There’s no denying that motherhood changes our social lives. No matter how much of a social butterfly you once were, when you add a baby to the mix, you’ll probably struggle with responding to text messages on a timely basis, let alone making it to a get-together.
And even if you weren’t much of a party animal, becoming a new mom can still feel isolating; when you’re caring for a newborn, there’s little room left for anything else.
But there are ways to battle the onset of new mom loneliness. It doesn’t have to be just you and the baby ugly-crying to a marathon of This Is Us. Take a shower, grab your planner, and prepare to add a little companionship to your day-to-day life.
1. Force yourself to set a day to invite friends over.
Friendships become increasingly complicated when you become a parent. Some friends might want to give you your space, recognizing that you must have your hands full. Other friends might just not really know how to handle being around this new version of you. They might wonder if there’s any room in your life left for them. As a new mom, it can sometimes feel like our old friends don’t even care about us anymore. They stop messaging, and they stop inviting us out, and frankly, it hurts.
But instead of wallowing in self-pity, do yourself a solid and just invite your friends over. Pick a day when there are no doctor appointments or anything else, order some pizzas, and tell your friends to come by. Maybe just invite one or two at first, so you don’t get overwhelmed. And don’t worry if you have to breastfeed in the middle of it or if your baby gets a bit fussy. True friends will be understanding of your new full-time gig. Maybe some of them will even help with a little cleaning up, who knows.
2. Hit up a MeetUp.
Sure, you can go to your local moms MeetUp. Or you can join a beer-drinkers meetup, one for trivia nights, a cooking class meetup, or one for hobbies like painting, writing, bowling... there are all kinds of meetups, and the good thing about them is that the people attending generally are also looking to meet new people. So don’t chicken out. Join that book or movie club you’ve been meaning to join forever and use it as your escape from the inevitable doldrums of mamahood. You might just make a friend while you're at it.
3. Join a Facebook mom group or two and post away.
Signing up for one of your local Facebook mom groups is a rite of passage for most mothers in the 21st century. This is not to say you will find tons and tons of friends this way. But you just might luck out and make a friend or two, like I have. Of course, mom groups come with their own set of issues. You’ll always find a flamewar thread about circumcision, vaccinations, or breast versus bottle (you know, the real mom hot-button issues).
Personally, I avoid those posts because seriously, it’s nearly impossible to change someone’s mind about any of those topics, especially on the internet. But one good way of making friends is by simply posting an ad for friends. Introduce yourself, let them know who you are and what you’re into, and start chatting. Guaranteed you’ll get at least a couple of friend requests, and from there, maybe you’ll even find people you’ll want to get together with IRL.
4. If you’re breastfeeding, hit up a La Leche League meeting.
La Leche League meetings serve two purposes. The first, of course, is to support breastfeeding moms. You can get help and advice and feel like you’re part of a large collective of other mamas who enjoy feeding babies in this way. But these groups can also be great for socializing. Sure, you don’t normally have your boob out when you first meet people, but so what?
5. Sign up for a friend-making app or two.
Hey! Vina is an app that helps ladies find friends for friendship and nothing more. It’s not just for moms, though there are definitely some moms on the app. I’ve known folks who've connected with new people this way, especially when moving to a new place. So if you don’t have a ton of other mom-friends, why not use it to make some? There are other friendship apps, like Bumble BFF, too. In the era of Tinder, why not use an app for making friends?
6. Ask your partner to watch the baby for an afternoon, or get a sitter if you can.
If you aren’t quite ready to invite your besties over to the dirty-diaper ridden apartment, that’s cool. You probably need a day off anyway, or at least a couple hours. Make a plan with some friends to meet up at a local pub, cafe, or movie theater. Then get someone (your partner, your mom, your nanny, whoever) to watch the baby so you can have a couple hours of uninterrupted BFF time.
7. Take your baby to the park and try chatting up the first mom you see.
I’ve found that a large portion of solo moms at the park often wish someone would just come up and say hi to them. You go to the park for your little ones to play and enjoy the fresh air, but you also wonder about the other moms, don’t you? While I haven’t made any long-lasting friendships this way just yet, chatting with other moms does help pass the time while I push my little one on the swing. And you never know. Maybe one of those moms will end up being your bestie.
8. Start a group chat with other mom friends.
If you have a few other mom friends, start up a group chat on Facebook or a group text. Let’s be real: When you’re a new mom, you mostly just want to commiserate with other new moms about things like poop-splosions and your partner not waking up nearly as much for 2 a.m. feeds, and setting up a chat with other moms can really help you keep each other sane.
Priscilla Blossom is a Denver-based freelance writer specializing in travel, parenting, health and wellness, pop culture, and entertainment. On her off time, she’s obsessing over television, practicing yoga, or blogging. Connect with her on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.