Networking isn’t an easy feat for everyone. Moms — in particular those who are new to the world of parenting and busy taking care of their new bundles — can find it difficult and intimidating to put themselves out there. But connecting with other moms is crucial to escape isolation and to build the community that they, as new mamas, need to really enjoy the experience of motherhood. They can also gain a whole lot more from networking than a couple of besties. Indeed, meeting parents who are going through the same things you are can have a lot of benefits.
Here are 5 reasons why moms should network with other moms.
1. Moms make great professional connections. They are, after all, just working women (with kids at home). They are abundant sources of professional connections, career leads, potential clients, partnerships, career advice, pep talks, support and so much more. Whether you are working, used to work or thinking about working again, talking shop with moms in your field is simply the best way to navigate challenges and enhance your own career. Leave the name tags at home, and meet over a cup of coffee.
2. Get real information about what you need – and don’t need – to raise a happy, healthy child. A real-life mom has a lot more to say about the perfect strollers and sippy cups than any online review. Replace the Google-searching and list serve scrolling, and find a few moms to tell you the real deal about what’s hot and what’s shot.
3. Trade resources and save money. Time is limited. Money is limited. But it seems like a child’s clothes, books, toys and gear have no bound. Sharing resources and swapping items with other moms in your network can make life a little more clutter-free. And wouldn’t it be great if someone you trusted told you the best – and worst – kids’ classes, doctors, babysitters, kid-friendly restaurants, playgrounds? Shared information makes a mom’s life easier, less expensive and simply more fun.
4. Learn how to master this motherhood thing. It takes a village. And so many choices we make as moms feel like trial and error. But with a network of moms, you can learn from each other’s mistakes.
5. As our children grow, so do we. Because we don’t check our personal identity at the delivery room door, networking with moms helps us grow as women. Beyond the proverbial “mom-friends” is a plethora of amazing women who want to support you, help you become a better mom and stronger person, and all around share in the glorious madness of motherhood.
Sonal Patel is a New York City mom and co-founder of Cardamom, an app designed to match and connect local moms for friendship, playdates, networking and more. She resides in Manhattan with her husband and two daughters.