New moms making friends with other new moms



How to navigate a changed friendship landscape

How to navigate a changed friendship landscape


Once upon a time, support for new mothers came from an extended family, in which a crowd of aunts and cousins joined the new grandmother in teaching mothering skills, as well as helping with childcare. In our currently fragmented society, we have to seek mothers in the community for the support we need. Here are tips from Parents.com on how to forge those valuable friendships and how to deal with old friends who may now seem to live in another universe.

Reaching out to new friends

The pandemic has shut down many of the gatherings where you might meet other moms, but parks are still open. While it may feel daunting to talk to strangers, you'll find most women carrying babies, or pushing carriages and strollers, are as eager for sympathetic company as you are. Even if your baby is too young for swings and climbing bars, the playground is a good place to meet moms.

Join Facebook groups for mothers, which will allow you to connect with other moms at odd moments, such as during nighttime feedings.

More Tips: How to Make New Mommy Friends

Keeping in touch with old friends

It may feel like your former crowd has no interest in the all-encompassing world of babies, but you can still keep in touch with one friend at a time. An occasional phone call or text will help you stay connected. Eventually some of your friends will have babies of their own, and you'll have a lot to talk about again.

Coping with differences

If your new friends' parenting styles don't match your own, “Don’t offer unsolicited feedback unless you feel their practices pose a danger to your child,” advises relationship expert Suzanne Degges-White, Ph.D., a professor at Northern Illinois University. Giving too much advice may push other moms away, just when you really need them. Be tolerant of different viewpoints. The truly incompatible friendships will fade over time.

More tips: New Moms Roundup

Breaking into a scene

It may be hard to join a group that's already formed and deeply enmeshed. Asking about topics beyond babies (career choices, local family activities) can help you connect. If it takes a while to be embraced, don't fall back on high school feelings of rejection. As an adult, you have a new chance to persist and be yourself. Offer to trade babysitting and transportation duties, which will benefit both you and others.



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