Motherhood can be rather isolating at times. In the early months when you are first adjusting to your new identity as a mom (and particularly when your little one is sleeping in spurts and eating around the clock), it is easy to feel alone and lost. I recall during the early days after Sassafras was born, I felt most alone in the wee hours of the night. I wondered when I would fall into step and feel comfortable in my new skin as a mother. Surely I was not the only first-time mom who felt this way . . . right? I found myself desperate to talk to someone, just about anyone, who had children and could reassure me that this motherhood gig was pretty fantastic after all.
The beauty of it all is that every mom has been there. While motherhood can be isolating, motherhood can also bring people together with ease. Becoming a mother is like entering into a sisterhood of women who have experienced their fair share of torturous hazing rituals which include (and are not limited to) episiotomies, bloody nipples, 20+ hours of labor, insomnia/sleep deprivation, 9 months of vomiting, colic, being pooped/peed/vomited on, etc. Strangers share and swap stories about sore leaky boobs or diaper rashes, and all of a sudden there is a connection. Beautiful, isn’t it?
I am lucky to have a number of long-time friends with kids around Aliya’s age nearby, but I also love meeting new moms and making connections. I will share a couple of tips/resources that have worked wonderfully for me:
- The Internet – can be a wonderful way to connect with other moms! Hellobee is one example of many fantastic parenting resources out there. Hellobee, as well as other sites like The Bump and Babycenter, host message boards for the community, and some have birth club forums you can join to dialogue with other moms who are due in the same month as you. I met a fantastic group of supportive moms through my birth club, and two years later we still regularly check in with one another, ask questions, and share milestones/victories. Other sites, like meetup.com, may be another way to meet other moms in your area.
- Church / religious organizations – Another avenue by which I have met new moms is through church. Many parents (with young children) attend the earlier Sunday morning service since it fits in quite well with nap times! One Sunday, I happened to be sitting next a couple with a baby about the same age as ours, and the next thing you know we are talking about maternity leave, teething, beginning solid foods, etc. There was an easy, natural connection, and now we have become good friends. Many churches also facilitate groups/meetings specifically for moms to meet, connect, and journey together.
- Local park / indoor play area / community (swim/music/art) classes – If you have a neighborhood park nearby, you often see the same parents and children come out to play at roughly the same times each day. My mom watches Sassafras during the day and takes her to the park in the mornings; when I started taking her more regularly in the evenings after work, I was surprised by how many other parents and kids knew my girl! I have gotten to know a few of their names and children as well, and it is nice to see familiar friendly faces at the park every day.
Sometimes your child may make friends for you, and making mommy friends may be easier than you think! Many moms are seeking to connect with other moms; we all need help, encouragement, and support along this journey.
Do you have any tips to share? What avenues/resources have you found to be helpful in meeting and connecting with other moms?