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Making mom friends

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(Bell: friends with everyone, and everything)

One of the bonus things about military life is that there is a circle of women, with something in common (husbands who deploy and work long hours), wherever you go. For me, it was especially helpful because Tom and I got married when I was pretty young. I was 21, and most of my friends were single and playing beer pong on the weekends. (Not to say that beer pong isn’t awesome. It totally is.) Anyway, for a while, I felt like an in-betweener. I didn’t want to be the complainer to my friends, so I held a lot of that fear, sadness and missing him to myself as I finished my last year of college while he was deployed. I focused on school, girls’ nights, teaching dance, and any type of distraction until he got home, but since it was my first deployment, it was rough for me, especially since I had no one to really talk to about it. When we moved to North Carolina, it was amazing to meet a group of girls that have been in the same situation, and from there, we’ve shared in the milestones of our growing families together.

Babies

It’s refreshing to hang out with my single friends and the ones who don’t have kids yet, too. It’s nice to talk about different things (sometimes it’s awesome to go through a day without talking about military-related stuff), and friends are friends, it doesn’t really matter if they’re military, not military, single, whatever. I’m just lucky for the ones I’ve been blessed to have in my life. Kind of like the military thing, being a mom is an adjustment, and having advice and support along the way makes a huge difference.

I was thinking about it, and if I didn’t have my military wife friends with kids, or the blog, what’s the best way to meet fellow moms in your area?

I’ve heard a lot about playgroups and mom groups, but how does one become involved in that? I love the idea, but as an introvert, it would be hard for me to show up and hang out with a group of people if I didn’t know at least one person first.

Fellow mamas, do you belong to any playgroups or anything like that? We have a playgroup every Friday with the wives and kids in our squadron, but Liv and I usually miss it because it’s during her morning nap. We love weekly classes at My Gym and meeting friends for shopping, swimming and lunches throughout the week. 

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Friends sans kids, how did you meet your closest friend?

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60 Comments

  1. Brie on July 12, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    I don’t have an outside baby yet, but there’s a group of women at my CrossFit box all due between July and October and we’ve all become pregnancy buddies. I can’t wait until all of our babies are born and they can hang out doing tummy time while we’re doing the WODs together again!

    • Fitnessista on July 12, 2012 at 5:29 pm

      i heard that at many cross fit boxes they have an area for kids to hang out while their parents work out. i think oliv may be too little for now, but that’s great motivation for me to try a class

  2. Elizabeth on July 12, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    I can agree with it being interesting to meet friends when you move or other situation as I am also an introvert. I just moved to a new city and am newly married. I recently joined the junior league in town to meet some young girls in the same boat. I also have found bootcamps and workout classes are a good place also!

    • Alexandria @ Brain, Body, Because on July 13, 2012 at 8:55 am

      Yes, taking an exercise classes is a great way to meet people! I met one of my closest friends during a crazy-hard yoga class.

  3. Casey on July 12, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    Wow, I didn’t realize you were only 21 when you got married!

  4. Jill on July 12, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    I’ve found mom friends thru a MOPS group at our church. It’s been great since none of my friends have kids yet. Some people join once they get pregnant – its been really fun!

    • amy on July 16, 2012 at 10:49 pm

      Me too! MOPS was my life-line to community when we moved to San Diego with a 1 year old. Now, 6 years (and 2 additional kiddos) later, I’m still involved and my closest friends are other MOPS moms.

  5. JennP on July 12, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    We bought our house last year and are fortunate that there are a lot of young families in our neighborhood. Two of the first women that I met were also SAHMs with little girls right around my daughter’s age. We go for jogs, take the kids swimming, shop, go to spin classes etc.

  6. Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie on July 12, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    Oh wow I didn’t know you got married at 21. I’m engaged right now at 21 and next summer will be married at 22! I hope when I’m 26 I have a beautiful little baby girl like Livi!

