your new friend doesn’t return your text right away. Be patient and know that once you have children, friendships may be less spontaneous than in your earlier, kid-free days. But “don’t be pushy,” Cortes says. “People make friends in different stages.” Give your friendship time to grow.

Be a Good Friend

Once you’ve made a mommy friend you’d like to keep, focus on helping her however you can. Give support and an open ear, offer favors like carpooling with the kids, or give an occasional gift like cookies or fruit from your garden. You get what you give!

Approaching a potential new friend may feel like a first date—uncomfortable and a little scary. But isn’t it worth one awkward moment for a friendship that can last a lifetime?

Finding great gal pals can make parenting much more fun—but what about the moms who never grew out of catty high school behavior? Find out how to handle the mean moms here.

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