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I was a full-time working mom with a 16-month-old girl when I quit my job and became a stay at home mom I realized quickly that the majority of my “friends” at work were merely co-workers and didn’t reach out once I stopped working there. There I was home with my daughter with no idea of what to do with her. I wasn’t going to be one of those stay at home moms that… well stayed at home. That’s boring to me. I needed to get out and do things, but I didn’t know where to start.
Here are my 5 tips on where to start, whether you are working full-time or at home like me.
1. Your local library:
Everyone knows libraries are a great place to find books, but I always thought of it as a quiet place. Boy was I wrong. Our library offers weekly story times for as young as 0-12 months. Not only do they read books there, but they sing, dance, play music, and some even supply toys. I’ve looked around at other surrounding libraries and they offer similar programs.
They even offer activities on the weekend and surrounding holidays!
Social media can be intimidating. We’ve been raised our whole lives to not talk to strangers and everyone is out to get you on there, but it can be used to your advantage if you’re careful and smart. Start by searching your city name followed by phrases like “mom,” “stay at home mom,” “playground,” stay at home,” etc., then use the recommended groups to expand your search.
In my experience, I immediately started to engage in the groups and posted very vague information about me and my daughter. I also searched the pages for anyone with a child around her age and commented on it.
“New stay at home mom with my 16 month old and would love to find someone local to do some play dates with.”
I ended up meeting 2 different local moms (in public places of course) who were very nice and or children seemed to get along. We are still friends on Facebook, but have not met up since due to lack of time.
The best part about me joining a Facebook group, was being introduced to my mom’s group, my #3 step.
We’ve been raised our whole lives to not talk to strangers and everyone is out to get you on there, but it can be used to your advantage if you’re careful and smart.
3. Join a Mom’s Group:
If you’re like me, you will be the first person to say, I don’t need a mom’s group. Not because you don’t like it, but because you’re scared of taking the plunge. Especially since a lot of groups have a cost. I was introduced to the idea of joining a mom’s group within the first few weeks of being a stay at home mom. I got nervous and felt anxious about going into a group where everyone already knew each other. Plus it was 30 minutes away. I said no.
3 Months rolled by and I’m introduced to the group again. I tried one meeting for free and was hooked!
It’s been 5 months since joining the group and I have to say I never felt like a newbie there. Everyone has treated me with respect. We are all mothers working our way through raising our children. Some are stay at home moms, some work part-time or even full-time. MOPS has changed my stay at home life. We do bi-weekly playdates, Mom’s Night Out without the kids, we have our bi-weekly meetings (twice a month). It’s just great to have meetings with people who grow closer and closer and become friends.
MOPS has changed my stay at home life.
4. Check your Local Recreation Center:
Each local rec center has its own activities. Check out your local one to see what they provide. Turns out mine offers gymnastics and a weekly play group for 2-year-olds. They also offer a running track for $10 a year. Perfect for running in the winter (goodbye $130 gym membership!). Another local rec center in a nearby town offers weekly kids events like magic shows, animal encounters and more.
5. Play Dates:
Once you meet a few people, don’t be afraid to set up play dates! Start with public places and as you get to know them more, invite them over! Have a few people over in a pot luck style lunch with all the kids. You get to meet the moms and make new friends, while your child gets the needed social interaction for their age.
*Only offer as many invites as your house can handle!