  7. Lauren on July 12, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    There’s a great group called MOMS Club International. Not only are there play groups and mom’s night outs but it’s also philanthropic so you get to do some charity work as well. It was definitely weird st first but you find common interests besides kids and it becomes easy to make lasting friendships.

    • Irene on July 13, 2012 at 9:55 am

      That is a cool idea! Not a mom yet, but I’m mentally filing this away for later! Thanks!

    • Shaina on July 13, 2012 at 11:56 am

      I was thinking about looking into the MOMS group near me. I didn’t realize there was a philanthropic aspect to it! Awesome.

  8. Jessica Ann on July 12, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    This is something I am so struggling with (minus the baby aspect). I moved back to London two years ago, and have made almost no friends in that time! Working as a manager made it difficult to make friends at work, and it is so hard to know how to meet new people (I am introverted too!).

    • Melissa (Better Fit) on July 13, 2012 at 3:16 am

      I live in London too! I absolutely LOVE this city, but I totally agree that it can be a tough place to meet people.

      Gina, I never think of you as an introvert! I guess that’s because I only “know” you on your blog.

    • jen on July 19, 2012 at 12:17 am

      i know there is a website called meetup.com and it has groups of all different kinds that you can join based on your interested/stage of life, etc. it may be worth checking out! i’m a reserved/introvert personality too so it would be kind of intimidating for me but usually when i make myself do stuff like that it ends up being worth it.

  9. Ashley on July 12, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    I’m also in Tucson and part of a Mom’s group called Meetup Moms of Tucson (MMoT). It’s through the Meetup site, but basically it’s pretty awesome. There’s a pre-screening, so all members are legit. There are events scheduled (hosted/posted by members) and you can RSVP to go to them. They’re at all different times of the day, so when dd’s nap is in the morning I can make an afternoon play date.

    http://www.meetup.com/moms-239/

    One of the neat things, there are play dates to take little ones to, but also, there are mom’s nights out or scrap booking nights. There are aso virtual events, so when you can’t make a real life play date, you can still be a part something.

    Good luck!

  10. Julia on July 12, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    Between my church and a school year bible study with child care that is a lot of my network. That and my girlfriends from before getting married!

  11. Averie @ Averie Cooks on July 12, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    Playgroups were key to me in the early days of parenting – they gave me sanity and gave me a connection and this: “I love the idea, but as an introvert, it would be hard for me to show up and hang out with a group of people if I didn’t know at least one person first.” <– it's amazing what lack of sleep, dirty hair and no makeup, and whipping out your milk makers at a moment's notice does as a great equalizer..we were all in the same boat and it was a great source of camaraderie and support!

    Everything from faith-based to yahoogroups to groups on meetup dot com groups..there are TONS of ways!

  12. Amy on July 12, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    I used to participate regularly in a Mom’s group but we haven’t replaced the van since it was totaled out. Since we just share the 1 car we rarely go to the play group activities. We do go into town 1 day a week for a library day and park play though.

  13. Leah O on July 12, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    I still haven’t really gotten out to meet new moms in my area even though I know about several different groups. One that I think would be fun to do sometime is called stroller strides http://www.strollerstrides.com/
    It looks like a pretty fun way to meet new moms and get in a little workout at the same time!

  14. Amy on July 12, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    I met Moms at library story time and we became our own play group. I also met people at a baby music class and joined an official Moms group, but that was really just for something to do without my son every once in awhile. It’s so interesting how you become close with new people at different stages of your life!

  15. Yaara on July 12, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    I’m not a mom yet–but I when I am–I think having a mommy meet-up group would be great. It gives you a chance to connect with others and allows your babies to have some play time with one another. By the way–I can’t get over it–Liv is just too precious! Everytime you post pics of her–I just melt. She has the sweetest, wondering big eyes. I bet she’s a creative and fast learner! And I love her sweet little strawberry outfit–it’s so yummy!!!

  16. Andrea on July 12, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    I have met some of my fave Mom friends at church or just in my neighborhood. I think I was naive going into motherhood thinking that when you all have kids you will just get along, ha ha! Yeah, not true. Then when I do find a Mom that I feel like I really click with often times our kids just clash big time!

