What about dads?

With a name like Mom Meet Mom, it might be hard to imagine that we’re interested in helping dads make friends, too!

Sure, the name might be a bit off-putting to dads, but the way we see it, dads, especially dads who are the primary caregiver for their kids, have pretty much the same needs for support, friendship, and commiseration that moms have. And we know it can be hard for stay-at-home dads to make friends – there just aren’t very many stay-at-home dads, for one, and some moms might be reluctant to make friends with men.

Fortunately, Mom Meet Mom can help! If dads can see past the name, Mom Meet Mom provides a great opportunity for dads to make friends with compatible personalities, schedules, and kids!

We hope dads will consider signing up on our homepage, mommeetmom.com, to be notified of our launch, and to give us feedback about how we can best serve dads who are looking to make friends!

When Mom’s Groups Aren’t a Good Fit: Prematurity

Once upon a time – okay, a mere fourish years ago – I gave birth to a preemie. She was only six weeks early but it was the dead of winter in New England, and that meant every public indoor hangout I could think of was teeming with cold and flu germs along with very real risk of RSV. So while all the other new moms in my town were walking around the mall, hitting the library, and meeting up in coffee shops, I was stuck indoors, all on my lonesome, with a newborn who was still on the fence when it came to the whole suck-swallow-breathe thing.

Mom’s groups? Were just not an option for the first few months because of the germ factor. There was literally no opportunity to meet moms. Once spring rolled around and my daughter was bigger, I was able to meet moms in the local mom’s group because my daughter was a 34-week preemie rather than, say, a 27-week preemie.

But when you’re the mom of a very early preemie (or a baby with medical issues or a special needs kid) mom’s groups may simply not be a good fit. You have to be careful when you meet moms. For example, when you have a preemie, immature lungs and a weak or non-existent immune system can literally make mom’s groups a dangerous day out. And moms whose kids have medical issues or disabilities, related to prematurity or otherwise, can feel left out or singled out in mom’s groups that are open to all families.

The fact is that prematurity can make meeting other moms harder. How many mothers do you suppose end up forming their mommy networks right there in hospital mom’s groups and other meet-up groups for new moms? I’m thinking a lot – and I’m also thinking I’m very lucky that my daughter eventually grew big enough and strong enough to handle the infection vector that is other babies’ runny noses. For some preemies, that level of immune response doesn’t come until years later, and that means years of staying away from the mall, the library, and mommy coffee time for a long time.

Luckily, though, one-on-one hang-outs with moms and kids who understand the precautions preemie moms have to take to keep their babies and children safe are okay. Groups like Graham’s Foundation, which supports parents of preemies in a variety of ways, can help moms of preemies connect with each other. Some hospitals have special preemie mom groups, but these are still relatively rare if your hospital isn’t one with a Level IV NICU. Even just blogging about your prematurity experience can help you make virtual mom friends, which is sometimes almost as good as getting together for coffee.

Of course, even when you check out all the available channels, meeting preemie moms and preemie-friendly families isn’t always easy. That’s part of why when Mom Meet Mom launches, prematurity will be a part of the criteria we use to help moms meet other moms. So stay tuned, and if you’re a preemie mom, don’t let the rollercoaster get you down!

When politics spoil the playdate party

It’s an election year, and that means that politics are at the forefront of many people’s minds – or at least, moreso than usual. You would think that adults could keep this between themselves, but…

Imagine this scenario – you’re at the park with your kid and her best friend, and somebody mentions Mitt Romney. Your daughter’s friend’s mom says, “I can’t see how anyone would trust that crazy, bible-thumping elitist!” You’re no big Romney fan, but you do identify as a Christian, and aren’t comfortable with the way this person has just insulted your religion.

Or, here’s another one – You pick up your child from a friend’s house, and the t.v. is on in the background. The buddy’s dad says, “I don’t know how anyone could vote for a black man.” Even if you’re a serious republican, racism makes you uneasy.

So what can you do when politics (or its peripherals) are making you question your decision to let your kids out of the house?

