Thursday, March 24, 2011

GUEST POST - Finding new mommy friends!

YAY! I'm happy to announce our second Guest Poster!!!!
Christine Bouchard

Today's topic is:
How do you find local mommy friends

Let's be honest - once you have kids - some of your friendships either thrive or fail.
Some of your friends who don't have kids will step up and be amazing support and be fun for your kids and some will disappear. It happens to us all.

Add in living in a "new" area and you have a whole other level of difficulty in terms of establishing new friendships with people who you have things in common with.

Unfortunately, the only criteria cannot be having children as I have learned myself from a FAILED play date experience. Granted, I am in NO POSITION to be turning away friends as I my "good friend" count is pretty low at the moment - it's also not good to keep getting together with people if you won't enjoy it - just because they have kids. Especially if the kids won't necessarily get along either.

Christine touches on this with the following post and I'd love to hear your thoughts and suggestions as I am in the same position myself - in the market for new friends.

In fact... as I found out yesterday - there are apparently match making websites out there for married people who want to have affairs - so why isn't there a matching website out there for parents like us who need to add to our roster of support and laughter?

Ladies... perhaps this is a business opportunity we should work on ASAP!!! Think about it - we could be the next Zuckerbergs!

Here is Christine's post:

OK so I’ll admit it I am a total loser or at least I feel like it. I wasn’t exactly popular in high school but I would say at least 95% of the people I graduated with knew my name.

I had a close group of friends-mostly guys, in college I commuted but I still had my sorority sisters and then it happened… I got married and moved, so this caused me to make new friends. I had a great group of them too. We’d go out on Friday nights, have BBQ’s on Saturdays, hang out in the evenings and just talk at someone’s house and then it happened again…we had a kid.

Now I sometimes wonder why I even own a cell phone when I can’t think of who to call.

I still have my old friends but since none of us are living in the same place as where we started our friendships they don’t fill the void of who do I spend my day-to-day friendship time with.

Sure I have a lot of people I call friends but most of them are older with older kids so they don’t have to live the early to bed hermit life we have going on. Those that are our age are either still rocking the single world or if they are married, they have yet to start their baby making days.

Now for some reason my husband could care less.
He is perfectly content with hanging with our kid, the guys at the fire department and me of course. I however, need more interaction and I need it with other mom’s. I think it would be easier if my husband wasn’t working every other weekend and it is just JC and I looking for things to do…there is only so much mall time my small budget can handle and only so long my little man will let me shop for as well.

So this is where I have a problem…why are all my mommy friends online and not local so they can come over for an afternoon glass of say sweet tea
(it’s only proper when you live in the south)
While our kids play together? How do I make mommy friends?

I swear I stare jealously of women that are out together with their kids.
This is particularly hard for me since I work all week so mom groups are out, I run into mom’s in my neighborhood but that might be one night at the park or one day at the pool but then it might be weeks before I see them again.

I look at JC and wonder how kids do it? How do they just start playing with someone and by the end of the day they are best friends? So here I am as one mom to a group of others asking
“How do I make friends?”

If you need some ideas yourself check out this website

-Christine Bouchard

O.k. Annie again and let me tell you this hits close to home! We moved to a new state 6 months after Katie was born and I felt LOST being a full time stay at home mom in a new town/state with no one to talk to except my online community.

Now... first and foremost I want to say that my online network of moms has been INVALUABLE to m over the last year and a half. I don't think I would have survived moving and being out here alone without you all and Facebook has been a wonder at helping me make strong connections with people that were only acquaintance before I had a child. Christine for instance is someone I went to high school with and we knew each other but weren't particularly close... Now, 11 years later, (ouch that hurt to say) we are finding that we are SO SIMILAR that we would probably be spending every other day together if we lived in the same vicinity! However, multiple states separate us and without the ability to physically get together - it's not the same as being able to call someone over for coffe/tea or wine!

Now, I am SUPER lucky in that when we moved here - there was already a young family with a daughter living in the 2 family we rent. So, it was an instant friend for Katie and for me. Even luckier - we actually get along and have some things in common, so it's a very valuable and reciprocal friendship and not just a play date once a week.

