By TMoM Team Member Kodia Byers
I have always considered myself a good friend, someone who makes friends easily, one with lots of people in my circle … lots of different circles in fact, constantly connecting with others.
When my first child was born there was naturally a shift in my social life. Did I lose some friends? Sure. Did I still have close friends and friendship circles? Absolutely. However, being that type of person didn’t change the feelings of isolation and loneliness that crept in … especially on those long days when my baby was the only person I saw until my husband came home from work. And being a stay at home mom, in a city where I didn’t know a ton of people at the time didn’t help my situation. The local friends I had were in a completely different stage of life with little to no regard for nap time. Forget going out for late night cocktails and shows – afterall, I’m the one that had to get up early the next morning with the baby while everyone else got to sleep the previous night’s fun off.
There came a point in time when I needed to get out of that rut. I needed local friends who understood my current season of motherhood. I’m pretty sure this is the point where I Googled “how to make mom friends” and came across the Peanut app (or as my husband amusingly refers to it, “Mom Tinder”) – an app specifically for moms in a certain area wanting to connect with other local moms! Brilliant! Connecting with other women going through the same ups and downs of motherhood that I was going through? Sign me up!
I’ll admit, when I first created my account I was a little cautious … OK, a lot cautious. How could I be authentic without sharing too much? Should I upload photos of my daughter? How safe is this, really? But I also reminded myself that I wouldn’t be able to make friends unless I abandoned my comfort zone.
I enthusiastically created my profile, letting other moms know I could be their “beer buddy,” “outdoorsy pal” or grab a coffee sometime because I’m “powered by caffeine.” I began scrolling through other’s profiles and swiping up (also known as “waving”) on ones I thought I may have something in common with. If that mom “waved” back, we were connected and could immediately begin messaging each other through the app.
There’s no pressure with this form of making friends, especially if you go into the experience with an open mind and no expectations. If you want to continue the conversation, by all means, put in the effort and create the relationship. (I want to add that I created boundaries for myself, like only meeting new people in public places and giving my husband all the details … you know, just in case.) Have a playdate! Drink the wine! But, if you go on your first mom date and this lady just isn’t for you, don’t feel like you have to keep up appearances for anyone’s sake – use your kid as an excuse (it’s naptime, right?) and get the hell out of dodge.
I’ve met some really awesome women through the Peanut app. I’ve met several mamas and little ones at story times, coffee shops (shout out to a certain few with toys/books/games for kids), walking/hiking trails and parks. I’ve met women who are in the same season of life as me and can empathize with what I’m going through. Women a little ahead of me who could give me sound advice if I needed it. Women a little behind me who I could guide if prompted. Women who have challenged me to try new things, who check up on me and my girls, women who have become what I consider real friends.
So if you’re looking for a different way to connect, let me encourage you to try this app, you could meet your new bestie, a pal to vent to, or at least have a few minutes of swiping entertainment!
For more on this topic, check out the podcast here from Triad Moms on the Mic titled “Finding Your Tribe.”
*Photo credit: Peanut App
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