Are you a new mom or have you relocated with your family to the area? How do mommies make new friends? If you have an infant or your toddler isn’t in nursery school or you don’t have the ability to pay for a playgroup or a music class, the opportunities to meet other mothers aren’t available to most. Here are my personal reasons for why I joined a local moms group:
- I’m a Westchester transplant
My husband and I moved here several years ago from the city and my main way of creating relationships was through my job. That all ended when I made the decision to leave my non-profit job to stay home with my daughter. At this new stage of my life, I couldn’t figure out how one makes new friends in a new town without having regular adult interactions.
- I am shy (at first)
When my winter-baby was three months old, I finally got out of the house to someplace other than Target and popped open the stroller to visit a local playground. I strolled past other mothers who were chatting in small groups and I was desperately trying to make eye contact. What did I think? They were going to say “Hey you, new mom! Come and join us!” When my baby began stirring telling me she was ready to nurse, I sat down at the end of one of the picnic tables inhabited by these mothers and one actually leaned over to me and said “Sorry, but we’re expecting some more people.” Mortified and discouraged, I dragged myself and the stroller across to the soccer field to nurse my screaming baby on the bleachers. True story.
- How do you exactly ask for a “mom” date?
After finally getting comfortable in my (extra) skin, my daughter and I started getting out more. I chatted here and there with moms at the library, the playground and other local mom hangouts (did I hear someone say Target?) but how does one ask another for a “mom” date? I could just hear my dorky self saying “Sooooo, we really hit it off, huh? Want to meet for a cup of coffee? Wednesday, 10:00am work for you? Your place or mine?” Just felt too awkward for me.
- Needed to find a safe way to meet people
Living in NYC for more than a decade taught me to look down at my shoes in an elevator, avoid eye contact on the subway and under no condition, never ever speak to your neighbors. Taping an anonymous note to their door telling them to shut their loud music off after 3am is sufficient enough communication. Anyways, moved to Westchester, no longer have a job outside of the home and I have my precious little one to protect but I want to make friends. A friend told me about Meetup.com and I entered my zip code and found a few moms groups in my area. Hesitant at first, I finally decided to join one who screens their prospective members. I'm elated to say it was definitely the right way for me to navigate this unfamiliar road to meeting people as a new mom who’s new in town.
- Twitter stalking is fun but it’s not going to get you out of the house
I enjoy being part of the local mom community. There are plenty of on-line social networking sites for moms but I desired a real local face-to-face connection. There are several moms groups out there but you need to find the right group for you, your lifestyle and your child’s needs. Seems silly to say but you need to participate in events in order to meet people and form and foster relationships. I can understand how it would be intimidating for a new member at first but going to an event and meeting up with other moms who are specifically there to meet each other makes it easier.
All that being said, mom2mom of northern westchester has provided me the opportunity to connect with many local moms that I probably wouldn’t have met elsewhere. We are a melting pot of women from different religious, social, political, educational and environmental backgrounds who share one common bond – the incredible, unconditional love for our babies. Our children are happily growing and learning together and newborn siblings are arriving. Each month we meet new members and their amazing children. We are Stay-At-Home and Working mothers out doing kid-friendly activities together and meeting up after bedtime for mom-friendly activities. Our partners have also formed friendships with each other and regularly enjoy Dad nights out. But mostly we are mothers offering strength and a bit of sanity for each other. I am lucky to have met the wonderful women of mom2mom. Being in a moms group has enhanced my experience of motherhood by just knowing I’m not alone. Sure, I could share my triumphs and tragedies anonymously on Twitter. But having a mom-friend to share a cup of coffee with or a supportive hug when you need it most makes all the difference to me.