When you become a mum, especially if you’re the first in your group of friends to become a mum, it can be quite isolating being thrown in on your own into the deep end of one of the toughest gigs of your life. You may find that some old friendships will grow further apart whilst some will grow much closer, but regardless of the support that you have there will always be those lingering feelings of loneliness and a yearning to speak with somebody who can directly relate to what you’re going through because sometimes those close to us just don’t understand. If there is one thing that I would recommend to combat loneliness, it is to join as many mums groups as you can and to surround yourself with like-minded people who are going through the exact same experience. It’s actually really nice to have someone to chat to when you’re in the midst of a 6 hour long cluster feed or to have a place to get immediate advice when baby is unsettled – even if it’s 2am you will still receive atleast 20 replies because it’s safe to say that most new mums won’t be getting much sleep either lol! Or some days it’s just nice to grab a coffee with another local mum to gain some sense of normality back into your what is now your chaotic life.
Loneliness isn’t just confined to first-time-mums either. There may even be second, third and fourth time mums or even mums that have relocated to a new city that really struggle with these feelings too. We all know how hard it is to make friends in general, but then you throw in adulthood and kids into the mix and things just got reeeeaaaal complicated. But you know what, finding new mum friends doesn’t have to be complicated at all. In this day and age there are tons of innovative ways to meet new mums and the options are endless, it’s just a matter of putting yourself out there. You won’t necessarily hit it off with every single mum that you meet, so just remember to go into it with an open mind because one day you will eventually find your tribe. 🙂
Your search to finding new mum friends doesn’t have to begin once you give birth to your baby too. Your search can literally start the day you find out that you’re pregnant or it can even start whilst you are trying to conceive! During pregnancy your body is going through so many different changes and sometimes those changes can be extremely frightening. Lots of questions and sometimes very personal questions need to be answered IMMEDIATELY… “Why am I bleeding after sex? Is this too much discharge? Have I lost my waters? I’m bleeding, am I experiencing a potential miscarriage? Why do I feel sad? Why do I feel disconnected to my baby? How do I remove a stuck poo? Is this pain in my stomach normal? I don’t have pregnancy symptoms, does anybody else not feel pregnant?” Ya know, with all the hormones rushing through our bodies our worries and anxieties become heightened and sometimes we’re not always open to expressing these personal thoughts and feelings with our gp’s. I know for a fact that I am way more comfortable sharing personal questions with other mums rather than my gp (remember if in doubt, always consult your gp!), so for me thats why mums groups are really handy.
Moving on from my schpeel, here are my top tips to finding new mum friends:
- Find an online pregnancy forum to anonymously chat with other mums. There are tons out there, but the ones that I have used are Babycentre.com.au (for Australian mums) and Ohbaby.co.nz (for New Zealand mums). If you are due in November, then there should be a chat group that you can join named something along the lines of ‘Due in November 2018’. If there isn’t, then go ahead and create one. 🙂 Usually at some point somebody will create a private facebook group and the existing group and any new members to the forum will move over to fb. Sometimes the admin close the groups early so that they don’t get too big so you have to get in quick!
- Find a facebook group. Alternatively you can search in the facebook search bar for a ‘Due in November 2018’ or ‘Multiple Mums Australia’ group. Seriously, joining my facebook groups are the best thing I ever did for my sanity! 🙂 I have met up with some of the mums in my facebook groups for catchups and I am still in contact with them today – such beautiful and generous people.
- Download the Mush App. This app was created by two mums who wanted to make a free online space where mums could go to make friends with other mums living nearby. I like to compare it to tinder because it really is quite similar to a dating app…but for mums ONLY! So basically you have your own profile where you describe a bit about yourself, your children and your personal hobbies and this information is open for all of the other users to see. You can then search for other mums living nearby and you can also filter by location so you’re not venturing too far from home. Once you find a mum that you share a common interest with, you can then send them a private message to meet up and its really up to the both of you to maintain the friendship or not. I have met some wonderful mums and just downright cool genuine people using Mush and I highly recommend!
- Join your local Mothers Group. If you are a first time mum you are usually assigned to a Mothers Group by your midwife through your local council, however this may vary depending on your location. A regular meetup is scheduled to discuss common issues such as sleep routines, safe sleeping guidelines or feeding issues and after a few months the sessions will come to an end. The point of these mothers groups is to obviously help new mums find their feet, but they’re also used to introduce new mums to other new mums in the area. I found that attending these sessions helped me build my confidence up to comfortably leaving the house with a newborn, interacting with other people whilst dealing with a crying baby and they also gave me an overall boost in well-being having something in my day to focus on (aside from a baby ofcorse!). The women in your mothers group may come from all different walks of life, but the one common interest that you all have are your babies and sometimes that is all you need because you’re all going through the same crazy rollercoaster of adjusting to being a new mum. Thankfully I was assigned a fantastic group of women and we have a whatsapp convo to plan local catchups for coffee (or wine!) with our everg-rowing bubbas. Now that we’re all working they are few and far in between, but it is always good to know that we have support closeby if we need it.
- Go to a mums & bubs fitness class. Nowadays there are tons of different fitness activities that you can do with your baby such as Kangatraining, Yoga Mums & Bubs, The Hiit Factory gym, swimming classes or you could even join a free local walking group.
- Go to Rhymetime at the library. Rhymetime (or similar) is held at your local library and is a 30 minute session of sing-a-longs, reading and interactive play. It is a great way to catch up with your mothers group and to meet other new mums that live locally. Plus it is the perfect excuse to get out of the house for some much needed adult conversation…and coffee!
- Take your baby to a baby gym activity class. There are many different classes that help promote healthy learning and development through sensory stimulation and movement. A popular class amongst parents is GymbaROO and it is a great way to meet mums, particularly local mums who have children of the same age.
- Go to a local playgroup. In my suburb we have playgroups at the nearby school or churches which are either free or have a gold coin donation. Contact your local council for more information.
- Put yourself out there. I know it is easier said then done, but the only way that you’re going to meet new people is by putting yourself out there. If you’re on the shy side, at times you might feel vulnerable and a little nervous and that’s okay. Just remember that at the end of the day you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. 🙂
Let me know in the comments if these tips helped. x