Moms need other moms. Without a network of mom friends, we get critical information about motherhood a little too late.
When, four weeks after giving birth to Julian, I confided to my friend Julie that I was still wearing maternity clothes, she said I would be wearing them for three or four months after the baby was born. Well how was I supposed to know that? I thought there was something wrong with me because I left the hospital looking seven months pregnant, and the weight didn’t “melt away” from breastfeeding around the clock for four weeks.
Later that week, through a new mother’s support group in Berkeley, I met nine other women who had babies within six weeks of me, and they became my lifeline. Although as reader Cheryl wrote on our Facebook page, “Just because someone else is a mom does not necessarily mean they would make a good friend,” finding even one or two people who are sharing your experience is a worthwhile investment.
So, how do you find these new best friends? (No pressure!)
Here are ten places where new moms can meet other moms.
Meet Up is an excellent resource, and Heather posted about it last week. Those not brave enough to start their own will likely find an existing group by searching for “moms” and the name of their town.
Mom and Baby yoga classes involve less yoga than your average fitness class and more introductions with other students. Since taking yoga with Scarlett years ago, I’ve seen the moms from that class over time as our kids have grown into camps and classes and have enjoyed telling the kids that they took yoga together in diapers.
La Leche League meetings are designed to support breastfeeding moms and offer a mom network. Like any organization, the vibe may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Use their interactive map to find a group that meets near you.
Babywearing is another theme that moms meet around. Search the web for your area and the word “Babywearing”. Babywearing International has chapters in about 50 locations and a Babywearing educator will be present at meetings to help you get comfortable with your soft carrier.
Fit4Mom and Baby Bootcamp classes are heart-pumping workouts during which moms push babies in strollers. I’m a fan of working out with baby, and even if I wasn’t confident enough to swap phone numbers with any of the women in the classes I took, I saw them around town during our maternity leaves and it was nice to have some familiarity with my peer group.
At the public library you’ll find that a schedule of weekly baby-friendly circle times attracts bigger babies and toddlers. It’s free and you don’t have to talk, so if you’re shy, this might be a good Rookie Mom challenge to which to commit yourself. Just try to smile at the other moms and go back the next week.
MOPS is a faith-based mom’s group organization with literally thousands of chapters. Focused on moms of preschool aged children, there is a structured mentor system in place, guest speakers, crafts, and more. Find a chapter near you on this page, but first make sure your values align with MOPS because they’re pretty specific.
MOMS Club is another multi-chapter organization. Designed for at-home mothers, the meetings take place on weekdays and welcome moms of all backgrounds and ages of children. Find a chapter on this page. Note that I have not had personal contact with this organization.
Little Gym and other classes for babies that meet weekly. Sign up for a session and interact with the same folks week after week. Familiarity helps break the ice. Little Gym, whose classes start at 4 months, has a location-finder on this page. My Gym, a similar franchise, has a class called Little Bundles that goes from 4 weeks to 6 months.
Expectant moms organizations. ClubMomMe and the Bump Club were both founded to help brand-new moms make new mom friends. We love it! They host expectant mom dinners, guest speakers, and other social events. Find them in major metro areas, catering to the sophisticated city mom.
If you’ve already scored mom friends outside of your existing friends circle, we’re curious: Where did you meet? LIKE this post if you met at one of the places on this list!