Culture & Entertainment

Fellowship: Mom friends rule

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Culture & Entertainment

Fellowship: Mom friends rule

Making mom friends or "mom dating" can be tough. When my son was born in 2005, we had moved out to the 'burbs, and at that time not too many of my friends had kids. At about the 4 month mark into my maternity leave I thought I was going crazy. So I hopped online and eventually found what would become a lifeline: A group of mom friends (to be) in my area with babies. First we met for coffee, and then when the babies got wriggly we braved each other's homes for playgroup. The group got bigger and bigger and then started to sort out by affinity and geography into smaller groups. I've lost touch with some of my original "posse" but there is a core group (organized by more awesome social convenors than I) that still meets. And no, there have been no mummy wars. Fellowship: Mom friendsWe've been through hospitalizations, divorces, all kinds of ups and downs together and speaking for myself. We've moved from playdates to whine/wine night after the kids are in bed, book clubs, cookie exchanges and this holiday, a kid-free 12-hour Lord of the Rings marathon (what can I say? Some of us have 'fessed up to our geeky obsessions). And yes, I made those cookies - after all those birthday parties, it was time to decorate a few for ourselves. Besides, if I were ever to have to carry the One Ring to Mt. Doom, I'd be sending elvish invitations to this crew. And they put up with me saying things like that. What women need as they go through the transition to parenthood varies by the woman, of course, but if you had to ask me about the top five things that have made me feel like I can do this, a good solid group of friends would be on the list. Where to meet mom friends
  • Check online for meetups: Meetup.com or even your local Craigslist
  • Look for drop-in centres (in Ontario try Early Years centres) and don't be shy about inviting people out for coffee or to the park
  • I was never brave enough for this but I loved the idea of printing "mom cards" -- personal business cards -- and handing them out at the park
  • More great ideas for making mom friends

What to know about making mom friends
  • It's like dating - it's worth taking risks and asking other moms over, but don't take rejection personally. Lots of women are looking for mom friends - but not everyone is. It's not high school and it's not a contest.
  • You will find your group. If you don't feel at home with people right away, that's okay - either keep looking or hang in for a few more weeks; if it's a playgroup at least your kid has new toys to play with for a few hours!
  • That said, chemistry counts. That original group? It got really big - and then splintered into like-minded, and geographically close, moms friends.
  • Don't let Pinterest fool you. My first playdate I stayed up late making fillings for tea sandwiches and cutting grapes into quarters, and cleared out my coat closet. After a few months I threw cheese and crackers on a tray, put on some tea, threw the coats over the railing and called it a day. It's about the people, not the snacks or the spotless playroom.

Oh, and our kids still like each other too. As if that matters.
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Fellowship: Mom friends rule

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