Making new friends can be hard/challenging/fun/difficult/awkward/exciting. Insert pretty much any emotion and it works. After writing this post about maintaining friendships in motherhood, I wanted to talk more about the topic of meeting new friends. I asked some friends of mine to share their thoughts and tips on making friends and asked on my Instagram stories to get feedback. I put together a list of the most popular responses along with my own thoughts, I think it’s a great list to help give you some ideas to get started. Not all of these suggestions will work for everyone. We all have different personalities and some of us are quieter than others. If I had to give one piece of advice it would be to remain open. As long as you remain open to new experiences and people, you will be surprised at the ways you might meet friends.
“It seems like in every previous life stage making friends was pretty effortless. First school then college with roommates and then work with coworkers - friends basically came built into those experiences. Making new friends as a mom was really challenging for me. I remember feeling especially lonely during those first few months. Storytime at the library was the first place I tried to meet new mom friends but quickly found most of the kids were there with their nannies - I’ve made some fun nanny friends at the library, but I’ve met most of my mom friends at classes or meetups: mama/baby developmental classes at Baby & Co, music classes, tinkergarten, mama/baby yoga, and La Leche league. Most of these classes require a small fee and maybe because of that everyone is engaged (not playing on their phones), plus with classes like this, everyone introduces themselves so that helps break the ice.” - Grace Keys
“I am an organic friend type of person. When I meet someone, I find myself asking them questions to get a feel for who they are, some common ground we might have, their values. When I was young, I had countless friendships. My parents always laughed because I could make friends so easily - I think I genuinely liked almost everyone! When I moved out at 18, I made a ton of friends that helped me through those early adult years in a new place. But now that I’ve got a family of my own and running my own businesses, I like to invest in my friends that are already a part of my life and slowly and organically create new friendships that truly click. Usually, these people don’t come at random. They come at places where we’re similar people searching out similar things - whether creatively, spiritually, or something else. These days I find myself a bit more picky about who I choose to spend my time with, since time feels so limited, but feel lucky when I make a new friend who resonates at this phase of life.” - Christina Hussey
“The fear of the unknown has kept me from experiencing many parts of life, including, but not limited to, meeting new people. Even a simple request to “hang out sometime” sends me into a spiral of what-ifs. Much of my experience with motherhood has been that as well. I am afraid of what I don’t know. I’m always wondering if I’m doing a good job, is she’s eating enough, or if I’m going to get any sleep tonight. What I do know is that having friendships with other humans is extremely valuable. It would be too difficult to parent without a support group. I am so fortunate to have made friends with other brilliant parents through work, my family, and even through the internet. The bond of a shared experience such as becoming a mother is like nothing else I’ve felt so far.” - Megan Forbes
“Be open to invitations even when you feel your plate is full or even if it doesn’t sound like your ideal kind of hang out. It is impossible to meet new people if you don’t try new things! One night, I agreed to attend a local motherhood event where I knew some friends and acquaintances would be attending- something I typically avoided as I’d personally rather just spend time with those friends when I finally (!!) make it out. Also, I feel so much more authentic/like myself in small settings. But! Being open to the idea and trying something new will not only develop your already established friendships, but you may even end up meeting some other really cool people! That night out brought me out of my comfort zone, but it was fun to mix up typical hangouts with friends, and it introduced me to some other really great moms!” - Bailey Zimmel
“Making friends as a mom, in a way, has been easier for me than it was before I had kids. When I'm out with my kids at a playground or waiting for storytime to start, I find that it's pretty easy to talk to other moms. I often encourage my own children to say hi to others, so really, I should be doing the same! I feel like I have an immediate connection with other moms because I know we experience the exact same things to some extent. Our stories are all different, but we have all had the infant who isn't sleeping well, the teething toddler, the melting down two-year-old, or the three-year-old who says something super embarrassing in front of other people. We have all been covered in poop, spit-up, and drool. We are all tired, and we are all feeling all the feels about these little people we love so much. So for me, when I meet another mom, I sort of throw it all out there. I try not to act like I have it all together, because I don't, and I know none of us really do! I usually tell too much information about myself (I'm an open book), and I really try to ask questions to make connections with them. Even if I never see the person again, it's nice to have a friendly conversation. If I feel like there is a mutual interest in friendship, I'll say something like, "If you ever want to get our kids together at the park or go on a walk sometime, let me know!" It's nice to mom together and to have such a strong community of other moms surrounding me who are just a text message away.” - Allison Parker
Places to Meet New Friends
Through other people - this can be a great and easy way to meet new people. I have met some very close friends of mine through other friends that I already had, plus it can be really fun to hang out in groups and have a circle of close friends that all talk and know each other.
Work - I have had a lot of jobs over the years and met some really amazing people through them. As a matter of fact, one of my very best friends is someone I met through work nearly ten years ago. We weren’t mothers at the time but we both are now and I don’t know where I would be without her.
Through your kids - one of the most popular responses by far - playgrounds, your kid's school, mommy and me activities, etc. These are obviously great places to meet other mothers and connect over common ground - being a mom!
Groups - motherhood groups, meetups, apps - all are great ways to meet new people. I’ll be honest, mother groups have never been my thing. I can remember my therapist encouraging me to give them a try when I was a new mom and I would cringe at the idea. Since then I’ve realized it’s more about finding the right group. I’ve recently found a mom's group here in Charlotte and I really enjoy going to their meetups. So if you haven’t found the right group, don’t give up!
Online - given the day and age we are living in it’s no surprise to find this one on here. It might feel a little strange but Instagram and blogs can be a fun way to connect with people. Before moving to Charlotte six years ago I started following local blogs in the area. There was one in particular I loved, a food blog, and when I moved here I emailed Grace and asked if she would ever be willing to grab a coffee and explained how I was new to the area. We’ve been friends ever since.
Random - I agree with everything Christina said earlier about making friends organically. I am really open to meeting friends anywhere, in any type of situation and if I meet someone that I feel a connection with I will usually ask them to coffee sometime. Two of my closest friends in Charlotte are my son's speech therapist and my chiropractor, both incredible women that I knew instantly I could be friends with. This ties back into what I said earlier about always being open.