    So yeah, that was not at all helpful 😉

    Anyway, I only have a small circle of true Mommy friends. We don’t do mass playdates because my kids are 5 and 2… getting more than a few kids that age together and it’s crazytown. I don’t think you need to feel pressured to have a huge play group especially if you are naturally introverted. The way I see it is that I like hanging out with people on a more one on one basis so I don’t want to force my kids into something that even I don’t like. It’s all about stroller walks with one or two friends and impromptu park dates. That’s just what makes us all the most sane.

  17. Laura on July 12, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    I just don’t really meet people. There are no mom groups here for working moms – only morning groups. We can’t afford swimming, gyms, shopping trips, etc… There are tons of resources for single moms, but none for regular working moms. I also work in a male field so no girlfriends there either. I just hang out with my mom and hubby.

  18. Sarah on July 12, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    If you have any in your area, think about joining Gymboree Play & Music! I used to work at the one in my area & absolutely loved teaching there. There music and art classes, plus play & learn classes that are in the gym. They are parent involved classes until the kids turn 3. You can sign up for a free class to see what it’s all about! I must warn you though….there is a clown mascot involved, his name is Gymbo & the kids LOVE him (most kids) haha. There are also open play times (free play) at certain locations.

  19. Sarah on July 12, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    Ps. Moms, dads, grandparents, sitters…..lots of types of people bring children to Gymboree. Great way to meet a diverse group of people. The adults I worked with at my location have formed leasing friendships & have days at the zoo etc!

  20. Kelsey on July 12, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    Hey! I have a (GASP) almost 1 year old and stay home with her most of the time. I wanted/needed an outlet with other young moms in my scenario plus I wanted my daughter to be around other babies as well. We joined our city’s ECFE (Early Childhood Family Education) Mommy & me class, baby storytime at our library, MOPS (Moms of Preschoolers at our church, kids 0-5) and this fall we’re doing a Kindermusic class. Last fall when my daughter was little we did baby yoga (basically they lay on their backs while you bicycle their legs and sing songs) which was at a local yoga studio and it was awesome. Our ECFE class has been great- we sing songs and the babes play while moms chat about different things that are going on. Through all these things I’ve met so many great moms & babies. This summer we’ve taken the summer off of activities and are more spontaneous which has been great for meeting up with theses moms for play groups/walks/beach days. I was also blessed to have 4 stay at home moms in my neighborhood! Connecting with other moms is so great and for the kiddos too its nice for them to learn social skills. Good luck !! Liv is a doll 🙂

  21. Sarah on July 12, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    **LASTING friendships, stupid iPad.

  22. Kat on July 12, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    We moved to CT over 7 years go and aside from my coworker friends (who, dont get me wrong, are some of my very best friends) I still haven’t met a single “friend” here and I don’t have any mom friends. I find it so difficult since in my town and surrounding towns it is common for moms to stay home with the kids while I work full time. I have no idea how to even begin – I’ve joined Meetup but all their events are during the weekdays, I go to the playground, but no luck so far.

  23. merrie on July 12, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    A free place is your local/county public library. ( I know, they are getting fewer and fewer!) They have art, music, craft classes for toddlers and little kids, story times, etc. I met a ton of moms in my town this way. Plus, as your daughter gets older, she will love to pick out her own books, put them in her “bookbag” and go.
    My kids are way older and still remember fondly those classes, more than the Gymboree, Little Gym, etc!!

  24. Janeen on July 12, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    I met some mamas at a breastfeeding support group meeting, including two women with kids just days older/younger than mine. We have grown into a bigger group via the FB group we started to keep in touch. Now we’ve done lunches, Moms night out, babytime at the Library and so on, together. I had just moved here while 9 months pregnant with my first (and only), so I am so grateful to have met awesome Moms since I moved at such a vulnerable time.

