By Nicole Loughan
I am a married mother of two, but I have recently been hitting the dating scene…that is, the “mommy” dating scene. You see, I have recently had a major friend exodus and need a few more mom friends in my life.
So, what’s a mom to do? She has to brush off her best mommy chat skills and try to meet some news moms.
One of my friends who recently moved away actually tried to help by “setting me up” on a mommy date before she left. She had good intentions…but just like dating men, a mommy “blind date” is nerve wracking. What was I supposed to wear? What if she is a cool mom with tattoos and clothing made of hemp? I am not a cool mom. The newest clothing in my closet is from the maternity section. I have barely been shopping since I had my first child, so my wardrobe is mostly whatever was on sale four years ago.The meeting went okay but was understandably awkward. Afterwards, I decided that I have to try something new, really put myself out there to meet new mommies. Check out five tips to expand your mommy circle:
1. Gyms with kid classes: In my area, there is a wide array of business that offer kids classes, from gymnastics to swimming. If you enroll your kids in a class, you are bound to find at least one person to bond with. If you have very young children and the classes are “mommy and me”, it’s even better. You and another mom will bond over singing wheels on the bus and doing the parachute bounce. Doing these unarming activities will put the moms at ease and provide lots of conversational topics.
2. “The” local park: Both Miami & Miami Beach are full of fantastic parks. There is always a local park that is “the” park. It’s where most of the mommies go, and thus, where you are bound to find the most people. Figuring out which one was the place to be, though, was a bit more difficult. To find your local spot, pack a picnic lunch to scope out how many mom’s are there. “The” park on a nice day should have at least five other moms having lunch with their kids. Or take a short-cut and go to the desk at that gym I mentioned before. Ask them to recommend a park. My personal favorite is the North Shore Open Space Park.
3. Mommy Meet-Ups: Mommy meet-ups work as a great short cut; most are listed at meetup.com. But a word of warning: in my experience, these events are for the very social, those comfortable stepping into an already established social group. When I went to a mommy meet-up, I did meet a mom or two, but I had trouble breaking into the main circle. On the plus side, the amount of moms and events really increase the chances that you will find at least one other person to click with. It’s worth a shot as most of these meet-ups are free or low-cost.
4. Book Clubs: I love, love, love my book club moms. But here’s the catch- most book clubs don’t advertise. The one I belong to is a local club that I was invited to participate in by a neighbor. If you haven’t been invited yet or your neighborhood doesn’t have one, contact your local library and bookstore to inquire. It’s great for me because I like woman who read, and the books are a built in conversation starter.
5. Something New: More than anything, if you find your friend supply starting to dwindle, try something you have never done before. For me, that is an organization called Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS), which is a national organization dedicated to connecting mothers of young children with each other. I saw a MOPS meet up in action when I toured a local preschool, mom’s get together to drink tea and coffee while volunteers watch their children. There is a cost to join, but it looks like fun and is worth a shot. Other ideas may be mommy blogs, local swim clubs, or cooking classes. See what your community has to offer.