Moving to a new town can be difficult. Moving to a new town with 2 kids under 2 and no family or friends nearby is quite frankly scary. That was our situation 3 years ago. We were renting a condo and the owner needed to sell it. We had enough time to look for a place but due to the birth of my youngest and subsequent medial issues, we waited till there was only 2 weeks left before we had to move… YIKES!!!
After speaking with our realtor, we took a leap of faith (or rather my husband did and I couldn’t do much about it) and decided to move to a new town and rent a house sight unseen (except for a few pictures online). We chose our particular town because of its reputation, the family resources and the public school system. Our ultimate goal was to find the town that would be our forever home. We decided the best way to test if it was, was to rent for a short period of time… so we did.
Having just become a stay at home mom, I was eager to make friends. I craved some adult conversation and support as a new mom of two. To get what I wanted… what I needed… I just started to go out and do things.
Here are 5 things I did that helped me make what I hope are lifelong friendships for myself and my girls:
1. Go to the Library
The Library is such a great resource. Besides the obvious of having books to read to your kids, the library has lots of free, scheduled story and art times as well as special performances (music, magic, jugglers, animals and more). It is during these activities that I have met other mamis like me… new to parenting, new to the town, new to being a stay at home mom… you get the idea. It is from these activities that many play dates have been formed and a few mom’s night out.
2. Join your local YMCA
As a mom, i wanted my daughters to participate in activities that get them moving. I also wanted to get moving myself. Joining the YMCA was the perfect solution. I enrolled the girls in gymnastics, soccer and dance and the girls went from mommy and me classes to independent classes. I also took advantage of (or tried to at least) the “Child Watch” so the girls can play and I could work out. We are still members of the YMCA and are always meeting new people.
3. Reach out to the other mamis in your child’s Preschool/School
I’m not sure if it is common, but once i enrolled my daughter’s in pre-school, the teacher gave us a class list with the contact information for the children in the class. Reach out to the parents, especially the parents of the children your child talks most about. Set up play dates. Call and ask for recommendations (pediatric as, dentists, a family friendly restaturant). Get the conversation started. You never know what you may have in common.
4. Join Facebook groups
This was a huge step for means I mean HUGE!!! I have always been against social media but I knew I would need it to get the word out about my businesses. My businesses were the only reason I created social media accounts. However, I soon learned about FB groups and how they can be useful for networking and to learn about my town and the surrounding towns. I found multiple groups that were geared towards women/moms/entrepreneurs in my town and even one for Latina Mamas (which was exciting because I am always looking for good Spanish Food). As a result, many virtual friendships and real friendships have been fostered.
5. Moms club/groups
Many towns have Moms Clubs/Groups where you can meet other moms, create play groups, have events for the family and for the moms and/or more. These may be part of a non-profit organization or through your church. Whatever they are part of, know that they are out there so look for them.
Whether you volunteer at your place of worship, your child’s school or in the community sports program, try to find something. It could be big or small… but by volunteering you are helping others, setting a positive example and you never know who you will meet.
So those are my 6 tips. I know that moving in general is never easy and moving to a new town is just as tough. It has been 3 years since we moved to our new town and we decided it will be our forever town as we purchased our first home last year. Hopefully the above suggestions benefit you whether you try one or all of them. What other ideas do you have to meet new people?