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MoxieTopics

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Comments

erika

I know this is about mothers and PPD, but what about the stay-at-home daddies? I work full-time while my husband is at home with our 6 month old daughter. He's a great dad but there are times when I get home and he's quite shell-shocked. Especially now that she's a big wiggly bundle of energy. Any suggestions on how to convince him that meeting other parents is a good idea?

Denise

Good advice. Oddly, I found that my existing friends that had kids around the same time were not as good for resources than new friends I made. Did anyone else find that--you just couldn't transition your old friendship to a "kid" friendship? We just had different parenting styles, namely that they needed lots of advance notice to plan things with the kids, and I could only arrange plans on the fly.

Moxie

Erika, that's a toughie. We had a few SAHDs in our playgroup, but they were all met at the playground. None of them ventured into new parents' groups or classes. (Once they were in playgroup, though, they liked it and were full participants.) Maybe you could sign him up for a class with your daughter on the pretense that it'll be good for her, but really so he can meet other parents?

K.

You don't have to go through the trouble of finding a Staples, you can get free business cards (250 for $4.95 shipping costs) at www.vistaprint.com. They offer really quick tunaround, and they replaced a whole set - no questions asked - that had a printing problem.

Some of the free designs are really cheesy, but some are cool. Both designs I have gotten get compliments galore. I just moved, so I knew I would be meeting lots of new people, I consider them "calling cards."

laura

One thing that has been cool for me with making new mommy friends has been that, with the good ones, they are like my oldest girlfriends in that they don't expect or need to hear from me every day. My two best mommy buddies in my neighborhood and I see each other pretty rarely (all of us work and have long commutes)-- but when we do run into each other, its like we saw each other yesterday. So-- I said all that to say-- if you met a cool Mom once, in line at the store, for instance, and lost her number or something, don't hesitate to say hi the next time you see her again. If she's cool she really won't question the fact that Moms of toddlers lose things like phone numbers (and their sanity!) all the time. Instantly you know you've found someone who doesn't sweat the small stuff, and now you have a new friend. It truly is the easiest that making friends has been since college.

meg

Of all the difficulties of being a new mom and PPD I found this the hardest. I desperately missed having friends, but my work friends didn't have kids and were at work all day, my good friends with kids lived pretty far. I needed to meet new people, but could hardly get it together to leave the house. I came home from the park one time in tears because the other moms there already knew each other and had older kids and didn't talk to me. It was like being in Jr. High. ( I should have just talked to them...but I didn't)

Still, I kept going to that park and another woman was often there at the same time/day, and her daughter was about the same age as my son, and we would smile and chit-chat. I would come home from the park in a much better mood on those days. My husband would say, "Did you get her number so you can get together?" but I never did.

Now, we are friends. Our kids are in the same preschool class, and not only do I have her number but she is one of the "in case of emergency this person can pick up my son" people. We laugh about how shy we were at the beginning. I used to go to the park on those days just hoping she would be there, and she used to do the same thing.

Anyway, long story short (too late), those "calling cards" would have been a great idea.

Monica

I'm still struggling with this...Madam is 9 months old and we don't know a soul in our area. I think between being shell shocked at new parenthood, and living in a bit of an isolated suburb (we moved when I was 3 months pregnant)...it just hasn't happened yet. We're moving again, and I'm going to make finding mommy friends a priority, because I've definitely had bouts of depression since giving birth because I am so lonely.

Great advice, as usual.

arb

I wanted to throw out one other idea: Yahoo groups. In our area there is a baby-wearing group organized via Yahoo groups. I've also seen Yahoo groups for local cloth-diapering parents, attachment parenting parents, and chapters of NINO (Nine In, Nine Out--I think it's a babywearing group too). I work outside the home so I don't get to particpate as much, but I've noticed that the moms in these groups seem to make friends with eachother and arrange walks and playdates regularly.

AmyinMotown

Do I get the loser award for it being almost 17 MONTHS and I haven't made mom friends yet? However, your suggestions are good good good!! I am outgoing in that I have no troubl starting conversations but shy in that I have trouble continuing/connecting. I would probably feel less unlikable if I had a few positive interactions with other moms.

Amy F

Ditto the yahoo groups! I found out about a local chapter of Attachment Parenting Intl. through Mothering.com's local tribe section while I was pregnant and all 3 of my weekly playgroups are subsets of that chapter. We've got yahoo groups for them where get-togethers are planned and general parenting questions are asked and answered. I would a total wreck without them.

Also churches and other worship places often have moms' sessions (often with free childcare for older kids) which would be a good way to meet moms with whom you'll at least have religion in common.

Cat, Galloping

You know, now I feel like a dope for not going back to that class at the hospital just because it turned out to be a breast feeding class with an Agenda and the women I met that one time blew me off. Bu the timing was bad, holiday after holiday (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years and a couple of snow days) and then next thing I knew, I was back at work.

For your readers, though, I recommend finding out if there is a MOMS club in your area: www.momsclub.org
The people at mine were definitely warmest and most welcoming.

Roasted Squid

Ditto again Yahoo or Google Groups. Look up your neighborhood + parents / mom/ baby/ family and you'll be surprised what you'll find. In our little corner of our universe, there is one general yahoo group and it's amazing how many subgroups have been spawned off based on age ranges! My playgroup was started from that larger group based on one lonely parent yellow out "I've got a 3 month old and I"m going stir crazy. Want to meet at a local cafe and chat?" 10 moms with newborns showed up. Over a year later, we've broken off into our own Yahoo group, organize playdates, mom night's out, first birthdays. It's AWESOME.

Her Bad Mother

I just came out of the PPD closet on my blog, but I didn't get around to talking about the loneliness, so I'm glad that this topic is up.

I second the suggestion of Yahoo groups and the like. Also check out craigslist.com for your city and maybe post an ad for new parents (dads can be friends, too).

And just scope out your neighbourhood for other parents. When I was a couple of weeks post-partum, my husband noticed that a couple down the street were coming and going with an infant car seat. He left a note in their mailbox saying, basically hi, we noticed that you have a new baby, we have a new baby too, we live over here, wanna have coffee sometime? And our phone number. (Yes, my husband is the best. He found me my first mom friend.) They noted us back, we called, had coffee, and before long the neighbour mom and I were stroller buddies and checking out play groups and library time and picking up other moms and before long there was a whole group of us.

But I still cruise other moms in the park. You can't have too many new mom friends.

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  • My expertise is in helping people be who they want to be, with a specialty in how being a parent fits into everything else. I like people. I like parents. I think you're doing a fantastic job. The nitty-gritty of what you do with your kids is up to you, although I'm happy to post questions here to get data points of how you could try approaching different stages, because, let's face it, this shit is hard. As for me, I have two kids who sleep through the night and can tie their own shoes. I've been a married SAHM, a married freelance WAHM, a divorcing WOHM, a divorced WOHM, and now a WAHM again. I'm not buying the Mommy Wars and I'll come sit next to you no matter how you're feeding your kid. When in doubt, follow the money trail. And don't believe the hype.
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