If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my first three years of parenting, it’s that the journey of motherhood is not one to be taken alone. Whether it’s relating about the day’s drama and finding humor in the tough times, or celebrating milestones and savoring childhood’s sweetest moments when times are easy, experiencing motherhood in community with other Moms is one of the best ways to stay healthy, and sane, as a parent.
While the greater Seattle area can be infamous for its “friendship freeze,” and COVID-19 has only added to the challenge of forming new friendships, be deterred not! We’ve rounded up our top five tips to help Moms that are actively seeking out new friendships. Whether you’re an experienced Mom that’s new to the Eastside, or a longtime Eastsider that’s new to being a Mama, this article is for you.
Our list focuses on activities that are still operational and taking precautions during COVID-19. We also always recommend checking the websites below for the latest updates on gatherings, and following appropriate health department recommendations for keeping your meetups safe.
FIT4MOM Bellevue & Mercer Island
If you’re looking to combine fitness and friendship, make FIT4MOM Bellevue & Mercer Island your first stop. FIT4MOM is the nation’s leading prenatal and postnatal fitness program, providing fitness classes (many of which your baby or toddler can attend with you!) and a network of moms to support every stage of motherhood. They offer small, safe and socially distanced outdoor, indoor and online fitness classes, as well as additional playgroup and meetup opportunities. Best of all – your first class is free! From pregnancy, through postpartum and beyond, their fitness and wellness programs help make moms strong in body, mind, and spirit.
Learn More: https://bellevue.fit4mom.com/
PEPS, or “Program for Early Parent Support,” is a Seattle based non-profit focused on bringing together parents that are sharing a similar phase of life. Their support group style meetups are primarily for parents in their first year of parenthood, and group meetings are typically fairly structured with themed conversations around feeding, sleeping, child development and more. While they are one of the pricier programs on the list, the organization has a strong history of quality programming in the area, and is a great option for someone looking for structured conversation and socialization combined with parenting education. All program meetups are currently virtual (as of time of publishing).
Learn More: https://www.peps.org/programs
Moms of Preschoolers or “MOPS” is a Christian based non-profit organization, that is open to ALL Moms and whose mission is to gather and support Moms at all phases of motherhood. Their laidback meetup groups provide opportunity for Moms to create deep connections in their immediate community, with monthly and bi-monthly meetups that Moms and their kiddos attend together. Local MOPS groups are currently offering both virtual and in-person options.
Learn More: https://www.mops.org/
A great option for those that prefer a less structured approach to friendship making are the active local Facebook groups. They make an easy way for Moms of kids of any age to connect, ask questions, find resources/recommendations and more.
Check out some of these groups, local to the Eastside:
Sammamish/Issaquah Moms Forum https://www.facebook.com/groups/286595224862895
Kirkland Moms Network https://www.facebook.com/groups/288544047831262/
Moms of Bellevue https://www.facebook.com/groups/1177955409032741/
If you’re tech-savvy and looking to try something a little different, check out the Peanut App. Peanut is a social networking app for women to meet, chat, and learn from other women that are in the early stages of motherhood. It has been referred to as the “Tinder for Moms” and while the number of overall users is less than one of the larger social networking platforms, is an awesome tool for connecting directly with other local Moms.
Learn More: https://www.peanut-app.io/