Photo credit: www.pregnancyandbaby.com
Being a new mom is no joke. You might’ve lived in the same city your entire life, have friends galore from high school, college, and work, but when you have a baby, EVERYTHING changes. One minute you’re a cool, calm, and collect professional and the next you’re alone and wearing two-day-old leggings, a dirty t-shirt and a messy bun (not in that cute way – this one’s greasy) with a screaming baby on your hip. Your “old” friends are out galavanting the streets of Charlotte at Happy Hour, and you are just trying to make it to the next nap time without losing your MIND. When my babies were little, at least I had Oprah at 4:00 pm SHARP to guide me to my “Aha” moment – new moms don’t even have that these days. What a shame.
So, what’s a new mom to do when she finds herself in desperate need of a Smarty Squad? Here are our tips for finding true friends. Note that you might make some friends now that are in your tribe for this stage, and down the road, you might look around and realize you’ve got a completely new posse. Don’t worry. It’s not a marriage proposal. It’s a friendship, and coming and going is totally normal. But, we bet with these helpful tips you’ll find some #friends4life – or at least your key to sanity for now.
Smarty Tips to Finding the Perfect Mommy Match
Roll with it. As in forward roll. Join a baby gymnastics class – or swim, music, or dance. Or join ’em all if your budget allows it. And put your phone down while you’re in class. Strike up a convo with the mom next to you in the singing circle (I mean, your pride is already checked at the door, what’s there to lose?). I met some of my dearest friends at My Gym on Park Road. When my oldest was a baby, I would open my calendar and pen in “My Gym.” And that, my friends, was our only activity of the day. Our morning would consist of class then lunch – it was perfection and the reason I survived those first few months (even if we had six screaming babies in the food court – at least we were together). If you’re a full-time working mama, join in on the fun on Saturdays!
Stay close to home. Check out your neighborhood’s Facebook page or Next Door page and post something about meeting new moms out for a stroller walk or coffee with the babies. Join a book club – or a podcast club if books have a funny way of making your eyes fall heavy. Start a neighborhood supper club (or takeout club if cooking is too much – baby steps, my friend). Stop and talk to a neighbor at her mailbox. And, I know we are SO over summer, but next time you’re at the baby pool, lonely and in despair at the new shape your body has taken, start a convo with the mom next to you. Whatever it takes to connect with those closest to you (in a non-stalker-ish way, of course).
Get physical. Speaking of misshapen bodies, we are SO lucky to have an amazing range of fitness classes in the QC. Use it to your advantage! First of all, we have the best YMCA branches on the planet – not only do they have a huge array of fitness classes, but they also have community meet-ups. I found a stellar playgroup at the Harris YMCA back in ’04 (shout out to my girls – you know who you are!) solely by word of mouth because, yep, no social media back then. Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of pictures of these amazing women because, get this, we also didn’t have camera phones, but they are embedded in my memory. Ask the YMCA or Lifetime Fitness manager if there are any active groups, and if there isn’t one, START ONE. Also, chat it up to the lady next to you at Pure Barre, CycleBar, Carolina Barre and Core, or whatever your fitness jam is. You never know – she might just be your new best friend – or at least someone you can share your ups and downs with.
Book it. We not only have some of the best YMCA branches in the country, we also have the SMARTIEST public library system in the world. We adore the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library for many reasons, but their awesome events for babies and preschoolers are a big reason why they’re top on our list. Check out your favorite branch’s schedule and make sure to sign up ahead of time. These events are free and popular!
Go old school. Reach out to your collegiate alum group here in town to see if there is a new mom group. If nothing else, at least you’ll all agree on what color to wear on game day, right?
Get digital. Have y’all heard of this new Tinder-like app for moms that just hit the QC? It’s called Peanut, and it officially launches TODAY in Charlotte. The app says it brings “Charlotte mamas together who share common interests and values” and is “the smart and easy way for the mobile-first generation of mamas to make new friendships both online and in-person, and also share experiences, ask questions, and poll other mamas on topics that matter to them.” Since we ARE a digital magazine, we are super excited about this new resource for moms. Definitely check it out!
We’d LOVE to hear from you. What are your tried-and-true ways to finding mommy friends? Leave us a comment below or head to our Facebook page and post a message to us!