“It takes a village to raise a child.” I’ll honestly never get tired of the quote. As I’ve learned throughout the many transitions of motherhood, it’s so important to find your mom community of other women you can count on to share your wins, losses, highs, and lows. Of course, it’s not always easy to ask for help because we all know that the support a new mom needs is endless, but you mustn’t be afraid to reach out—your mom community will be an essential lifeline through it all. Whether your kids are heading to school for the first time, you have a new teenager on your hands, or your firstborn is heading off to college, all of these moments can seem overwhelming and exciting, and there’s nothing more rewarding than having a community to share in the journey with.
I know firsthand that finding a community of friends can be incredibly daunting, no matter what age you are. When you’re a mother that task becomes 10 times harder because your time is so limited. As we all know, life is full of planned and unexpected changes and now we have the added barrier of social distancing. Plus, in today’s modern world we’re all busy with work, partners, and family that it can be hard to find time for friends.
That said, there are tons of different ways and places to find your mom community. There’s nothing like advice and experience shared by a mom you know and trust. Today I’ll be sharing with you some tips and tricks I’ve used in building my own mom community. I hope they help you to find yours too, no matter what stage of motherhood you’re at.
Keep it real
The first step in making a new friend is to decipher where you might actually meet them. This is where your existing social network comes into play—whether it be a friend, co-worker, or distant relative. We already have blind romantic dates, so why not a blind friendship one?
In order to find your mom community, one thing is certain; you have to be willing to own who you are, be vulnerable and put your true self out there.
So many people get nervous and overdo it trying to impress others. But in all honesty, people can feel when you’re not being yourself and that makes it hard to genuinely connect! If you are an A-type clean freak or an Instagram curated mom, awesome! I promise your village is out there. If you are a messy, artsy, mom own that too, again, I promise your community is out there. The point is it doesn’t matter who you are and how you parent, you have to own it to truly connect.
Make the first move
Okay, I know putting yourself out there is scary, like really scary. But if you’re struggling to find that mom community, it’s likely that another mom you know is too! I suggest you ask that mom on your block that you pass every day with your strollers to join you for a walk. If you end up at a coffee shop or playground with your little ones, even better. You could also introduce yourself at school pick up or drop off. There is a multitude of places where the mom community vibe just kind of happens, and by putting yourself out there, you open up the lines of communication to find your own.
If all of this seems like too much, ask people you know to set you up. Just like a first date, you may have friends who have other friends that are in the same realm of parenting as you. It isn’t often you and your besties all have babies at the same time, so it makes sense you would need to expand your circle to include moms at the same stage as you.
Apps can help, too
Did you know Bumble has a secondary platform called Bumble BFF? Their whole mantra is “make the first move” and I couldn’t agree more. Whether you’re new to a city or looking to expand your social circle, Bumble BFF is a simplified way to create meaningful friendships.
Peanut is another great app for women throughout all stages of motherhood. Launched by Michelle Kennedy in 2017, Peanut provides a safe space for mothers, expectant mothers, and those trying to conceive to build friendships, ask questions and find support. You’ll gain access to a community of women who are there to listen, share information, and offer valuable advice.
If you’re craving instant human connection these days, you’re not alone. Meetup is a great option as you can niche exactly where you are and what you want the meet-up to entail. Because I’m in LA, I just searched LA mom meet-up and got 20+ groups to choose from all within a 25-mile radius from me.
Membership-based platforms like HeyMama are also another great option for moms. They’re focused on supporting the working mamas, providing support, connection, and collaboration at every stage of life and career.
Mysha is the mom group reimagined, with the modern mom in mind. They have a system of “virtual pods” that group like-minded moms together by their baby’s age, location, and even single mamas. The purpose of each pod is to share vetted resources, information, and support during the often vulnerable transition into motherhood. Mysha pods help to facilitate deep connections, new friendships, and expanded networks that continue to provide support and opportunities beyond the postpartum phase. They are also great spots to build your mom community. I’ve made great connections in both groups, from friends to recommendations and even legal advice!
Move past the fear
The truth is life is richer when you share it with others. I’m currently in about five mom/baby groups and I find something rewarding about each and every one of them. I’ve also had the great fortune of using my Instagram to make real friendships with the people I get to engage with. If you feel intimidated I get it but once you leap past the fear, a life-changing community is on the other side. And it’s totally worth it!