Making new friends isn't always easy, especially if you're a parent. The reality is that when you have a baby, everything changes, including your schedule and priorities. It can be hard to keep up with friends who aren't parents. But it turns out, there are apps (surprise!) that can solve your dilemma and allow you to connect with other moms.
It's sort of like online dating. But instead of finding a date, you're paired with other moms who share your interests. All you have to do is complete a profile to find your mommy soulmate. Here are 5 new options to put on your radar:
Single mom from San Diego, Jillian Darlington was inspired to start MomCo after downloading a dating app.
"I downloaded Tinder and saw the geo location factor and I thought, 'Moms need this more than dating people do.' We've always known making friends as an adult is harder," she told Today Parents.
The MomCo app "helps women break the ice and saves you from that awkward feeling of when you meet a cool mom, but you are shy and don't want to ask for a number," Darlington said.
Through the app moms can locate and connect with local moms, find support in forums, schedule playdates, keep current with local events and save some money with in-app deals and giveaways.
2. Hello Mamas, Free
Meg Gerritson thought the same thing when she co-founded Hello Mamas. The Massachusetts mom understood the importance of finding like-minded moms who can understand the challenges of having a child with severe peanut and egg allergies.
"I dealt with another level of isolation. You go out and hang with these new mom friends but they aren't a good fit because they don't know what to do when your child is screaming and throwing up all over the place. Everyone is feeding their kids peanut butter and jelly," she said.
Being able to connect with other women in the allergy and colic community online was like a breath of fresh air and took away the frustration of having to cope with her son's restricted diet by herself. Hello Mamas is really about connecting moms like you at your own pace and to find the support you need for your village.
3. Smile Mom, Free
There's no doubt that being a parent is frustrating, but there's another app that puts a smile in motherhood. Smile Mom is an app and online community where you can get parenting advice and connect with moms with children of a similar age in your area. Not only can you set up playdates, but it's also a place where you can buy and sell used baby clothes and other kid-related items. If you're a mom like me with a ton of clothes and gadgets, this app can really come in handy.
4. Hey! VINA, Free
Similar to the dating app Tinder, Hey! VINA pairs females who share their same interests and who have compatible personalities.
What makes this app so unique is that in addition to showing user pictures and profiles, it also uses an algorithm to match account details like mutual friends, location and quiz results you take within the app.
As a busy mom of two, it's been tough to connect with other moms in my neighborhood.
5. Speed Dating for Moms
If you prefer to meet face-to-face right off the bat, then you might want to give Speed Dating for Moms a try. The idea was created by Radio host and the voice of WNYC's parenting podcast, "The Longest Shortest Time," Hillary Frank.
Frank's followers began bonding through Facebook, and she later decided to continue their online conversations in person. She had actually had a hard time meeting mom friends following the birth of her daughter, Sasha, and thought this would be a great way to help other moms.
She set up a meet-and-greet with almost 80 moms in Brooklyn, who were paired off and given four minutes to chat before moving to the next mom. Recently, Speed Dating for Moms also hosted an event in San Francisco. Get on their mailing list to see if they're coming to a city near you.
My husband and I have been able to manage OK. But there are times when I yearn to speak with other moms who share our experiences. Don't get me wrong, the people we've met thus far have been great, but there's a limit to how much we're able to connect.
So I love the idea of finding a mommy match. As a busy mom of two, it's been tough to connect with other moms in my neighborhood. Fortunately, we've been able to set up playdates through daycare and what not, but it's hard finding people who actually get my struggles as a parent.
For example, my kids don't have allergies, but I do feel strongly about teaching them about healthy eating. Yet not every every parent feels the same way.
A healthy diet isn't my only concern. My kids are biracial, and I've faced some challenges that only other multiracial families can understand, like the time when my daughter said she's white, or the challenges of finding a diverse school for our kids to attend. It's great to know that there are apps out there that can help meet other parents like us with similar interests.