I would like to preface this post by saying that the greatest gift I have ever received in life is the ability to be a mostly stay-at-home mom (I work 15 hours weekly as a nanny and get to bring my son). I get to experience every awesome second of Gray’s life, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I know many moms would love this opportunity, and I am in no way being ungrateful. That said, being a SAHM can be very isolating at times. Sometimes, I think fondly of the biggest nut jobs I ever worked with and long for the conversations I once dreaded. At least they were adult conversations that usually involved complete sentences and (occasionally) took my feelings, desires, and interests into consideration.
Growing up, I was surrounded by the children of my mom’s friends. We were close enough in age to occupy each other for a bit while our mothers sat watching and discussing (and probably drinking). We vacationed together, spent holidays together, and had slumber parties when our parents traded nights of babysitting. It was a win-win. Kids need other kids and moms need other moms. I am still friends, at least on Facebook, with most of these “kids.” I always assumed that when I had children it would be the same. But it isn’t. I don’t have many close friends with children near the same age, and the acquaintances I do have all seem perfectly satisfied with the close-knit group of mom friends they already have. Sometimes, moms can be so cliquish! A friend of mine actually overheard two mothers interviewing another mom to be in their mom-group! Can you imagine? It is like high-school all over again. And when it isn’t like high-school, it’s like dating. You are forced to linger awkwardly around other mothers at playgrounds and libraries just hoping to strike up a conversation that will lead to an exchange of numbers.
Unfortunately, if you too don’t have any close friends with kids, I don’t have any advice on how to make the process any less like dating. But I do have some advice on where to pick up dates. I wish you the best of luck! Remember, there are lots of fish in the sea and all that good stuff.
This website is like Match.com for mothers. You answer questions about yourself, your family, and your children. You find your place on a sliding scale between conservative and liberal, creative and methodical, ambitious and relaxed. You can select how important it is to find moms that are like you on a spiritual, economic, or intellectual level. You list your specific interests and choose whether you are searching for casual play dates or a mama-soulmate. Once you have entered in all your information, Mom Meet Mom uses an algorithm to match you with moms like yourself. It’s pretty nifty. Trouble is, there aren’t many moms using it in Nashville (it is still in the early stages of development), and those who are did not respond to my attempts to connect beyond accepting me as a “friend.” Mom meet mom has met with approval from Parents Magazine, The Huffington Post, and Good Morning America, so I do believe that, with time, it will become a really great tool for moms. I’d like to see more personal information from users in the form of pictures, favorite movies, music, and books and general interests. Make a profile for yourself, answer some questions, and get out there!
This is a cute app for iPhone and Android users designed to help moms meet other moms and find a community. You can post questions to other mamas around the globe or find play dates, swap baby items, or just chat with local mothers. So far, I have really just chatted. I have made mild attempts to put together some play dates, but they haven’t yet come to fruition. I like that you can post multiple pictures to your profile—that helps in getting some sense of who you are chatting with. Again, this app has real potential!
This is a really cool website and one of my favorites. There are at least 2 hikes every week in Nashville and surrounding areas that you can attend. Some are toddler and stroller friendly, and some require you to wear your kiddo. You can even choose to lead your own hikes if there isn’t one in which you are interested. This is a great way to meet moms while getting some exercise and exposure to the outdoors. I have been on two smaller hikes in Edwin Warner Park, and both have been really nice. I even made a new hiking buddy on one of them. You will want to be sure to follow their Facebook page as well to get to know the other moms you will be hiking with and receive updates about scheduled hikes. (Keep an eye out for our Hike It Baby feature post next week!)
Facebook groups have been a great place for me to meet new mom-friends (or at least to ask questions or have discussions with local parents). Here are a few I recommend, in no particular order:
- Nashville Moms Blog (of course!)
- Nashville Moms Group
- Greater Nashville Area Playdates
- East Nashville Families
- Murfreesboro Moms
You are 100% guaranteed to find play-dates and meet moms using this website. There are several different Meetup groups for local parents that have several play dates a week. Sometimes a few people attend, sometimes a lot. It is an easy site to use—just sign up, join groups, receive emails about upcoming events, and go! You will find meetups at the zoo, playgrounds, libraries, coffee shops, even other mamas’ homes. I can’t promise that you will meet “the one,” but you will meet other parents and your child will have other children with whom they can play. Here are the groups I recommend joining, but there are many others to consider.
Don’t forget, Nashville Moms Blog has really fun events (and is planning more for 2015) that are a great way to meet local moms! We are also working on a list of local MOMS Clubs and groups as a part of our Guide to Nashville.
If you have information on other ways to meet mothers in Nashville, we’d love to hear them!