I also found another good friend by park stalking. I know, I know... it sounds awful - but the reality is - we met one day at the park and started talking and I think we both knew we weren't like "the other mothers" - you know who I am talking about - the "park" moms who show up in designer clothing with their $5 lattes and sit on the benches and talk trash about the other people in the park - very Mean Girls and not my style.

Unfortunately, I didn't see her again for a few weeks or maybe it was months... either way - I was bummed that I hadn't taken that chance to get her information - then I finally saw her again at the park and we talked and exchanged information and found out we were considering signing up our daughters for the same mommy and me class. That conversation set me over the edge and made me sign her up and we haven't looked back since then.

DOUBLE LUCKY - her daughter is the same age as Katie and she also watches another little boy who is 2 months younger than them. So - it's win win for all of us!

If it hadn't been for the park and going out of our way to reach out to each other - we wouldn't be where we are today.

I am still in the market to add to my roster. I'm a very social lady and Katie is great at playing with other kids - so I look forward to what you all have to say and hope that I can take some of your tips and use them to find more friends for all of us.

OH And a final thought - I totally understand when it comes to the husbands being different. My husband is the same way - he doesn't need as much social interaction as I do - and I find it hard to understand that as I'm sure he finds it hard to understand why I get so sad sometimes that I don't have too many people to call over for a girls night or to chat with over a bottle of wine at the end of a long week. But we support each other in our personal preferences for social interaction and whereas I would rather go to Starbucks and learn to crochet for the night, my husband is happy going to the REDBULLS soccer games, sometimes by himself and it works for him and it works for me!

Ladies - let's chat!

Christine - thanks again for bringing about a VERY IMPORTANT and relevant topic for us.


  1. This post totally hit home for me. We moved an hour away from family and friends to be closer to our jobs. I dont know how often I say I wish I had friends nearby. I work full time and whenever I look for mom groups, they are all for stay at homers and meet during the week.I have a group of friends from highschool that I get together with every 2 months or so. We all have kids the same age but I am looking for that local person and not feel like we have to pack up and trek across the state... Sara in Manchester, CT looking for another mom to be my friend...

  2. Wow, my friends and I were just talking about this yesterday. Right now I live in the neighborhood you all want to live in. I've made so many friends here. Mostly from church, but some are moms of friends Halle's made at school, too, and even neighbors without kids. (and when I say 'so many' I mean it, we usually have 15-20 moms (most with more than 1 kid) show up to our weekly park day). And I seriously love them all. Cuz they're the same girls I call up for a girls night, or a double date, or even vacation! Nothing's better than when your friend has kids that get along great with your kids--AND even better--when your husbands like each other, too! It's funny because our last neighborhood (less than 10 miles away) wasn't like this, we had a few friends, but not like here. As far as advice goes, all I've got is don't be intimidated in joining an established group. I'm kind of a shy personality in the beginning. But it really is important to reach out to others, like you said, Annie. We try to invite everyone to girls nights and lots of women never come. And at park day, we always talk to new people and tell them we go every week and invite them back. But it's very rare to see someone again. Maybe it's usually a bad time for them, or they already have a bunch of friends--or maybe we scared them away with our over-friendly Mormon ways--but we're always looking to welcome new friends to our group. And trust me we are so far from the designer clothes, latte drinking type! We're the clearance shopping, babysitting swapping, ice cream sundaes and boardgames kind of girls. My friends help me actually enjoy being crammed into this tiny rental house, home with 2 (sometimes bratty) kids all day. :) It's really hard being a mom and friends can make all the difference! And as far as husbands go--we've actually got them hanging out without us now!!! Yay! We found that a lot of them like UFC, so whenever a fight's on we encourage them to go watch somewhere. Makes me never want to move from here! So move out to AZ!! We've got room for you! :)

  3. I've been dying to say something without sounding like a pathetic person who can't make friends! I have always been insanely social, but the second I had kids, my closest friends (who don't have kids)apparently realized that they don't like kids that much and they only really want to hang out with me without my kids. Without a reliable babysitter (I can't afford to pay one and I am at the mercy of other people's schedules), I can't go out all that often. I have made one or two mommy friends from Jack's pre-school, but they have jobs and are busy people. There are a ton of stay at home moms at Jack's school, but they are minimally 10+ years older than I am and they are the designer clothes wearing latte type. Also, I tend to look a lot younger than I am so they all look down on me like I am one of those girls from 16 and pregnant and I have not one clue what I'm doing. So now, I reach out to my friends on facebook and have also made so many acquaintances into friends but no one lives near here and I end up feeling isolated! That's so not me!

