How do I connect with other mothers as a new mum?
When you first become a mother, your routine will naturally change to fit the habits and needs of your new family.
You may find yourself sleeping at unusual times, eating differently, and looking at the world through a new pair of eyes. While your friends, family, and partner will be there to help support you through this significant transition, you may feel yourself eager to expand your social circle. During this time of rapid change and growth in your life, it is natural to seek out the advice and friendship of women who share the experiences that you are currently going through as new mum.
However, in between the traditional mothers’ groups and the beginning of your little one’s time at school, it can be difficult for mums to find other mothers to connect with. This guide is intended to provide you with three simple tips to help you establish meaningful relationships with women who understand what you’re going through and who may be able to provide you with a consistent source of support and friendship during the early years of motherhood.
Before you begin to look for new friends among the mothers in your local community, it is important that you take the time to think about the type of relationships you would like to develop. What personal needs are you trying to satisfy by expanding your social circle? Some common reasons for choosing to connect with other mothers include:
- Improving the amount of social contact that you would like have on a regular basis by making friends with women who have similar, baby-oriented schedules
- Sharing your parenting questions and concerns with someone who has been in your position before
- Creating opportunities for your little one to interact with other children, playing with and learning from playmates who are at a similar age and stage of life
Each of these reasons, while equally valid, will direct you to a different type of relationship. Whether you are looking for a mother to socialise with, confide in, coordinate play-dates, or all of the above, it is important to identify what exactly it is that you’re looking for. This process will allow you to set realistic expectations for the type of friendships that you are looking for, and how you are willing to contribute to their eventual success.
After you have established a clearer picture of your social priorities, you can begin to join different groups and networks to find women who share your values and interests. If you’re looking for a friend to socialise with, you might consider attending an event or class that brings together mothers who like to play music, paint, or join recreational sports. If not, you may be able to connect with mothers in your local area through social media, where people from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences come together to discuss their questions and routines.
However, the process of seeking out these new contacts isn’t always going to happen overnight. While technology is making it easier for new mums to identify other women who have similar interests and schedules, you need to be willing to put yourself out there from time to time. Even if your participation in a new class, mothers’ group, or social media platform does not lead to the development of any life-long friendships, these experiences will allow you to socialise with other new mums in a safe and friendly environment.
Once you have made a conscious effort to join an organisation or network that brings together new mums with similar interests and experiences, the initial awkwardness of asking to arrange a play-date is removed. From this point on, it is much easier to connect with other mothers in your local area. Knowing that they are likely seeking the same source of comfort, entertainment, and support as you, you should feel confident that they will welcome your attempt to become closer friends.
However, the responsibility of connecting with other mothers does not need to rest on your shoulders. By arranging a play-date that provides your little one with the opportunity to build a personal attachment to the child of your new friend, you can help to solidify your relationship. The process is made easier when your children are close in age, expressing the same needs at similar points throughout the day. The existence of personal compatibility between parents and children will help to ensure that your friendships endure through the many ups and downs that motherhood brings over the course of your life.
Note: The views and advice expressed on this blog post are those of the author and are not representative of the Pregnancy Babies & Children's Expo.