When we moved to Lakewood Ranch, FL 3 years ago from Virginia, we didn’t know a single person. It was a business move we chose to accept, and I was still working at the time. I resigned from my management position and moved away from every single family member and childhood friend. I had a 16 month old, no friends, we left our newly built dream home, and were renting a condo. I slowly started moving into a slight depression (as I probably wasn’t over my post-partum depression yet. I was homesick probably the entire first year. There were many tears on phone calls home to family and friends. I really needed some support. My husband was so worried about me making friends he called me several times a day to ask me if I’d met anyone. Within 2 months of moving here, I looked online to find the local mom’s group (something I never needed to join.) It wasn’t until I volunteered for a position on the mom’s group board, as a playgroup coordinator, that I really started to meet others. I’ve made a note of some tips that I think has helped me over the past few years.
1. Start a Group
We have many groups within the moms group. A bible study, book club, neighborhood groups, mom’s night outs, walking and running groups, kid’s outings, etc. Pick some hobbies or interests and set up something to do. People come and go and it takes a bit of organization, but I wouldn't have met any of my friends otherwise. For about a year, I scheduled walks out at Benderson Park a couple times a week during my 2nd pregnancy. It can take a lot of initiative sometimes, but I’ve met some great people at some of these events. Hang in there and try not to get discouraged. It’s hard finding that right fit but if you keep at it, someone will come along.
2. Hang Out With the Moms of Your Kids' Friends
One relatively easy way to make new friends is to reach out to the moms you see at the park, the school playground, or at any of the places where you shuttle your kids. As your child gets older it does get easier to meet other moms.
3. Pursue Your Interests
If you can catch a weekly or even just a monthly break from the home front, a good way to meet like-minded people is to join a class or take up exercise in places where other moms might be too. (1/2 off wine or beer happy hours are a good place to start, haha)
4. Cast Your Net Wide
Finding new friends takes some effort. Talk to moms wherever you go! I’m known to disappear at events to introduce myself, because I enjoy connecting people. I know how hard it is when you first move here. You have to meet and chat with hundreds of moms before you find a few that you really click with and want to be actual friends with.
Hopefully this helps gives you some ideas on how to meet new mom friends. It can be tough at first, but remember, the majority of us were in the same place you were just a few years ago. So it can be easy to strike up a conversation by simply asking where they’re from. Good luck and happy friend finding! I may be your next best friend!