  25. Abby on July 12, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    Story time at the library, and hanging out at the park and pool is where I have found some of my best mom friends

  26. stacy seratt on July 12, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    I met all but one of my friends at work. I have had 2 since high school (no children) and one that I met 6 yrs ago. She liked working out and I was looking for a workout partner. We started running together and that brings you really close. Its hard to explain the connection unless you have had a running partner before. She only had one child, age 12, when we met. My other bestie has 5 children, age 4-22. My husband and her husband are friends ( my husband a cop and her’s a special deputy). We currently have no children, but that could change soon.

  27. Jen in MN on July 12, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    My city has a Moms Club of sorts, and I checked it out when on maternity leave with my first daughter…..but since the vast majority of their events/outings were on weekday mornings, for all intents & purposes it’s basically for SAHMs. I work part time (mornings) so that route never worked for me.

    Here in Minnesota the school districts have an awesome program called ECFE (Early Childhood Family Education). It’s reasonably-priced (sliding scale based on income) parent-child classes that meet weekly. Many of them are, yes, in the mornings, but our district has offered a late afternoon class for toddlers the past few years (perfect for me!!). There are usually also a couple of early evening offerings.

    Anyway, we’ve met some good pals through ECFE. It’s been a lot of fun and an unexpected way to connect with other parents and make some awesome new friends!

  28. Georgia on July 12, 2012 at 11:47 pm

    Church. We attend a church called Redeemer (non-denom.) that has a lot of young couples with babies. Between Sunday and meeting up during the week at a house group we see about ten other couples with babies our same age regularly. Us moms meet up during the week for swim lessons, walks, play dates etc. and of course introduce all of our non church (work/life) friends to each other and our circle grows.

    It’s fun to see Claire playing with other babies so often and it’s fun seeing them recognize each other and become “friends”.

  29. Ginna on July 12, 2012 at 11:49 pm

    My LO is 3 mOnths and I am a SAHM. I just joined a MOMS group that someone else mentioned here. I found it through meetups.com. You can find tons of groups in your area! I am military but we live in a military heavy area so there isn’t a close knit group like you have. My hubby works watch so he doesn’t really socialize with others outside of work. Before baby I felt like an inbetweener too. No longer a partier but also not a mom. So glad to be part of the moms “group” now!

  30. Amalia on July 13, 2012 at 12:09 am

    I’m right there with you on the feeling awkward thing! I just started with a Baby Boot Camp in my area, and am loving it! It definitely helped with my “shy-ness” because there are times where everyone is quiet because we are so focused on working out. The other Mom’s seem really great and I’m looking forward to getting to know them better.

  31. Lesley on July 13, 2012 at 12:26 am

    I’ve met other moms through the breastfeeding support group at my hospital, baby story time at the local library, the child care center at my gym, and using meetup.com to find a moms group in my suburb. I also have friends from work who have little ones that we meet up with for play dates. Even if I am attending a new activity or group with my little girl, I know I will always have something in common with the other parents there- plenty to talk about!

  32. meghan on July 13, 2012 at 12:57 am

    I found some awesome mommy groups on meetup.com. I also have met some moms at mommy/baby yoga st a local studio. I just started going to all of the thongs so we dont ha e any close friends yet, but its so nice to get out and talk to people and learn different things.

  33. Kristen on July 13, 2012 at 8:05 am

    I have been trying to find classes/ mommy groups in my area and so far it’s a no-go. I have friends back home that have recently had kids and we have a lot in common but they’re just so far away. The friends I’ve made here are just not in the same place in their lives as me. And that’s ok but unfortunately it’s taken it’s tole on our friendship. Since we had our baby, my hubby’s friends have been really supportive but their wives and my girlfriends have kind of ditched me ( I think some of them are afraid they might get baby fever! haha) Its just hard because sometimes I just NEED to talk to other women, you know? That’s why I love your family page. Between you and your other mommy commenters, I get a lot of advice and encouragement! 🙂

    • Kristen on July 13, 2012 at 1:54 pm

      I just found 3 groups near me on meetup.com
      I didn’t even know about that site until I read the comments about it. So that just validates what I just wrote about loving your page and the comments 🙂

  34. Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed on July 13, 2012 at 8:21 am

    I found my running group by searching the internet, idk if it’s big by you, but there’s a ton of groups in my area on meetup.com. I was nervous to go at first, but it was a great find and everyone is so nice!

