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Becoming a new mom, as incredible as it is, can feel lonely. Suddenly, your life has been flipped upside down. You’re sleep deprived, your husband just can’t empathize on your level and you look in the mirror to see a woman you don’t recognize anymore. It’s a refining and beautiful experience and a learning curve that can feel daunting to walk through alone.

As much as you love your baby and this new life you’re building, you may be left wondering – “Will I ever leave my house again? Are other moms feeling the same way I am? Where can I find a support group?

People say, “It takes a village.” But what if you don’t have one, or what if there isn’t anyone in your village in the same life stage? Whether you already have a built-in community around you or you are desperate to find one, cultivating friendships, finding other moms to relate to, and making mom friends is important for your mental health and emotional well-being.

Meeting New Friends

Let’s be honest, making friends as an adult can be hard. It’s awkward to step outside of your comfort zone, make small talk, and try to build a connection when it’s so much easier to just stay home scrolling through Facebook or indulging in a new series binge.

Don’t get us wrong, we believe an online community can bring you friendships you will love dearly. In fact, we believe in them so much, that we’ve created our own online communities for moms around the world. As you search to find great friends and other women who are new moms, join our Mama Meetups – online support groups designed to help every mom find connection and friends in any phase of mom life. But, as much as we love our Mama Meetups groups, we know there are so many ways to meet new friends outside of your screen.

Finding Time for Other Moms

Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom or a mom working outside the home 9 to 5, finding time for anything other than your children can feel impossible at times. When you’re not wondering what that thing was you went to your kitchen to do, you’re trying to help your two older kids with their impossible math homework while feeding the baby. (Seriously, what’s up with math classes these days?!) All jokes aside, we encourage you to carve out time for friendships.

God created us to be relational beings. Through relationships, we can find support. Through relationships, we can find our closest friends. But not unless we make time for a social life. Not sure where to start?

Try these activities with other moms:

Learn something new with new friends. Grab a mom friend and your kids and find classes for you all to enjoy. Not the math kind we mentioned above. We’re talking about painting, art or music classes!

Get active together. Find exercise groups or gather a few local moms and create your own! From stroller strides to yoga or pilates classes, there are a ton of ways to get your new body moving at your own pace, and have fun making new mom friends while doing it.

Have a girls’ day out. Do you and your new mom friend both have a daughter? Take your little girls to get their nails done or go thrifting! Personally, we love this option because it allows the kids and the moms to get treated.

Find a local storytime. Most moms are looking for ways to get out of the house and keep their kids occupied. Even if you have young babies, storytime at the local library or coffee shop can be a great way to make mom friends.

Host a neighborhood block party. Find your very own support group right next door! You don’t have to go far to find new friends. Step outside of your comfort zone and just out your front door, and invite other parents in your neighborhood to a family-friendly party.

Just remember, there are countless options to come together, talk, connect, and build new friendships.

What It Means to Be a True Mom Friend

It doesn’t matter if your kids are the same age or even if you and your new mom friends are the same age, sometimes it can be hard to pour into a relationship when you’re pouring from an empty cup already. No shame here, mom! We understand that your kids take priority. But we’re here to help you create deeper connections and lasting friendships.

Don’t let the small talk scare you, remember, you already have something in common. You’re women that love your children. You can relate on so many levels to that fact alone! Motherhood can be an incredible basis for friendship. There are so many simple yet impactful ways to be a true friend to a mom in need of connection.

A few ways to be a true mom friend:

If you’re a seasoned mom trying to make friends with a mom who just had a baby, you can offer advice, a good laugh, or simply just someone to talk to.

If you know of a new mom in your neighborhood or you are a mom that just moved to a new neighborhood, make your best casserole or baked item and go say hello! You can even take your husband if it is easier. He may be looking for a new friendship too.

If you know of a new mom that is on maternity leave and might be struggling with her new normal, grab a group of girls and bring her some food, comfort and company – oh and a new built-in group of mom friends.

Building a group of mom friends:

Even these simple examples may feel overwhelming with the mental load you are already carrying from caring for your kids, and that’s okay. We encourage you to try to commit to pushing past the small talk and becoming intentional with your communication and actions with at least one other mom.

Ultimately, it takes time and capacity to be a friend, especially with kids. But when you take that time, you will find yourself with a group of good friends who love and support you. We have built an organization focused on helping you cultivate friendship and build a group of women – mom friends – that make you laugh until you cry, but are also there for the real tears too.

Make New Mom Friends with MOPS!

At MOPS, we believe in the simple but revolutionary idea that remarkable things happen when moms come together. Our acronym stands for “Mothers of Preschoolers” because we began in 1973 when a group of moms with young children banded together to share their lives and parenting journeys. Since then, we have expanded to gather, support, equip and encourage moms in more than 70 countries.

While your children are your priority, you are our priority. Whether you have a daughter or a son, a new mom, or a mom of two or three kids – whatever mom you are – we’re all just women trying to love on our kids and make close friends. We offer many different ways to do just that, including:

At MOPS, we want to help women feel empowered, encouraged, comforted and loved and to hopefully meet their best friend – you know, outside of your kid (or kids).