What are good places to meet other mums?

We've looked at how to make friends if you do - and don't - take an NCT course, and advice on making friends for the secretly shy SAHM. So what are other good places to get out there and meet other mums?

We’ve recently moved house, and although we still live close to our old area, it’s difficult to get back so means we don’t see all our old local friends as often as we'd like.

I have to admit, I’ve found it harder than I thought to meet new mums. Even though children are the eternal icebreaker and I don’t mind talking to anyone, it’s much easier when you're all sat down chatting with your newborns than when you're running around after a toddler. And it's difficult to make the leap from small talk to the sort of comfortable bond you have with your closest mum friends (you know, the ones who know all the gory details about your delivery).

So what are some good starting points for meeting other mums? Here’s a few ideas:

NCT: Chloe talked about meeting people via NCT courses, but aside from these most NCT branches also run early days meetings for mums with newborns, and playgroups for older children. You can even take a refresher course if you’re pregnant with your second child. And there’s also NCT nearly new sales, which, as well as being a good place to pick up a bargain, will also be a hotspot for other parents so you might get chatting over some cheap babygros. Or why not get involved and volunteer yourself?

Mumsnet and Netmums: As Foz wrote, message boards and websites are a great place to meet new people. Both Mumsnet and Netmums have local sections of the sites, with listings, notices and chatrooms for people (often with mums looking for other mums). Mumsnet Wandsworth is a great example of a vibrant local site, with an active and very friendly Twitter feed.

Online: Becky wrote about the benefits of online friends. Facebook, Twitter and blogs are all great places to meet other mums as there are large parenting communities. You can search for people on location - in a non-creepy way - or just follow and get chatting to people who you think you might have something in common with.

Church playgroups: Confession time; I’ve not been to church since my wedding day (sorry, mum). But most churches offer some sort of baby group during the week, often with no religious overtones at all. We found a lovely local playgroup just by looking on the website and just turning up one day. These tend to be on the large and chaotic side, but it means you won’t look and feel out of place if you don't have anyone to chat to yet.

Baby activities, groups and playgrounds: Gymboree, baby ballet, Jo Jingles, Monkey Music - there’s a huge amount of baby classes and activities you can take your child along to. Lots of places also have baby-friendly cafes with activities ranging from singing to baby yoga. Even the park or playground is likely to be busy with other parents.

The library: If you're worried about having to keep your noisy baby quiet, don't be. Most big libraries will hold some sort of weekly or monthly singing or activity session with a whole room of small children. And these sessions are likely to be either free or very cheap, which is an added bonus.

What are some places you've found to meet other mums? Leave a comment and let us know.

Gillian blogs over at A Baby on Board about London life as a new mum, covering everything from baby clothes to breastfeeding.She lives with her one year old daughter Eliza and husband Alex in south London.

Image: Stephen Oung, via Wikimedia Commons CC 2.0

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