When I made the decision to stay home with my baby, the first thing my own mother told me was to make sure I found a supportive network of mom friends.
Staying home can be very lonely and isolating, and I soon realized just how important her advice was. Sure, I have a few friends who stay home, but they aren’t so local, and it’s hard to find times that are convenient for us all. I needed to think smaller – how was I going to spend my everyday life? I needed local mom friends. I made it a mission to find some, and I tell you – I’ve never been happier! And yes, we do more than just playdates!
Whether you stay home, work from home, or work outside of the home, it’s so important to have a good network who can support you and understand the joys and challenges that come with motherhood. I wasn’t even sure of where to start when I began my search, and I happened upon some of these places by accident. Of course, this isn’t a definitive list, but here are some places to make some awesome new mom friends!
I cannot say enough good things about this group. It has saved me. This club does amazing things, multiple times per week. My local chapter does: home playgroups, outings with the kids to different events/attractions, story times, holiday parties, community service events, potlucks, moms’ night out, etc. (Just to name a few!) The beauty of this group is you can attend events as much or as little as you want, and the events vary in meet-up times, so you can find or even create events to fit your schedule. Oh, and membership is only $15-30 a year depending on your chapter! Join your local MOMS Club – you won’t regret it!
Don’t let the name fool you, MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) caters to moms with kiddos from birth to kindergarten age, but there are even special groups for teen moms, moms with school-aged children (MOMSnext), and military moms. The groups are faith-based and convene at churches, but are welcoming to mothers from all faiths and walks of life. You can drink coffee, eat food, and visit with local moms for a couple of hours, a couple times a month! The coolest part? Childcare. Yes, MOPS meet-ups have childcare for your kiddos during their meetings (no extra cost after membership), so it’s a moms-only hang out! A little pricier than some clubs, but way cheaper than a babysitter! Caffeine and adult conversation? Yes, please!
Places of Worship
Piggy-backing on the MOPS group – check out your local places of worship, as many offer moms groups, book clubs, arts/crafts clubs, etc. to attend, even if you aren’t particularly religious. Most events and groups are free.
Download the app or check out the site! This free site can connect you with any kind of group under the sun! And when I say any kind of group, I mean it – think “active moms of babies born between such-and-such a date.” Can’t find a specific, local group that fits your needs? Start your own for as little as $10/month!
I love the library. Everything about it, really, but it got even better once I had a kid. Free story times that are age-specific (our branch doesn’t just read stories – we play with toys, sing songs, dance, blow bubbles), special music/movement/literary events, arts and crafts, family days, movie times – you can’t not meet new people! If you aren’t a fan of your local branch, branch out! So many offer cool seasonal activities or special child-friendly events. A perfect place to meet a mom friend, and free!
If you are a part of the babywearing movement, there are local chapters that convene and educate, support, and connect you to other babywearing mamas. Most of the events are free too!
Breastfeeding Support Groups
This is another one of my lifesavers! Not only was I looking for some help with nursing, I found an incredible group of women that I still hang out with today! We talked about more than just nursing, and we cheered each other on as our babies grew, gave hugs when we just needed to cry, and swapped advice about weaning, solids, and everything in between! When I was at my lowest, this group helped lift me back up. I found my group through my health insurance carrier, but there are groups everywhere – try La Leche League, the Mama’hood, or just Google to find something else local! Most group meetups are free.
Check with your insurance or a local hospital to see what kind of classes or groups they offer. I took a few classes before baby, and there are so many things to take part in afterward. Classes usually vary in price, but support groups are usually free.
The Mama’hood is a great resource for parents, and it’s not just a place to buy all the mama necessities! They also host many different classes (think parenting classes, book clubs, yoga, nutrition, sleeping), playgroups, and different fun and supportive groups for moms and dads (yes, dads need friends too – and some even have alcohol!). These classes were among some of our favorite holiday gift ideas, but they’re a great gift to give yourself! There are two locations – one in Denver and one in Boulder, and prices vary for events.
Baby and Me Classes
Want an easy way to find mom friends with similar interests! So many things to choose from! Google is your buddy for this one. Some ideas are: baby yoga, swim lessons (I found mine through my local parks & rec organization), sign language, gyms (local parks & rec or Gymboree are hotspots), music classes, etc. Pricing varies depending on the activity, but it’s such a fun way to watch your child grow and learn, and meet some new mom friends!
There are so many other resources out there, and the internet has made connecting with others a breeze. The hardest part (for me, at least) is just putting yourself out there to meet new people. Trust me, though – there are a ton of fantastic moms out there just waiting for a new friend like you!
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Great post Kate! Gotta look some of these up. I’m SO thankful for our ‘boob’ group! 🙂
I have made many mom friends through Hike it Baby! It is a free group with lots of events on the calendar- you don’t have to rsvp or anything so if you plan on going to a hike and it doesn’t work it is no big deal which is wonderful for those unpredictable naps or crabby days. I also like the variety of events- hikes, strolls, park and plays, toddler/kid-led walks. Plus it promotes that unstructured play and kids outdoors- can’t go wrong with that!