How to meet a Mum Squad.

As most of you will know I gave up my life in London and moved 150 miles to Devon last July so that we could be closer to Tiny’s grandparents (and the BEACH!) This was definitely the right decision for our little family and I have no regrets but I always knew it would be hard.

I knew that what I would miss most about London was my friends. Since we moved one of the things I’ve found hardest is the constant reminder that no one in Devon really knows the pre-Tiny me. I find myself constantly having to explain my love of zombies and cats, my constant crafting, and my fascination with the Tudors like I’m some sort of curious new species of weirdo.

In London I had a lovely group of friends who all got married and had families within a few years of each other. I met most of my friends through work so we also had the bond of being teachers and all the ups and downs that go with that. Most of us also had long holidays and partners who weren’t teachers as well!

I also met a lovely supportive group of mums through the NCT course we took when I was pregnant with Tiny. The WhatsApp group was invaluable during the late nights and early mornings as someone was always awake for a sympathetic chat. I really looked forward to the weekly meetings we managed until the babies were about 7 months old and everyone started to go their separate ways a bit more with the dreaded return to work.

Aside from my NCT group I only made one other regular mummy friend through baby groups which is a pretty poor performance! I was slightly worried that without another NCT group I might really struggle to make mum friends in Devon at all. I always, mistakenly, assume that other people have enough friends already and aren’t interested in making new friends.

To cut a long story short I still miss my old friends. There’s nothing quite like the easy comfort of people who have known you for a long time. But I’ve have been incredibly fortunate to have made a lovely circle of friends in Devon. It wasn’t all down to luck.

Here are my top tips for making new mum friends:

  1. Join some sort of half termly pay upfront baby class. Hubby nagged me all summer to sign up for Music with Mummy but I was reluctant to commit to spending more money until we had some guaranteed work. I’m so glad that I eventually bit the bullet and joined this group. I have made the most lovely group of friends through this weekly class. I think these types of classes are generally better for meeting people because you see the same faces every week and as you’ve paid upfront you’re more likely to drag yourself out of the house even if you’re not feeling like it! Remember that everyone else is there to make some new friends and have adult conversation as well as entertaining their toddler – it’s definitely NOT just you. So be the warm, fuzzy person who suggests everyone goes for a coffee or starts a Facebook messaging group. I didn’t start our weekly coffees but I did organise a Halloween party for the toddlers and a Christmas dinner for the mums.
  2. Never underestimate how lonely anyone else is, or how desperate they are for a night off too. Much as I loved our play dates with the toddlers I also really wanted some time off to just be me (and not have to wipe bums or diffuse any tantrums). I decided to ask my new mum friends if anyone fancied a monthly craft and wine night. Everyone did. Except that not everyone is as obsessed by crafts as me so we’re alternating between wine and cheese, crafts and a book club. We decided to meet on the 1st Friday of every month as we’d never do anything if we waited to find a night we could all do. We’ve only had one so far but it was great fun. As usual, my concern that I was the only person looking for new friends was stupid.
  3. Try lots of different baby and toddler groups. Facebook is a great resource for all the different baby groups in an area and our local children’s centre even made a timetable of all their classes AND all the community classes which was very handy. Tiny and I try to do a different group every day, and we pretty much do the same ones every week. We go to one church group, one class, one children’s centre group and a volunteer led group which runs twice a week. They’re all quite different but good fun for both myself and Tiny. The best groups tend to provide tea and biscuits (and sometimes even bacon sandwiches!)
  4. Mum Dating. I discovered mum dating when I moved to Devon. At first I was horrified then I remembered that I met my hubby online so surely I could make new mum friends. Right? As we moved in July most of the baby groups were already finishing for the summer so this was when I did most of my mum dating. I’ve tried Mummy Social, Peanut and Mush with varying degrees of success. I get daily emails from Mummy Social but I’ve yet to use it to make any actual friends, although I have heard great things. There isn’t an app so I don’t find it a particularly easy or engaging way to meet mums. I’ve never used Tinder but Peanut feels like Tinder for mums. There is way too much focus on uploading lots of pictures of yourself and the icons under the pictures were pointless as I couldn’t remember what they stood for. I also really disliked the swiping to reject people based on their picture. I don’t care what my mum friends look like as long as they have a good sense of humour and like wine! I’d recommend Mush every time. The app is really easy to use. You upload 1 photo, give a brief description of yourself and pick out some keywords about you and your parenting style. You can search for mums based on distance, age, or interests. I’ve met some lovely friends through Mush. We’ve braved new play groups together, we’ve had coffee dates and soft play dates and long walks along the seafront. I’ve also had some dates that I thought went really well but then I’ve never heard from the mum again…so be prepared for that. Some mums just won’t be that into you. My only tip is to look for mums with children of a similar age as it’s quite hard to find dates suitable for both babies and toddlers.
  5. Whatever you do be proactive! Get out there and meet people. Don’t be shy and don’t believe your brain when it says no one else is lonely or looking to make new friends. They are.

Also my new mum friends think I’m 35 so they’re keepers!


One thought on “How to meet a Mum Squad.

  1. This is really resonating with me right now… Just moved to a brand new town, and I know literally nobody. Started the playgroup process but then we got snowed in and I didn’t talk to an adult other than my husband for over a week! It’s gruelling, but hearing how other mums have got through it is a big help!


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