  4. I seriously think we should start a commune somewhere where the weather is warm all the time. We just have to figure out a way for all the people that work (moms and hubbies) can telecommute to their jobs.
    Think of all the play dates, dinner dates, free babysitting and parties we could all have.

    Seriously... we should think about it - it would be AWESOME

  5. OK so here I am the writer of this blog saying I LOVE YOU ALL!! So here is what I am trying and I know it is the worst thing in the world- I am going to use my son's athletic ability and he is starting soccer this Saturday in a Mommy, Daddy and Me group. I mean this is totally for JC so he can learn about the game but at the same time I am praying there are mom's there that I, I mean we, just click with. I can't wait for him to enter kindergarten before I start making friends. Is it wrong to make up business cards that say JC's mom and my phone number and maybe a little bit about me on the back- like I love to shop cheap, drink cheap, I have no idea what life is like after 9pm but I am willing to see if you are. OK now I am just laughing at myself.
    I am just glad I am not the only one who feels this way- thanks ladies for not making me feel like a total loser- well except for Amy but she is just lucky I have known her since she we were like 4 and I love her to death.

  6. Umm, hello guys... I told you--the commune is already set up out here!! I totally got lucky moving into this neighborhood, but trust me I know what it feels like on the otherside!

  7. And it is warm all the time here, too. Interested? You can get a gorgeous 2000 sq ft home for $150,000...

  8. I often feel like I am jumping up and down waving my hands in the air - "hello moms, I'm an adult mother of 2 who enjoys a variety of activities- be my friend!"
    You have all said what I am feeling - I had a big group of girl friends when I graduated college and unfortunately as life changes, sometimes people change and when I got married some friends fell out of touch and it seems when I had a baby, the rest of them lost touch. It's hard when they don't seem to understand why you don't ever want to go out in the city for a bar party that starts at 10 PM and you pay $30 to drink all you want. First of all, if I am awake at 10 PM in those early baby days it's usually because I'm feeding a baby. and the city is far from home. and I would need a babysitter. and $30 is a LOT of money to spend when you really are going to end up having ONE drink (because you know you're so tired more than one will cause you to instantly pass out and really that hangover is sooo not worth it when you know you're going to be up soon with a crying baby). and apparently I am TERRIBLE at making new mom friends. I am shy around new people and that makes it VERY hard. I also have Katie's problem where I look like I'm 12 and I've had people on more than one occasion ask me if I was my son's babysitter. (and then immediately look to see if I am wearing a wedding band when I say I am his mother - thanks judgemental, I don't want to be your friend). I basically employ the "get in-have fun- get out" approach these days when doing kid things like classes. I focus more on having fun with my son because I have yet to find those moms lingering around the park or classes or the neighborhood who seem to be into the same things I am into. Thank goodness for the internet and facebook, because without my mom friends it would be really really hard. I think I need to move ... to the commune? :) thanks for posting this topic.

  9. I think we all need to have girls night via Skype/oovoo. Bring your own glass of wine and whatever you are comfortable wearing and of course your gift of gab.

  10. I am the mom annie met in the park :) We have a lot in common and our kids like each other (thank God!!!!!) It has been a wonderful new friendship that I am sooo happy began!
    I was on the younger side when I had my daughter and most of my friends are not even married yet never mind looking to have kids! I have another group of mommy friends that have older children that I met while babysitting a friends nephew. So although it is nice to have these friends sometimes it stinks cause they are in different places with their children then I am.
    I have to say it can be awkward but you have to make friends for your kids by talking to moms at Barnes and Noble and the park ( make sure you like the mom and kid first lol) There are also a lot of moms clubs out there. Look online and see if there are any in your area they tend to do things on the weekends also! Local libraries also have children programs that are wonderful to meet new moms too! Good Luck! Oh and there is this awesome group stroller strides they are groups of women that walk in malls before they open and local parks together.