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Creating Your Tribe

The importance of creating strong friendships in pregnancy, postpartum and beyond

We live in a world where we’re increasingly having babies away from our hometowns, which means often without the support of long-term friends and family. This is exciting because we have a chance to create new friendships, but it can also be daunting during a time when there are so many new changes happening in our lives. The early months of motherhood can be especially isolating marking the importance of building a strong support network.

I had both my children away from home and didn’t give any thought to creating mommy friends until about six months after my first daughter was born. I remember feeling this incredible urge to be surrounded by other moms and I couldn’t help but recall a TV show (Pramface) where the new mom had a similar longing and started stalking moms at the park and in coffee shops. Luckily, I didn’t have to go to those lengths.

Here’s what worked for me.

  1. Start where you are. At the time, I was taking a mom and baby yoga class and decided to strike up the nerve to ask the other moms if they wanted to go for coffee sometime. As an introvert with a tendency towards shyness I was nervous but plunged ahead anyway. Remarkably, every mom said yes. They also lived in the neighbourhood so through text I organized walks, coffee shop meetups and lunch dates. One mom never made it out, another I chatted with occasionally and yet another I am happy to say is a good friend now.
  2. Cherish casual interactions. I often found myself chatting with other moms at grocery stores, playgrounds and coffee shops and we exchanged ideas over the best baby products or good daycares. This was often a valuable and satisfying experience. Don’t t be afraid to strike up a conversation about the best sippy cup or where to find a good babysitter. In my experience, moms are open to sharing their knowledge.
  3. Sometimes you’ll make a friend and things won’t work out. Don’t take it personally and don’t feel guilty about letting go of a relationship that isn’t working. Becoming a new mom is already a highly sensitive time and it’s not worth your energy to put up with a draining or toxic relationship. I had a friend who I enjoyed hanging out with but often cancelled last minute or was usually very late. I found it hard to plan a playdate around her erratic schedule and started to limit our time together. We eventually stopped hanging out as I needed a friend that valued my time as much as her own.
  4. Go online. I found Facebook groups for moms that lived in the same neighbourhood as me and others that had a baby the same year I did. I didn’t make it out to a gathering, but it was a good way to connect with others, ask questions, and find out what was going on in the community.
  5. Take advantage of free activities. It’s often hard to commit time and money to classes you may not be able to go to with an unpredictable baby or toddler. Lucky finding a free playgroup is usually as easy as looking up your neighbourhood community centre or local library. Both offer free, drop-in playdates or classes. It’s a great way to bond with other mothers in the same stage without the added pressure of a financial investment. Believe it or not, in between singing songs and storytime at the library,  I created some of my closest friendships.

Creating Your Tribe - Simply Be Mama

Usually, other moms are just as open to creating a new connection as you are. Take a chance and reach out. You can start with me. Share what worked for you or the challenges you’re having in the comments below.

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  • Reply thismamaloveslife November 13, 2017 at 1:43 pm

    Great post! I was able to make new mama friends through many of the things you mentioned above! I loved prenatal yoga and babytime at the library!

    • Reply Simply Be Mama November 21, 2017 at 3:54 pm

      Thank you. Yoga classes and the library are pretty awesome.

  • Reply beehappy November 14, 2017 at 12:43 am

    great tips. I especially love #1, it’s so nice when you have someone nearby with whom to go for coffee or to the park without having to go too far. I made a few good friends through local facebook groups, they’re great. Now with my oldest daughter being 4 I am finding it harder to make friends. The playdates used to be for us moms to chat and hang out. Now that my first is a preschooler I have to spend much more of my time on her activities.

    • Reply Simply Be Mama November 21, 2017 at 3:50 pm

      I hear you. It does get harder as they get older and life gets busier.

  • Reply Afra November 17, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    I love this! My family lives in UK/Middle East and Africa so I have no family here and as you can imagine travelling to see them is nearly impsosible with the costs with 3 kids! I have found my tribe here but still need to find my “routine” wit 3 kids to be able to manage my time well and be able to blog and do things I love as well.

    • Reply Simply Be Mama November 21, 2017 at 3:53 pm

      Thank you. The routine is a tough one for sure. I’m trying to balance it all as well. Let me know if you find something that works.

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