  • Talk to your kids about it – talk about how parents sometimes disagree, and that doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t like each other, nor does it mean that the kids can’t be friends.
  • Talk to the parents – especially if they are engaging in straw-man attacks that don’t have anything to do with politics, ask them to tone it down in front of the kids. If you have specific concerns, air them – politely!
  • Let it go – even if you disagree, if there isn’t anything morally outrageous or personally insulting, sometimes you have to let it go. Think of it as your own personal attempt to reach across the aisle!

Worst case scenario? It should all calm down in just a couple of months once the election is done! Whew. In the meantime, you can use Mom Meet Mom to meet moms who rank politics way down on their list of things they really care about in a friendship.

On Growing Up With a Gay Mom

Here’s something you probably don’t know about me: I grew up as the only child of a gay mom. Now, keep in mind that this was in the 80s, before the advent of Ellen and sitcoms where the gay character isn’t just another token. My mom wasn’t out and proud back then – very few people were – but she did have a partner, and it didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that something was different about our household. Kids are pretty savvy, after all. Not that they jumped to the immediate conclusion that I had a gay mom. After a while, enough information about my house would funnel back to parents who would then draw their own conclusions.

And those conclusions? Weren’t always so nice. Like I said, this was the 80s, back when people still thought being gay was something you could catch from a used tissue. While many of my friends had perfectly tolerant parents who were either accepting of my gay mom or just plain didn’t give a fig, I apparently lost a few friends after certain moms and dads decided I wasn’t fit to play with their kids. Oh, and I was even kicked out of my Brownie troupe by one of those less-than-accepting parents!

Luckily, my mom kept me shielded from all of that until I was an adult and could handle knowing that she had to deal with all of that. Now that I’m a parent myself, thinking about it is a little more painful since I can’t help but put myself in her shoes.What must that be like… to watch your child be rejected because of who you are. Right now, I can’t really totally internalize it, but though I’m not gay, it could still happen. I could at some point in the future watch other moms deliberately avoid planning playdates with P. because we’re not wealthy enough or we don’t belong to the right church or because we don’t dress a certain way or heck, because my mom is gay. People are still funny about that stuff.

My guess is that back in the day, my mom struggled with how to meet moms who would be tolerant – or at the very least accepting of my friendship with their children. I can’t even imagine how difficult it was for her to put a playdate invitation out there for me knowing it might be rejected because of another parent’s prejudices. And while I wish that moms weren’t facing the same challenges in 2012, I know that any mother who falls into some category defined as “different” will probably have to go through the same internal struggle every time she puts herself and her family out there.

That’s a big part of why we’re working so hard on Mom Meet Mom, actually. Moms who don’t fit into some cookie-cutter version of normal – and kids with parents or families that fall outside of the norm – deserve to have good friends and fun playdates as much as anyone else. Frankly, I’m super proud of my awesome mom, and I think that the small group of intolerant 80s-era moms who didn’t want to spend time with her and by association, me, missed out!

how to meet moms

Why You Need to Sign Up for Mom Meet Mom

When Mom Meet Mom had its official soft launch over this past weekend, we let you know that you could now join our mailing list to be among the first to hear about it when we officially launch the site, get a chance to be chosen as a site tester and reviewer prior to launch, and give us feedback about what you want to see on Mom Meet Mom. We think there are a lot of reasons moms need Mom Meet Mom and so many ways they can use the site once it goes live, but maybe you’re still on the fence about signing up before the official launch. Here’s why we think you should sign up today:

  • It works like a dating site, but with a twist. We match moms with potential mom friends without all the stress of chatting up mothers on the playground or the expense of mom’s group dues. You meet moms without playground anxiety.
  • This is your chance to be part of a really cool project right from the start – your early adoption will help us make Mom Meet Mom amazing!
  • No matter who you are, how many kids you have, or what your schedule looks like, you can meet moms who understand that sometimes getting together, even just for a quick cup of coffee, isn’t always easy.
  • Whether you’re looking for a single playdate or a lifelong friend… in either case, we can help you meet moms.
  • More people signing up means more potential friends and more chances to plan epic playdates right in your neighborhood.
  • Motherhood (and pregnancy) can be lonely sometimes, but we help combat the isolation some moms feel by putting them in touch with other mothers who are facing the same challenges.
  • Making friends as an adult is hard even before you add kids to the mix – our solution not only helps you meet other moms, but also saves you time. How precious is that?
  • Mom Meet Mom takes the sting out of rejection because with us, you only connect with the moms in your area who are open to making new friends.
  • We will never, ever, ever sell your email address to spammers or spam you ourselves. Ever.

