As parents, we’re quick to set up play dates and social interaction times for our children. We recognize the importance of providing opportunities for our children to be among their peers; however, we often fail to do the same thing for ourselves. This is especially true for moms who work outside the home — they sometimes feel guilty for any activity that’s not child-centered. However, the wisdom, feedback and commiseration that can come from fellow moms is a critical tool for surviving the daily challenges of parenting.
Here are a few tips for finding candidates for your “Mommy Network” from working mom Claire Haas, who also serves as Vice President, Education at Kiddie Academy.
- Start by becoming a mom detective. Develop a mental description of the type of person you’d like to hang out with, and be on the lookout for a mom who fits your criteria. For example, perhaps you want a mom with a similar approach to discipline as your own. By watching how other moms handle common parenting situations, you’ll gather clues about the person.
- Enroll in a “mommy and me” class. Whether you choose music, swimming, yoga or something else, chances are you’ll get an opportunity to connect with other mothers.
- Join a community pool or recreation center.
- Be a regular at your neighborhood’s playground.
- Attend child-focused performances, such as theatre or dance.
- Network at your childcare provider’s location. Many have parents groups.
Visit the children’s section of your public library or book store.
Once you identify a few potential buddies, you may wonder how to tell if you’ll be compatible. Here are some clues that can help you to evaluate a possible mom friend:
- Does she seem to be having fun at the playground/pool, etc.?
- How does she interact with her child?
- Check out how she dresses – does it match your own style?
- What does she read or do while waiting for her child during sports practice? By observing, you may find a mom who likes the same books, or a fellow knitter.
Once you’ve identified a potential pal, don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to her. You already have a major thing in common, which is half the equation when making friends.
For more parenting tips and resources, visit Claire at the Kiddie Academy Family Essentials blog at: http://www.kafamilyessentials.