  35. Kimberly on July 13, 2012 at 8:38 am

    I’m an introvert too, but after a childhood of moving around and almost 12 years of Army life I’ve finally learned a secret. You can go to all the groups you want (gym classes, music classes, MOPS, playgroups, etc,) but somebody has to make the first move to take the friendship to the next level outside of the group. There has to be an exchange of contact information and an invitation to meet outside of the group. I’m the introvert so I usually let my friends pick me. One of my closest friends jokes that she made me be her friend after seeing that both of our kids were wearing Robeez shoes in playgroup. She could tell right away that in her opinion I had good taste. I’ve realized that by not making the first move I’m losing out on the friendship of women that I think are pretty great. Now that my husband is getting to be more senior it is Important for me to extend the invitation to the younger women because they might be shy about seeking out my friendship due to all of the rank business. Be brave. Ask someone out!

  36. Lauren on July 13, 2012 at 9:46 am

    I’ve known one of my best friends since the 6th grade (almost 13 years! wow), and the other I met through mutual friends at college and we ended up living together for a year. Neither of them live in the same city (one is 5 hours away, the other is ~2 hours away), but I’m moving in with my best friend of 13 years in September! She got a job offer here and is moving back. So excited!

  37. Sarah on July 13, 2012 at 9:50 am

    When Julian was 6 months, I started going to a Baby & Me yoga class (which I now teach with him!) I didn’t make friends right away, but over the course of several weeks, I started chatting with a few moms who were regulars like me. Just before Julian’s 1st birthday, I got brave and asked them to his party — and now we all hang out regularly!
    I think you should seek out activities where you will find like-minded people. As a yoga teacher, I was instantly attracted to Baby & Me classes, and I think that the ladies who go to it are all of a similar mindset. What’s funny is that I’m a total introvert, too, but teaching yoga brings me out of my shell, and I absolutely love talking to the women in my classes!
    I also enjoy talking to other moms at the park. As Liv gets older and interacts with other babies more, it’s a natural conversation starter! 🙂

  38. Jennifer Holland on July 13, 2012 at 10:51 am

    Gina, I reached out to you several times, even by email. Am acutally in the military myself, looking to get out in December and so I can really relate to this post as I will be going from working full time in the military to…well working full time in the military as a stay at home Mom while my husband stays in the Navy. Do you answer personal emails?

    • Fitnessista on July 13, 2012 at 11:57 am

      i do, but i got very behind when liv was born and was still receiving 50+ emails per day. the longer emails that require a lot of care and time to respond to, i haven’t been able to give that kind of time lately, but the short ones are easy for me to reply to by phone. i have the worst time typing on my iPhone :/ i remember seeing your picture and loved it so much! will write back this morning
      xoxo

  39. Rebecca on July 13, 2012 at 11:07 am

    So far I haven’t made any ‘new’ Mommy friends. I do have friends who have kids – but I don’t see them all that often so it makes things difficult.

    My schedule doesn’t really allow for much routine time to do a Mommy&Me type thing and I also don’t really want to pay for things either. I also find it hard to make friends sometimes. I have lots of internet friends though….(that sounds kinda lame)

  40. Maria on July 13, 2012 at 11:54 am

    I’m lucky enough to have 3 of my closest girlfriends expecting their first children along with me. I’m due in 6 weeks, I have a friend due in about 8 weeks and the other two are due in December. I’d like to get out and meet other new moms that share in some of my same interests aside from my girlfriends.

  41. Bretta on July 13, 2012 at 11:59 am

    I’m curious, is there a comprehensive post on what baby and parenting you read and recommend?