Sounds good, right? If you haven’t already, visit mommeetmom.com and sign up for our mailing list. All you need is an email address, and we’ll be in touch as soon as things get moving on the public facing side. In the meantime, like us on Facebook (where you’ll be seeing more action soon) and follow us on Twitter!

You better believe we’re working around the clock to create a resource for moms that will knock your socks off!

A Special Announcement

If you’ve visited the Mom Meet Mom blog before, you probably noticed two things:

1. We are really keen on helping moms figure out good ways to meet new friends.

2. We have something up our sleeves.

Today, we’re going to talk about that second bit!

Right now, we are building a system that works kind of like a dating site, but with a twist. Instead of matching our members with potential romantic partners, we will match moms with potential mom friends, based on information you provide about your personality, parenting style, and schedule, as well as the personalities of your kids. Whether you are a working mom or a stay-at-home mom, whether you are looking for a single playdate or a lifelong best friend, Mom Meet Mom will be here to help you connect with like-minded local moms.

Exciting, right? We think so, too!

Are you interested in hearing more? Do you want to be among the first to sign up when we go live? Do you have ideas for how to make Mom Meet Mom great?

Awesome!

We invite you to visit mommeetmom.com and sign up for our mailing list. All you need is an email address (we won’t sell your information or spam you, we promise). We will use the mailing list to announce our launch, invite testers to review the site, and to give our members opportunities to provide feedback about how we can help you develop the support system you need!

Thank you for visiting Mom Meet Mom!

Loneliness During Pregnancy: The Why and the What to Do About It

Pregnancy is supposed to be this wonderful period when a woman grows gradually into motherhood, surrounded by similarly pregnant friends and wise old relatives who have been there, done that. For the luckiest pregnant women, that camaraderie is exactly what pregnancy – not to mention birth and parenting – is all about. For the rest of us, pregnancy and everything that follows can actually be kind of lonely.

If you’re feeling lonely, you should know that loneliness during pregnancy is actually not unusual. The first woman in a group of friends to procreate may find herself not only unable to share what she’s going through with her besties, but also an object suddenly worthy of study. A soon-to-be mama with mostly guy friends can feel this even more acutely. And even if a woman has pregnant friends, her pregnancy may be so different from theirs that she feels effectively isolated. After all, even a normal nine months can be stressful! It can be really hard to meet moms (to be) who are facing the same issues.

During pregnancy, you feel a sort of separateness already because your body is changing in ways that even the people closest to you can’t fully understand. If you’ve chosen to keep your pregnancy under wraps until some specific point in time, that can add to feelings of loneliness. And when your pregnancy is particularly rough physically or emotionally, feelings of loneliness may even be related to friends growing more distant. Plus, even the most supportive spouses and partners can have trouble empathizing with all of the things a pregnant woman will go through in the months before birth.

So how can you combat loneliness during pregnancy? The first step is to find a community of people who will understand, insofar as they can, what you’re going through as you gestate that baby. That means you need to meet moms! You might have to build up your own community from scratch, and that might be easier online that offline if don’t have any pregnancy support groups in your area. The second step is to be honest about how you’re feeling – especially with your spouse or partner and your family. They may not even realize that you’re feeling lonely, and telling them gives them a chance to step up and help. The third step is to watch for signs of depression – while not everyone who is lonely is depressed, loneliness can be a sign of depression in pregnancy.

So, are you ready to meet other pregnant moms so you can build your own community of support? Then you’re ready for Mom Meet Mom! Mom Meet Mom is building up steam and getting ready to launch – in the meantime, sign up for an exclusive invitation when the site goes live!