Keen to meet new mum friends? It’s a great way to expand your social circle, create your ‘village’, and feel supported by other mums who are on the same wild ride that is early parenthood.
But meeting other mums near you isn’t always easy – especially when you’re running on a few hours sleep, or when leaving the house with a newborn can feel impossible!
Here’s how to meet new mum friends near you (and survive the early years of motherhood!)
1. Join a local mums group. Search for “Local mums and bubs groups” or “Mothers group near me” in Google. Or find local mums groups or parenting groups in Facebook Groups. Even if you don’t feel like attending in-person mothers group events, online groups can be a wealth of info and support.
2. Try a new parenting / baby class or activity like mum and bub yoga, music activities, story-time at your local library, or parent and baby swim lessons. These are often advertised through your local council, so check their website or social media pages.
3. When was the last time you visited your local gardens or nearby playground? You’re bound to find other mums and dads there too. Don’t be shy – they’ll be just as keen to meet other parents and enjoy some adult conversation as you!
4. Volunteering can be a wonderful way to meet new, community-minded mums in your area, especially events or activities that cater to mums and bubs. This could include events at local schools, fetes, markets, or charity events.
5. Host your own mama meetup or a mums and bubs group playdate. Invite a few mum friends, and suggest they invite another mum too. You don’t have to have people in your home; meet other mothers at a local café, park, or play centre.
6. Go online. This is the easiest way to meet mums or access mothers groups near you – especially when you’ve had little sleep, you’re surviving on caffeine, and you’re still wearing yesterday’s outfit!
(We may be biased, but we think Mama Tribe offers the best face-to-face and online support. Join free, here: https://www.mamatribe.com.au/jointhetribe/)
Of course, there are many mental and emotional benefits of meeting mums and bubs near you.
Benefits of making new mum friends for you
1. Making new friends during early parenthood can help reduce loneliness and isolation. This is critical when motherhood is spreading us thin! Having a social network of like minded mums – and an occasional shoulder to cry on – can help us feel connected, emotionally supported, and reduce the risk of depression and anxiety.
2. Give your confidence and self-esteem as a new mum a boost. When we can share the challenges and joys of motherhood, we feel seen, heard and understood. A good conversation with another mum who ‘gets it’ can be the boost we need to get us through the tough days.
3. Get a dopamine hit! Socialising with like minded mama friends releases endorphins like dopamine and oxytocin that boost our mood and overall wellbeing. This is especially true when you throw in a good belly laugh –
4. Reduce stress and improve your coping skills – even on those hard days. Having a small but mighty group of mums in your corner means you can access advice, practical help, or even just a virtual ear to vent to. Social activities can help you set the reset button, and face-to-face conversation can give you the perspective that you need.
5. Increase your mama-knowledge and know-how. Best place to pick up a bargain for babies? Fun and free kids activities? Tips to settle your newborn baby? Meeting new local mum friends means learning about the what, where, why, how and who of motherhood.
Better still, meeting new mums near you or joining a local mothers group can have benefits for your baby too!
Benefits of mothers groups for your baby
1. Social and emotional development. Giving your baby or young child a chance to watch, imitate, and interact with others can enhance their social and emotional development. (It can also mean they have a great nap post-socialising!)
2. Communication. Being around other mums and babies, and hearing different voices and tones can stimulate your baby’s language development. NB. I can’t guarantee this means your bub will say, “Mum-mum-mum-mum” before they say, “Dad-dad-dad-dad”!
3. Cognitive stimulation. Letting your baby explore new environments with new people exposes them to stimuli, ideas, challenges and perspectives – all good things for their grwoing brains and their cognitive stimulation.
4. Promote development of baby’s motor skills. Interacting with others lets your child engage in physical play and movement. This is a great opportunity for them to watch or imitate other babies crawling, walking, playing, or using objects in different ways.
5. Self-confidence and social skills. Your baby may form early friendships through play or shared experiences, boost their self-confidence and improve their social skills – much like you benefit from these things too!
Remember mama, forming new friendships and building your support network takes time – especially during motherhood when we may have reduced time or energy for friendships.
But it’s worth the effort; having a group of like-minded mums you can call on when the going gets tough is priceless – for you, your baby, and your wider mama community.