But after having kids, even a city that seemed familiar before, suddenly has changed. You notice how wide the sidewalks are, how narrow the entrances are, and look for safe places to nurse your child. That sweet new child of yours has become top of mind, often in place of your own needs. Meeting moms who understand your day to day challenges needs to be a first priority.
(We're being a little sexist here, by just referring to moms for simplicity sake. Dads need Dad buddies too, and the same tips apply)
- Use Meetup Groups. Meetup.com has a global presence. The groups are self organized, but there are often mom meetup groups in most locations.
- 2nd-3rd degree connections – Moving to a new city, it’s possible you don’t know anyone there. Facebook calculated all of its users, are on average connected by 3.5 degrees of separation. What does this mean? A direct friend of your has 1 degree of separation, and a friend’s friend is 2 degrees away, and so on. That means the universe of people you have some sort of connection with is much larger than you can even manage. Perhaps a friend’s friend can introduce a local friend. The power of a connected introduction is that not only has it been “prescreened” so to speak, but you’re likely to have more reasons to meet again in the future.
- Find Your Niche – There are typically groups segmented by everything from gender, race, ethnicity, to hobbies like hiking and cooking.
- Local expat groups – If you've moved to a new country, there are often localized support groups meant to welcome foreigners. For example Seoul has Korean Centers for Multicultural Families. Setup to support mixed families, they even offer free Korean classes for immigrants. Facebook also tends to have many expat groups.
- Mom support organizations – La Leche League is an international breastfeeding support group. The local meetings are organized by leaders and are great resources for breastfeeding moms. It’s also a way to meet other moms.
- Social Media – Find your tribe online! Facebook groups, even to a certain extent Yahoo groups provide localized support.
Very few consider the loneliness of motherhood before embarking on this long haul journey. The distance that's put between you and other adults is very real.