When you are a first-time mom with a newborn, you realize just how much you don’t know, how much research you have to do to take care of a baby, and how isolating motherhood can be if you don’t know anyone to share it with. Moving to brand-new city as a mom can make you feel all those feelings again. Even if you’ve been a mom for years, there are area-specific tips and tricks you can only get from local insiders — where to take swim lessons, which restaurants have playscapes, what options do you have for school, who can you talk to about all of it. It can be overwhelming to help your kids find their place in a new town when you don’t have a place either.
Fortunately, with so many people moving to Austin, there are lots of new-to-town moms out there looking for friends to help fill in those gaps.
Whether you just moved here or never found your mom village, here are some tips on how to make mom friends.
Commit to putting yourself out there
When we moved to Austin in 2019, I had a baby and an almost 3-year-old, and I was intimidated to move to a new city where I didn’t know any other moms. In our old city, I hadn’t made much effort to find nearby moms with kids the same ages — I relied on old friends I already had, many of whom lived 45 minutes away from me, or had kids who were either too young or too old to really play with mine. By the time my oldest was ready for preschool, I realized I didn’t have a network to ask about the ins and outs of enrolling in school or soccer leagues or swimming pools, and I didn’t want to let that happen again.
I knew I wanted to find some friends as soon as we moved here to make Austin feel like home, so I was very intentional about showing up to play groups and following through with meet-ups. It was a little uncomfortable at times, but the discomfort didn’t last long — it gets easier and easier to introduce yourself and soon, you aren’t new anymore! Every interaction didn’t end with a lifelong friend, but they’ve all led me to have acquaintances I recognize out and about.
Find a moms club or join one of AustinMoms.com Neighborhood Groups
A moms club is a great place to start when you’re new because it’s an already-established group of women who are looking for connection. If you’re a little more introverted or feel funny reaching out to a stranger, a moms group can make meeting people easier (though they do tend to skew toward stay-at-home moms, so finding the right group as a working mom will be more of a challenge). Check for Moms Club chapters near you, join a Moms of Preschoolers (MOPS) group if you’re interested in a church-based setting, or ask about moms clubs in local Facebook groups.
Throw a birthday party
Your kid’s birthday party is a great excuse to invite a bunch of acquaintances to hang out without it being weird. My son turned 3 about a month after we moved to Austin, and I invited everyone we knew — his whole class, everyone we had met through play groups, coworkers with kids — to a party at a park. We hadn’t thrown (or even been to) a kids party, so my expectations were pretty low, but most people showed up! It gave me a chance to learn the names of classmates’ parents that I’d seen at drop-off and chat more with moms I’d met once or twice.
Mine loose connections
If you have any high school or college acquaintances with kids in your city, reach out to see if they’d be interested in a play date. It’ll be good to catch up and, even better, build on the relationship.
Ask your friends if they know any cool moms in your new city. Yes, it may feel like you’re desperately trawling for a date, but chances are, that mom is looking for some adult interaction too. One of my best mom friends came from an obvious set-up by a mutual friend, and I couldn’t have survived the pandemic without her!
Make the first move
If you’re chatting with someone at the playground or you always see the same mom in the hall at school, it’s not weird to introduce yourself! Just knowing the names of people you see all the time or adding some neighborhood moms on Facebook can go a long way toward making you feel like you belong. It gives you an easy in to start conversation in the future and maybe eventually hang out together.
Check out one of the Austin Moms annual events!
Several times a year, AustinMoms.com hosts an event that connects hundreds of moms to one another. The Mom’s Night Out is hosted in the Spring and the Fall and this November we will be at Springdale Station! Bloom for New and Expecting Families will be held at Lake Hills on September 18. Come hang out with us!
They say it takes a village, so start finding mom friends to build your new village now!
Photo Credit :: Jessica Rockowitz Photography