Mom Groups Are My New Singles Bars

Posted 09-13-2010 at 05:22 PM by Mom2Finn

I have struggled off and on since college to make close female friends.  My boyfriend/then fiancé/now husband and I moved around quite a bit and it was hard for us to meet people once we weren’t in school.

We were in Georgia for around four years before we had Finn.  I had met some people through my work as a teacher, but still hadn’t found new friends to really click with.  I missed the kind of friends I had had in high school and college, but I was busy working and I had my husband to spend time with on the weekend.

Then I had Finn.  And after I emerged three or so months after his birth from my nursing/pajamas/couch daze I realized I needed to make some friends.  My husband travels most weeks for his job and my high school and college friends don’t have kids for the most part so I knew I needed to meet some other moms quickly.

Easier said than done, I discovered.  I then spent months looking for friends.  I was a dog with a bone.  I joined groups on  I joined national mom’s groups.  I went on messages boards.  I joined local groups.  I went to group after group, meeting after meeting, all with a refluxy baby who I cried everywhere we went.

And it was hard.  Now in a friend I needed not just someone I clicked with but someone who’s parenting philosophies were at least a little in line with mine.  There was a group of local moms I went to who told me I need to go in the other room to nurse…I felt so uncomfortable after meeting them that I cried in the car on the way home.  The mom who told me that she waited to answer her two week old baby’s cries because she didn’t want to be manipulated by him?  Not someone who was going to be my new BFF.

Finally, I met some women I liked in a group that seemed nice.  After one meeting the group’s organizer stepped down.  I was so close!  I could not let these women escape!  So I did the only logical thing (at least to my sleep deprived and desperate mind) and stepped up to be the new leader.

That was about a year and a half ago.  I consider myself a shy person, but I now run a mom’s group of about 40 women.  A lot of them are friendly acquaintances, but some of them have become my best friends, who know me and my son inside out.

I can’t imagine being a mom without these women.  They give structure to my day and provided well needed adult conversation in a sea of Elmo and toddler shrieks.  We have fun together, and I have people who are experiencing the same things I am when I need advice or a shoulder to cry on.  Finding friends as a parent is almost more difficult than when I was single.  Do our kids get along?  Are our schedules compatible?  I have found that it was worth all the missteps to have finally found my tribe.

Filed Under: General, Mommy Talk


16 Responses to “Mom Groups Are My New Singles Bars”

  1. Jill on September 13th, 2010 6:44 pm

    Thanks for writing this. I have an almost 2 year old. Like you, post college we moved around a lot, and just bought our first house. Today was ‘the big day’, I took my daughter to a library reading. It was going to be awesome, I would meet someone right away to be friends with… not. The only other mom there had 3 kids, none of them the same age as mine. I’m picky as snot, too, because, well, most would call me a ‘slacker mom’ –I’m not a helicopter, but I at least make sure my kid is behaving decently in public or suffer the consequences–so I don’t ignore her either. 20 years ago that would have been considered ‘normal’ behavior. I make my child say please, thank you, and be nice to other kids. In a word, we are teaching her MANNERS. It’s hard to find someone else doing the same thing. I have a great online community of friends, but no one in the same zip code, school district or county. Plus, we moved to a SMALL town, where of course, we are outsiders. Wednesday, we try the library thing again, but a different library and for kids closer to her age. Crossing fingers one person doesn’t look at me odd for dressing decently, putting my kid in a cloth diaper, and having common sense. Cross yours, too, okay?

  2. Mom2Finn on September 14th, 2010 12:05 am

    Jill – Good luck, good luck. As with dating, I think you have to cast a wide net and kiss a lot of toads (don’t mind the metaphor mixing, please).

  3. Hilary on September 14th, 2010 1:03 am

    I had a really similar experience. For me the hardest time was post-college and pre-baby. I was afraid that I was never going to have the kind of close friends that I had in high school and college again. But, having a baby made it so much easier to meet people. You’re right, not necessarily the right people right away. With time though, I have found a few gems. These friendships are so important to me, but they are different than my earlier ones. Our lives are so busy we may only get to connect once or twice a month. And even then it can be hard to have a conversation with toddlers abound.

  4. vetmom on September 14th, 2010 1:09 am

    What a timely blog! I tried to find some “mom friends” through organized groups a bit after my son was born–with no luck! Now there’s baby #2 on the way and i really miss having close female friends to share things with…Thank you for writing this and giving me hope to try again (…and again)!

  5. mmlsmom on September 14th, 2010 3:06 pm

    i still find it hard- tried the mom group route, i work full time with a very flexible schedule so i have attended some mommy groups in the area and sadly have very little in common with the stay at home moms that thrive off these meetings. I will admit i have stayed away from them since it makes me sad to listen to them plan play dates, meet ups, and other get togethers and I’m scrambling to get my kids to the babysitter and off to work 50 hours and commute…. oh if there were more hours in the day :)

  6. nathansmom101 on September 14th, 2010 7:54 pm

    Thanks for writing this post! I have a large online group of friends but no one local to me. I tried joining a mom’s group organized by the hospital after my first child was born. It was awful. They all seemed to click and talk about how they went out the night before and called each other, etc… and I sat there feeling like an outcast. I sent an email to a local group asking about their meetings and if I could join and the woman sent a very brief and not so friendly email back saying “here’s our calendar”. It just didn’t feel warm and fuzzy to me. I’m glad i’m not alone! I’m starting on a new venture in life and really hoping to meet SOMEONE close who I can befriend!

