New moms are part of a very lucky minority if they have pre-existing friends who have babies around the same time AND they happen to live within walking distance. But you know what? The rest of us are lucky too; getting social in your neighbourhood and meeting new friends is a lot of fun! And listen, it’s not just about fun. It’s also about being supported as a mom, which is pretty crucial.
Playdates? All my baby does is eat, poop and sleep!
The playdate isn’t for baby, it’s for you! Other moms are an awesome resource when it comes to support, advice, venting, fun or you name it. Finding other moms with kids your age is important, because they’ll be managing the same developmental milestones and challenges as you are. The experiences will still be fresh in their mind.
The 5 Best Ways to Get Social in Toronto as a New Mom
Great, so we’ve established that it’s fab to have mommy friends. You’re thinking, “yes, I see these moms in my neighbourhood, but what am I supposed to do – accost them on the street?” Well, hey, not saying I haven’t done it myself (this is how I met my neighbor 4 doors down the street), but there are some less daunting ways:
1. Ontario Early Years Centres
Check out your local Ontario Early Years Centre. They often have FREE drop-ins for moms with babies of a defined age. Bonus, free snacks for you and baby! At least there was at ours. Just be careful to check which ones require prior registration. If in doubt, take a quick second to call and find out. They post calendars online so you know what and when is happening.
2. Baby Programming
Sign up for some good ol’ baby programming. The City of Toronto offers various very cost effective options, like Mom and Baby Yoga, Creative Play Time, Singing Circle Time, etc… Courses are generally around $40 for one session. Check your local Fun Guide to see the options here. Unfortunately, be prepared to do battle on registration day for these incredibly cost-effective options. We’ve got you covered though – a guide for that too.
Other options include music classes like Rainbow Songs or Making Music Together.
3. Baby Friendly Drop-Ins
When your baby is a bit older, find a local baby-friendly coffee shop or play centre. In East End Toronto we have Sprouts, and Oaks n’ Acorns. Bilingual? There are a few services that offer circle time in different languages too! I’ll need some help from moms in the comments here
4. Virtual Mommy Groups
Search mommy groups on Meetup and Facebook for groups focused on your geographic location. For example, there’s East Toronto Young Mothers, run by Emily Weinmann, and North York Toronto Moms run by Lily Cheng. Lily’s group even runs some of its own events, which is pretty awesome.
5. Find your Most Local Moms
Lastly, try Villagemommy.com, where you’ll be able to find moms near you with a similarly aged baby, parenting style, career and more (free!). It’s a great way to meet the mom on your street or around the corner who you might never have known was there… A full site is launching soon. In the interim, matching is done via email.
What do you think moms, did I miss anything? See you in the comments!