By Ellen Sturm Niz
July 31, 2015

If you've ever suffered through an awkward playdate trying to make conversation with another mom, I feel you. I've had a hard time connecting with other moms since my daughter was born eight years ago, stumbling through small talk while watching our kids play together on the jungle gym, wishing I could just retreat to the park bench and be alone with my own thoughts. I'm not a super social person in the first place, so I'm sure that didn't help. I could literally go several days without speaking to another human being and be completely fine with it—in fact, that sounds like heaven!

But whether you're an introvert or an extrovert, making friends with other moms is tough. Just because our kids go to the same school, play in the same park, or participate in the same extracurricular activities doesn't mean we actually have much in common. All of the other parents I've met have been quite lovely, but nothing really clicked for a long time. I liked the moms and dads well enough, but I couldn't see myself wanting to meet them for coffee or get together for a drink without the kids in tow. I started to believe it just wasn't meant to be, that maybe something about my personality, age, background, whatever, just made me incompatible with the moms I met. I just wasn't meeting the right moms for me.

I'm far from being alone in that feeling, it turns out, and some enterprising moms decided to be proactive about changing their situations. In today's digital world, why isn't there an app for that, they asked? So they built one! Actually, they built a couple new apps to connect like-minded moms. Hello Mamas, launched nationally in 2014, and MomCo, launched in San Diego in February, and are like Tinder for moms, connecting mothers with similar profiles in the same geographic area.

Making new friends as an adult does feel a lot like platonic dating, so Hillary Frank, host of the parenting podcast "The Longest Shortest Time", created Speed Dating for Moms. Almost 80 mothers attended the first event in Brooklyn, pairing off for four minutes to "click" before moving on to the next mom.

I haven't tried the apps or speed dating, but I can see the appeal. Luckily, I think I may have finally found my tribe. I'm starting to connect more with other moms I've met, some of whom I've actually known for a while but hadn't completely clicked with before. Time will tell if we become besties. Right now, my best "mom" friend is actually several states away, one of my BFFs from high school who texts regularly with me about the trials and tribulations of motherhood. So I guess I've been using technology to connect with another mom all along ... maybe I should download an app for that.

Ellen Sturm Niz is a New York City-based editor and writer who worries she might someday become a hermit. Check out Ellen's new Etsy shop and follow her on Twitter and Pinterest.

Image via Shutterstock. 


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