Making mom friends isn’t always easy, even when you live in your hometown. Add in an international move, a pandemic, and the general hecticness of having young kids – it can be quite tricky. I am so passionate about the importance of connecting with other quality and supportive mothers as essential to one’s mental health. I was fortunate enough to build a group of forever friends in London, and am working on it in Amsterdam. Here are some of the main ways I use to build our village for our kids!
- Visit the playground: The playground is a perfect place to let your kids run around and strike up conversation. Some parents will be friendlier than others; don’t get disheartened. Let your kids enjoy and gauge if you click with any other parents.
- Sign up for local baby/toddler class: I suggest picking a class that you will enjoy doing with your kids, whether you meet new friends or not. This will ensure you still look forward to going to the activity regularly. Once you are in the class, be open to conversation with other parents!
- Arrive early at nursery drop-off and pick-up: The best way for me to connect with my kids teachers and fellow parents was to arrive a little earlier than the drop-off and pick-up times, so I have time chat. This allowed me to determine which parents I clicked with, as well as connect with the parents of the friends my kids made on their own in the classroom. The days that I was rushing (which happens more often than not), are the days that I generally did not catch up with parents. Coordinating playdates and sending invites to birthday parties felt more natural, once I put a name to a face. I realize this is not always possible, so for those who cannot do this, I suggest asking the teacher for the names of the kids your child plays with and their parents contact information (if it is permitted), and reach out on your own time.
- Use the app, Peanut: This is a dating app for moms. You include a picture of yourself/kids, their ages, your city, interests, etc., and the app connects you to other moms with compatible profiles. I had several playdates from this app, and one mom ended up becoming one of my closest friends! I have been using it in Amsterdam as well, and have connected with several other moms who I click with. To download the app, use this link or as follows: https://www.peanut-app.io/?_branch_match_id=849404321588542387&utm_source=unknown&utm_campaign=ambassador&utm_medium=share&_branch_referrer=H4sIAAAAAAAAA8soKSkottLXL0hNzCst0UssKNDLyczL1vcv8HANTozyNS5NAgD6IW1GIwAAAA%3D%3D.
- Re-connect with old friends & ask for introductions: There is a high chance that you will connect with friends of friends, and simply by searching on social media and asking close friends if they know of anyone in your area, could be a great first step.
Making friends is not always simple, and it is important to remember that people can be really great in their own way, and simply not click. And that’s ok! These are some of the methods that have worked for me to narrow down the group that I need. But in my experience, if you put yourself out there, be yourself, and make an effort, you will end up finding your crew of mom friends.