When I was a first time mom home during my maternity leave, I was desperate for interaction with other (new) moms. I not only wanted to get out of the house, but I also wanted the support of other moms and friends for my daughter. I am very fortunate to have made friends with a group of moms that have a child the same age as my first-born. In the past 2 years we have celebrated with each other, supported each other, problem solved with each other and our kids love each other. My hope is that every mom could have the same experience, (should they wish to) so I wanted to share some of the ways to meet moms that I have heard of since becoming a mom (and associated links).
Florida Hospital Tampa Baby Group
The Florida Hospital baby group was where I met my group of friends and therefore, it’s first on my list of places to meet new moms. The group is for new moms with babies under 14 months. The group meets at Florida Hospital Tampa twice a month and each meeting includes some type of activity (music, sign language, stroller strides) and even has holiday parties. Cathy, the nurse who leads the group, is amazing, and you can tell that she really cares about the kids in the group. The only downside of this group is that since my daughter graduated from the group, they have reduced the meetings from every week to twice a month and as such I have heard that the number of participants has also decreased. This group offers a lot of time to interact with other moms and get to know them.
Breastfeeding/Support Group at St. Josephs Hospital
I have not personally attended this group, but my sister goes with her 3 month old and loves it. The Breastfeeding support group meets once a month and there is also a group unrelated to breastfeeding that also meets once a month. The breastfeeding group allows moms to get support from a lactation consultant as well as each other. This group offers a lot of time to interact with other moms and get to know them.
Library Story Time
All of the Hillsborough and Pinellas county libraries offer a lot of good baby and children’s programming, but our favorite is baby time and toddler time where they read books, sing songs and blow bubbles. The classes are really good, and we love going, but most of the moms in my experience leave right after class. With a little effort though, I think that the library could be a great place to meet other moms.
Baby Bungalow is through Hillsborough county and they offer a lot of classes (for parents and baby), as well as general play groups. I have attending their music class, and while the class was good, I didn’t find it to be conducive to meeting moms. I have had other friends that have attended the general playgrounps and have had a lot of success meeting other moms and really forming relationships.
I had heard of Stroller Strides a while ago, but I just didn’t think that it was going to be that good of a workout, so I never went out of my way to try it out. Imagine my surprise when I could barely walk the day after my first class!!! I was even more surprised to learn that Stroller Strides is not only a group of mom’s that exercise together, but they also have play dates, mom’s night out, family classes and a Facebook support group. In the past 6 months of doing Stroller Strides, not only have I gotten in better shape, but I have also met some new fun moms that I have enjoyed learning from. This class offers limited time to talk to moms and get to know them during class time, but most moms will stay and play in the mall afterwards so I recommend staying to meet the moms after class.
Tampa Bay Moms Blog
Last, but not least, we at Tampa Bay Moms Blog have lots of fun events planned for you to meet other moms and connect. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter so you can stay up-to-date on all of our upcoming events, like our play date at Gator Fred’s on April 30 and the Mommy Foodie Fair on May 7!
These are just a few resources that I have found to be helpful to meet new moms, but overall, your interactions are what you make of them. Don’t be afraid to approach other moms and get to know them. I felt like it was dating all over again (wasn’t that suppose to end when I said “I do”?), but my experience has been that other moms are just as nervous to approach me as I was to approach them. Once you get the ball rolling, it’s amazing how you can find moms that share your same interests and that might lead to long-term friendships.
What resources in the Tampa Bay Area have you found to be helpful for meeting other moms?