Recently, we moved into a new house, leaving the city where we had been living for 13 years. Our new home was in the same town where I grew up and a ton of my “growing up” friends had moved back also. But a lot has changed in the intervening years. I thought it’d be easy to fall back into the suburban routine, but there were a whole new host of cliques, classes, and clubs to maneuver. It was like high school redux.
And while starting out my suburban life as a mommy took some getting used to, I think we’re settling in quite nicely, including with a crew of some new momrades, who I may or may not be forcing into a book club. Here are a couple tried and true tips to finding your own #MomSquad.
- Join a Mommy-and-me class. Obviously, the very best way to meet other moms is to take a mommy-and-me class. These are offered everywhere from your local library to the nearby JCC/YMCA. These are women with kids the same age as your little one, going through a lot of the same issues that you are. They are also the women you may potentially be dealing with for the next 18 years – not to be dramatic – from the PTA, playdates, and carpools.Mommy-and-me separation classes are the best. You can play a bit with your mini-me and then sneak out with the other moms for a cup of coffee without any guilt. It’s a great way to see if you click with any of the other moms. One of my newest momrades is a fellow mother-of-twins I met at a separation class. We jut got each other. Twins will do that to you.
- Don’t be afraid to chat someone up. When I was pregnant or had just had my baby, I’d always smile at other pregnant women. Sometimes, we’d chat. It was like that pregnant belly was the key to some secret club.Right after my twins were born but before we moved to suburbia, a pregnant woman came up to me at Temple (of all places). She was due with twins shortly. We chatted. End of story. Or was it? A year later, after we had moved back to my hometown, I ran into her at the nail salon. An Oreo-loving friendship was born.
- Head to the nearest park. This one is harder when the weather is colder, but during the warmer months, the park is a plethora of parents. The best part about the park is that while your kids run around getting out their energy, you can causally chat up the other parents. See who has kids a similar age, who live in the neighborhood, who is looking to make playdates, and who might be a perfect addition to your #MomSquad. In my opinion, the park may be the easiest place to make momrades.
- Join local and online communities. This was a whole new world to me when I became a mom. Suddenly, there was this entire parenting community online. And that community was broken down based on one child, multiples, location, working mom, stay-at-home mom, and more. The best part: These moms were ultra-supportive, building each other up, offering advice and help. People may complain about the Internet, but creating this strong supportive community of moms is definitely a plus.The moms of our hometown have an especially strong online presence. And more often than not, they use that power for the good of us all.
- When I first moved to suburbia, a couple of my city friends mentioned they knew people who lived out here with kids. Would I mind them giving out my contact info? Definitely, not! You network for work, why not try it when it comes to meeting people and making momrades?I only went on one blind date in my former single-childless life, but I happily meet up with virtual strangers all the time in the name of making mom friends.
- Be that mom. What do you have to lose? Why not introduce yourself all over town to every mom you meet? Why not ask for playdates? Why not create your own online community for moms like you? Or start that book (or Oreos/Wine club). Be proactive.I can often come off as shy. And I always worry that I’m missing out. But sometimes stepping outside your comfort zone is the only way to reap the really big rewards, in this case your very own #MomSquad.
We’re just starting off on this parenting journey. Heck, our twins aren’t even 3 years old yet. But with momrades (OK, and dadrades) on our side, I think it’ll be a lot easier. And with a lot more wine.