  7. corrielainedd on September 14th, 2010 10:27 pm

    Once my husband and I got married… and then not long after had a baby.. most of my friends disapeared! I grew up, and took a new path in life, and they were still stuck, wanting to be young free college students.
    I do have a few friends, best friends since elementry school, who are still in contact. But we dont live close enough to spend much time together.

    Last year, I met another mom here on DS, who lives in my town. From the very first time we exchanged messages, I knew we would hit it off! She had a 10yr old, and a son (22months now) 2 weeks older than my daughter!
    We are so alike in so many ways! So many things in common, with our personalities, parenting, hobbies, its been great!
    Even our husbands seem to hit it off pretty well. Our youngsters are best friends, and still frequently have play dates.
    She just had her 3rd, a girl, about 3 weeks ago, and I am due with our 2nd (girl) in 4 weeks.

    It has been such a blessing to have such a great friend!

    My experiences with our local MOPs group (mothers of preschoolers) was crappy! I went maybe 3 times.. And Im not the type to buddy up to someone, but I put my foot out a bit, and conversed with some of the moms. I stopped going… there was never a “Hi Corrie! nice to see you back!” or any noting of my being there.

    I do however like our LLL group!

  8. Mom2Finn on September 15th, 2010 12:58 am

    I hope you all meet some great women soon. Maybe think about starting your own meetup group? Good luck!

  9. chachs1985 on September 15th, 2010 7:46 pm

    It feels soo good to hear that other mothers are going thru the same thing :) I have tried a lot of groups and just never realy feel welcomed. I’m 24, married for 4 years, and I cloth diaper. For some reason this is completely wacky to most moms I meet at groups. I remember one group I went where a mother asked me if I had checked out some “crunchy” group and that I would probably fit in there. Another mother said “I just could not have raised kids in my twenties”. Oooh and I think my favorite was the mother who said “so you are just going to junior college?”. These might not seem offensive, but believe me making these comments to a new mother can be very harsh! Here is hoping we all make lots of new open-minded friends. Mothers should be lifting each other up and supporting each other, not judging and tearing each other down. We are all doing our best!

  10. deanaparthur on September 16th, 2010 5:09 am

    Can I borrow some of your friends? LOL. I could use even one. I don’t even know how to make them anymore :( Let alone how to start a meet up group…

  11. charmommy on September 16th, 2010 5:47 pm

    Wow…thank you for this article, and all of your reader’s comments, too! I have absolutely had no luck with mom-friends in my area, either! I, too, am considered ‘crunchy’ but I also am teaching my 3 year old about respecting others and manners. I have a 10 month old daughter now, (and a 17 year old daughter) so the different moms are in another solar system in regards to me! I will keep trying…it just gets REALLY lonely. I used to be a working mom (I was YOUNG mom) and with the latest 2 goddesses, I am at home. I understand the struggles from both ends and have no judgments. Thank you for giving me hope! Its been over 4 years of looking for ‘Mom’ friends…you make me want to give it another go!
    Pearland, TX
    (can’t wait to move)

  12. Mom2Finn on September 17th, 2010 12:21 am

    I’m glad I am not the only one that struggles with this, but I am sorry too because I know exactly how lonely it is to not be connecting with people. Especially since being at home can be very isolating. I had great luck using

  13. Danielle on September 17th, 2010 4:40 pm

    I feel a community of mothers you can reach out to is definitely a requirement to moms. I felt the same way you did the first few months of my son’s life. I didn’t move around a lot, but I’m -I guess?- a younger mom at 25. Most of my college friends don’t have anything to do with me anymore and are awkward around kids. I have gotten much more involved in church and found a mom’s group through it that I LOVE. We all get along great, and mostly have the same parenting philosophies. Its such a wonderful escape every week to go and complain about the DH or share woes in our children’s behavior.

  14. jamilynn84 on September 17th, 2010 5:52 pm

    I was the first of my group of friends to have kids (oh and still am the only one too), so I totally understand this! I had good luck with a local group when my son was an infant. Then my father passed away and I became antisocial for awhile… and the itty bitty playgroup moved on without me. Instead of doing things through the group they were calling each other, so i was totally out of the loop. Here I am trying another meetup group, and this time even with #2 due any day now, i’m going to stay social and keep up with things, and hope there are a few of these women that i click with.

  15. MamaKelly79 on September 17th, 2010 7:28 pm

    I feel like someone just read my diary or something, lol! I’ve been shy my whole life, but was never without friends. I was a little shocked at how hard a time I had making new mommy friends. I’ve been in several meetup groups since my oldest was born 3 years ago, and although I have made a couple of very good friends, I miss that “best friend” kind of friendship where I can be myself 100%. I keep trying, though; I force myself to keep going out and meeting new people even though sometimes I feel like none of the other moms really “get” me.

  16. mamahen on September 19th, 2010 12:12 am

    friend what?? I”m in the same boat you were to start with. Only I’m way lazier and DS is now a year and I still haven’t met anyone. We go to Music Together every week, but I haven’t clicked with anyone. I did meet one other cloth diapering mama but that’s as far as it went. I dont eve know where to start. Guess I just need to have number 2 so I can restart the process!

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