You did it! You packed up your family and decided to make a go of it in (or around) Portland. Congratulations, you are now a Portland transplant, like most of us. It is a big deal. It’s objectively difficult to make new friends as an adult. With kids in the mix, it can sometimes feel almost impossible. The good news is that it’s not impossible, but it may require a bit of effort. If you just moved from a place where you had a decent network of support, it can feel really isolating when you have to start from scratch. We all know how important it is to have others to call on when the going gets tough with the kids. It takes a village and all that.
Maybe your new mom bestie is just around the corner. It definitely helps to be extroverted. I’m not going to lie; it may feel awkward at times to network. More good news though, most of us moms are always open to expanding our circles of fellow mom friends.
I know Facebook is definitely not everyone’s thing, but hear me out. There are a number of mom-centered Facebook groups that are specific to your neck of the woods. Most of these are closed groups that require you to answer a few simple questions: where are you located, how many children do you have, etc. I’m assuming this is to prevent any weirdo, non-parents from joining.
My experience with this network has been pretty positive so far. Most of these groups have a lot of other moms who provide helpful advice or recommendations. Some groups even have meetups where the kids can play at a public park, while the moms can have their own conversations. This is a great way to start meeting new moms in your community.
Making friends as an adult feels a lot like dating. As such, a number of apps have been developed with the purpose of matching up mom friends. I would suggest Peanut, Hello Mamas, or MomieGo. Full disclosure: I haven’t had much luck on these, but it could be just me. It seems like the biggest issue is providing a robust profile while finding other moms willing to invest the same effort into her profile. Then, if you get matched, there has to be a follow-up on both ends. Even when I’ve sent simple messages (literally just “Hi”) to the few solid matches I’ve received, I rarely heard anything back. However, there are moms who swear by it.
If you aren’t familiar with Meetup.com, it’s a variety of groups (based on location and topic of interest) that schedule in-person meetups. This has been really successful for me building my network of close friends. I was lucky enough to find my core group of mom friends via a meetup started by another mom. We would meet every couple of weeks and get to know each other. We were all either pregnant or had brand new babies at the time. Once we established a core group of moms, we decided we didn’t need the meetup group anymore and are now close in real life. If you can’t find a group that suits you, it’s free to start your own.
Are you pregnant? Okay, that feels a little personal, we literally just met. But if you are, congratulations! Most of the hospitals and birthing centers around here offer either a parenting class or group pregnancy circles. This is a great way to find others that will have a little one around the same age as yours.
Considering hiring a doula? Perfect! Most groups offer weekly or monthly meetups after your baby is born. These can be a safe network to ask questions and verbalize issues you may have with your infant. Openness truly creates really solid friendships.
Out and About
I’m all about hitching my wagon to my kids if it means we both make news friends. Some of the places we go where I have made a mom friend or two along the way include:
- Library storytimes (most have various weekly storytimes)
- Oregon Zoo
- Children’s Museum
- Parks and/or playgrounds
- Hike it Baby
Whatever avenue you pursue to build your network of friends, let me be the first to officially welcome you to the Portland area! And feel free to reach out to me. I’m always open to hanging out over a cup of coffee…or a beer, depending on how my day is going!
Katie is a stay-at-home(ish) mom to a strong-willed toddler and a velcro baby. As an East Coast transplant, she is now fully embracing the Pacific Northwest lifestyle. She spent her pre-children years in the laboratory, working in clinical genetics. Though she still has a great love of science, she has since focused her passion into her writing. Her personal blog is Raised on Love and Science. Come for the articles, but stay for the silly parenting memes. Katie also writes content for a variety of websites and businesses.