Social distancing certainly complicates socializing, but it’s still possible to make new mom friends—and connect with old ones—during the pandemic. With a bit of effort and creativity, you can nurture friendships with other moms who’ll relate to what you’re going through, whether it’s teething troubles, teenage texting, or anything in between.
How to Make New Mom Friends During the Pandemic
In the absence of traditional meet-ups like parent-baby yoga classes and library story hours, the easiest way to make new mom friends during the pandemic is online.
Download a friend-finding app. Peanut follows the model of popular dating apps: You upload a photo and some basic info, like your kids’ ages, then pick a few descriptors that fit you—examples include crafty, outdoorsy, military, and LGBTQ+—and then swipe up or down on profiles of local moms with shared interests.
Join neighborhood-specific parent email listserv or Facebook groups. If the idea of putting out a call for friends there is too intimidating, you might find just the baby bouncer you were looking for and a friendly conversation with the mom who’s selling it.
Socializing with Mom Friends During the Pandemic
Once you find a new pal or two, or reconnect with old ones, what’s the plan? Right now, the safest way to meet your social needs is in one of two places: outdoors or online.
Plan a virtual coffee date or happy hour. After a day full of Zoom meetings and navigating your child’s remote learning, you might feel like turning your computer’s camera back on is the last thing you want to do. But a virtual coffee date or happy hour doesn’t carry the same performance pressure as a conference with a client. Mom friends are there for you to be real and to offer reassurance.
Try good old-fashioned texting. If home life is too hectic right now to find 60 consecutive minutes to devote to socializing, texting can still provide you with camaraderie. Maybe you just want to know that someone else is up feeding the baby at 2am, or that you weren’t the only one who lost it when your kids demanded snack number 17 before lunch. A group text can be a quick, convenient way to reach out when you need some mom-to-mom connection.
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Host a watch party. If it’s going to the movies with friends that you miss, or you’re simply looking for an easily shared activity, watching films or shows together, while apart, is simple to do. You can use Netflix party to invite multiple friends to watch along, with a chat running alongside the screen. Alternatively, you can share a screen via Zoom or Google Meet. Simply counting down from three and pressing play at the same time or planning to watch the same TV show as it airs also does the trick. Chat, talk, or just enjoy each other’s company while you watch.
Get outside. The warm summer days of picnics on blankets spaced 6 feet apart may be over (at least for a few months), but even in cooler weather you can still make time to be with friends outdoors. To stay warm, get on the move! Organize a stroller walk or a mom’s run club, or bundle up the little ones and take a group hike on a nearby trail.
It can feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to make and keep social connections, but the rewards are well worth the effort. You get to feel less isolated, and at the same time you are modeling healthy friendships for your children. The whole family benefits when your reserves, and sense of humor, have been restored.
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Marie Holmes has written for Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan, the Washington Post, and other publications. She lives in Upper Manhattan with her wife and their two children.
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