One of the hardest things I ever had to do as a military spouse was move to a new city halfway though my pregnancy. I was nauseous as I tried to set up my new home, I had to find a new midwifery group, and I had to start over. I had one friend in the area, Christy, who helped me navigate all of this and even helped me find a new midwifery group. Without her, I would have been completely alone. One of my friends from Hawaii also introduced me to her sister who lives here. I was so grateful to have them here. But I also knew that it would not be fair of me to expect these two people to be my only friends in the area. I set out, somewhat aggressively, to make more friends and to make DC home.
I’ve only been in the Washington, DC area for a year in a half, but when I look back and think about the friends and community I’ve built here in such a short time, they are mostly because of M.
Being a new mom can be incredibly isolating. But there are also a lot of groups, resources, and activities out there geared specifically for new moms. Having a newborn or being pregnant is almost an immediate bond.
In this post, I am going to share with you some ideas for making friends as a new mom. I am keeping in mind that during covid, it’s going to be extra hard to meet people. And frankly, who wants to invite new people into your germ bubble while you are pregnant or have a newborn? I know that it is extra hard to make friends right now.
There really are a lot of resources out there for brand new moms. If you are looking to meet people who are in the same boat as you, I have some ideas that might work during covid. I can’t say for sure because I had my baby before covid started. But maybe you can meet up in a socially distant way, or maybe you can support each other virtually. Or maybe you are newly pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant, in which case, hopefully, things will be better by the time you have your baby.
I took a birth class called The Bradley Method. It was a 12-week class. Every week, for three months, Nick and I dragged ourselves from the Navy Yard to Rockville, Maryland, to met with 5 other couples and our instructor, Rachel, at Family Ways. On the first day of our class, Rachel flat-out told us that we should become friends because we could be each other’s support systems.
There was one couple that Nick and I really clicked with. Once we had our babies, we started hanging out. I went on my first solo outing with M to meet her at a breastfeeding support group. You may be able to find a birth class meeting virtually.
I got so much support and just practice getting out with M at the breastfeeding support group I went to. You can show up a hot mess and everyone else gets it. There are women with babies the exact same age as yours.
With covid it might be hard to find an in-person support group, but you may be able to find virtual ones. The one I attended is now virtual. You might be able to click with someone virtually!
I wrote an entire post about this last week, which you can read here. The mom’s group I joined is now hosting virtual sessions, which could be an amazing way to make some new friends. If you can find something like this in your area, please please do not hesitate to sign up.
The mom’s group that I went to also had a virtual component, way before covid hit. After our first in-person meeting, we set up a group chat on WhatsApp. The WhatsApp group has been the most amazing thing because we can ask questions and share tips and advice whenever we need to. It’s such a great feeling to know that we are all in this together, going through the same things together.
Peanut is an app that connects pregnant women and moms. It’s like a dating app, but to make mom friends! Before I even got to DC, I got on the app and started talking to other pregnant women. I went on two friend dates while I was pregnant, and even though they didn’t pan out into friendships, I think that you definitely could meet some awesome people through it.
I met one girl for pizza a few days before her due date. I thought we really clicked, and she told me she would reach out once she had her baby and was up for going on a walk. I never heard anything back from her. I’m not sure if she just didn’t feel a connection to me or if she just wasn’t interested in hanging out once she had her baby or if she just forgot. The other person I met for coffee, we didn’t really click, and just never made any plans to hang out after that. Once I had my mom’s group, I didn’t really feel like I needed the app anymore, but I feel like this could be a really great way to meet people.
I think that if I were to go on Peanut now, I’d put in my profile what I was comfortable with during covid. Maybe you’re up for meeting in a park 6 feet apart, or maybe you really just need someone to text with. I found texting with a few people I met on the app really helpful because it’s just nice to talk to someone going through the exact same thing as you.
Before I left the hospital, my midwife told me that my hospital offered a support group for new moms. The hospital was pretty far from my house, so I never went, but there may be something virtual that your hospital is offering.
I had every intention to sign up for Stroller Strides, a nation-wide organization that hosts group workouts. You guessed it, you do these workshops with your little one in the stroller right next to you. Pretty genius!
Because of my broken tailbone, I never got to join. I went on their website and it looks like some locations are offering virtual workouts, some are offering in-person socially distant workouts. Check them out!
For the month I lived in Maryland before covid began, the highlights of my week were taking M to the library for story time and to mommy and me yoga. There were definitely people I thought I could become friends with at both, but unfortunately covid hit before I really got to know them or get their numbers. One week I was going to all of these things, then all of a sudden I decided to stop a couple of weeks before lockdown started.
How have you made your mom friends?