Building Your Village: Finding & Growing Friendship as a New Mom

I’m Sarah Hess, a licensed marriage and family therapist, and PMH-C with a passion for helping new parents, expectant parents, grieving parents, and those looking to start a family on their journey.

Becoming a mother is a transformative and life-changing experience. Welcoming a new baby into your family can be a time full of joy but can simultaneously bring feelings of loss of autonomy and identity and additional challenges. A common challenge new mothers face is developing and maintaining friendships.

The Importance of Friendship

You know the saying “it takes a village”? How do you manage if you don’t have a village? Establishing friendships with a new baby may seem to be at the bottom of the priority list, but creating friendships with other new moms can have many benefits, such as:

Emotional Support: Mom friends are at the same stage of life that you are, and, therefore can relate to the unique and new struggles you are facing. They can offer new perspectives and shoulders to lean on.

Social Engagement: Motherhood can have its sad moments, whether you’re on maternity leave, a stay-at-home mom, or just adjusting to the demands of new parenthood. Friends can offer opportunities to talk to adults and socialize, which can help with feelings of overwhelm or monotony.

Self-Care: Spending time interacting in ways that affirm your personality and identity helps maintain self-care and mental health.

Making New Mom Friends

Making new friends can be difficult, especially if you have a lot on your plate. How can you make new friends if you are sleep deprived and tired?

Join Mom Groups: Local mom groups are often offered in person and online and can allow you to connect with other like-minded parents. These groups usually host a variety of mommy and me events, support groups, and even educational groups surrounding postpartum care.

Attend Mommy-and-Me Classes: Have you heard of baby yoga or music classes for babies? Many offerings can help you socialize with other new moms and bond with your baby.

Take the Initiative: If you meet another mom you connect with, extend an invitation or exchange contact information. Everyone is trying to navigate this new journey as best they can!

Balancing Friendship and Motherhood

How do you balance new motherhood with maintaining a social life? It’s not always easy, but here are some tips:

Put Self-Care First: You can’t pour from an empty cup. Remember that you cannot care for others effectively without taking care of your own needs. Schedule something to prioritize yourself, even if it’s just a little time.

Set Realistic Expectations: Your social skills may change with a new baby, but you can still enjoy time with friends. Setting realistic expectations and recognizing the changes in your new lifestyle can help validate your experiences.

Talk Openly: Be open about limitations in your schedule or ability to engage in certain activities. Invite your friends to support you during this time.

Lean on Your Support System: Asking for help and receiving help is ok and can help you manage the stressors of new motherhood. If anyone offers to help, consider accepting them here!

Balancing friendships as a new mom can often be difficult. However, it can be a very beneficial aspect of maintaining your mental and emotional well-being during this time of what often feels like endless change. Remember that you are not alone in this journey of motherhood, and embracing new friendships and opportunities will help enrich your experiences as a new mother.

Author bio: Sarah Hess is a licensed marriage and family therapist, certified perinatal mental health, certified advanced grief counselor, Gottman Bringing Baby Educator, and Certified RETAIN Parental Leave Coach. Sarah is the owner and founder of Nurture Wellness, PLLC and can be found on social media as @insessionwithsarah. He currently practices in the Wilmington, North Carolina area and services the entire state of North Carolina. Sarah has received several local and state awards, and has been awarded local and national scholarships for her clinical work. She has authored emotional affirmation coloring pages that make a positive difference in elementary school classrooms in North Carolina School districts, and volunteers annually with the Climb Out of the Darkness Team Wilmington . Sarah is a Clinical Fellow, Professional Member, and Leadership Certificate 23′-24′ cohort member with the American Association of Marriage & Family Therapy (AAMFT) and a member of the North Carolina Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (NCAMFT) with she has been featured in several print and media outlets, and has spoken professionally on matters pertaining to peri and post natal mental health.

Keywords: motherhood, parenting, friendship, friend, mom friend, adult friendship, postpartum, self care, priorities, village, it takes a village

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button