    • Fitnessista on July 13, 2012 at 12:56 pm

      i really loved the baby whisperer and healthy sleep habits
      i haven’t read a ton of actual parenting books yet, just bringing up beeb and beyond the sling

  42. Jessica on July 13, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    Not sure if someone mentioned it in the comments but there is a cool website…www.meetup.com…that has a variety of different meet up groups — moms, scrapbooking, fitness, wine, cooking, etc…so it’s a good resource to find different meetup groups in your area and it is especialyl helpful if you are new to the area!

  43. April on July 13, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    So glad you found some mamas you connect with! That was key for me when i was on maternity leave…the town i live in in Boston has a “Mother’s Association” that is unbelievably awesome, i had no idea i would love it so much.
    The awesome part is we all live within one square mile of each other in the City. The hard thing now is I am back to work so i miss out on all the ‘mom group’ stuff during the day:( Surprisingly though, quite a few of us work outside the home full time, so I can still relate and have support.
    This totally helped me keep my sanity…i remember the first ‘new mom’s breakfast’ i went to – now all our kiddos are 9 months, time flies!

  44. Melissa @ Fit 'N' Well Mommy on July 13, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    When I had my son almost 2 years ago, I joined a new mom’s support group when he was 6 weeks old and it was the best thing that I did! It was so nice to talk with other women who were going through the same experience. Since then, I joined my local MOMs club, and we have made so many wonderful friends. Our weeks are busy (to say the least) of play dates and events, it’s a win-win for both my son and me! On the flip-side, I’ve met a couple of moms who never ventured out to meet other mommy friends and they both felt the first year of their child’s life was the hardest. They felt so isolated and unhappy. They wished that they had met other women who were dealing with the same issues. It can really make or break you, if you don’t make any mommy friends.

  45. Laura on July 13, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    I actually found my mom-to-be group through The Bump in the local boards. It seemed like something I could never imagine myself doing because like you I totally think of myself as an introvert. For some reason I just thought I would give it a shot, at least one time, and it has ended up being a really great group of girls that I enjoy hanging out with. It has been amazing how similar we all tend to be when it comes to how we plan to raise our little ones which really helps. I hope you are also able to find the RIGHT group of moms to hang out with!

  46. Roselyn @ A Balanced Fit on July 13, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    I met my first mom friends (we’re all still friends now, almost 7 years later!) thru meetup.com. All our babies were born within days of each other and it was so nice to have people to relate to.

    We’re military too and every time we move I have to learn to make friends again. This time around I met a lot of my friends through the gym, my son’s school, and through our kids’ sports teams. It gets easier to meet other moms once the kiddos are in school. 🙂

  47. Brigid on July 16, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    It’s funny. I moved about 10 months ago with my (now) husband to a new city and have been having lots of trouble meeting people and making friends. I always thought it would be so much easier to do that if we had kids. I guess it’s just difficult period when you’re an adult.

  48. Katherine on July 21, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    We just moved to a small town of 4500 and it has been a challenge to meet some moms. I have met some moms at the library who are great to converse with but we haven’t taken it to the next level yet (playdates). I have meet a couple of ladies through my daughter’s dance class which has really helped. We call oursleves the “dance moms” like the tv show but we are personalities are different the the moms on the show. It is hard and in a small town when everyone grew up there, the moms are not so quick to add you in their circle. PS LOVE your blog!!!

  49. bakingsuit on July 26, 2012 at 12:12 am

    I’m outgoing so making friends is usually ok. My closest friends have been met through college, twitter, a dance class I took, and my old job. Strike up a chat with someone at one of the Mom places you go and ask them out for coffee. You’d be surprised how out people say yes

  50. Katie P. on September 29, 2014 at 9:54 am

    Being a mom is really tough on its own — but feels lonely when you can’t make friends! I know I struggled with this when we moved to a new area and none of my kids were in school just yet. I have found some solace in places where moms gather online, like forums or even smartphone apps. I recently downloaded the free Preggie app (http://preggieapp.com) and am actually really loving it! I’ve met a few moms in my area already.

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