Build up your village?
There’s really no way around it: Becoming a parent for the first time means a change to your social scene. Yes, a lot of mamas still have best friends, parents, siblings and other loved ones to turn to. But parenthood can be isolating when you lose that village you used to have.
That was the case with Jenn Updyke, a California mom who relocated to Washington for her husband’s job. The move meant Updyke was no longer surrounded by her friends and family—and she began to feel alone.
So what did Updyke do? Turn to social media with a creative request for companionship.
According to Babble, Updyke wrote a “Grannies Wanted” ad on Nextdoor—a private, neighborhood-based social network—looking for new friends and people to support her parenting journey. Updyke received an overwhelmingly positive response to her ad and has started to “expand our village of supporters even when our immediate family (and beloved Grannies) live so far away.”
Looking to build your own tribe—or just an excuse to leave the house? Check out these four apps that help you connect with other parents.
As a working mom, I miss out on a lot of daytime play dates. That’s where MamaLeave comes in: Created by Virginia mom Laurie Cordova, MamaLeave helps busy mamas or moms new to a neighborhood connect with other local parents. Make friends, form bonds and schedule play dates around your schedule.
Basically the Tinder for mama meet-ups, Peanut also helps you connect with local moms or moms-to-be. Much like the dating app, Peanut lets you swipe left or right on potential mom friends. Once a match is made, you’re free to start messaging each other. In other words: Friendship made easy.
MomCo works similar to MamaLeave. Designed by single San Diego mom Jillian Darlington, MomCo lets you find and connect with other moms in your neighborhood. But it also goes a step further: MomCo users can also interact in forums, schedule play dates, take advantage of in-app deals and giveaways and keep up with local events. It’s like a whole social life rolled in one place.
MomCo is available for free in the Apple app store.
Whereas Peanut is the Tinder for friendship, Hello Mamas is OKCupid. Hello Mamas uses algorithms to match you with other local mothers who have similar interests and lifestyles. There’s even a “looking for” section (think play dates, mom groups, new friends) to help you cut through the chatter.
It’s pretty amazing to think a little wifi connection can lead to a real-life connection. Get out there, mama!