Meeting friends is never easy, especially later in life. But having a circle of like-minded friends is never more important than when you become a parent for the first time.
As much as your childless friends might try, there are certain things that only other mums will understand.
Between the 2 am night feeds, poo explosions, and dreaded sleep regressions, a sympathetic ear can not only help you to make the most of your maternity leave but ease the potential isolation of motherhood.
That’s where your #mumtribe comes in. Thanks to technology, gaining a circle of mum friends has never been easier, with a number of apps springing up to help weary mums connect over coffee, cake and the odd glass of wine.
Here is a selection of the best (free) tried and tested apps that make making mum friends easy, and we haven’t forgotten about the dads either!
NB: All apps are available for iOS in the App Store, or for Android at Google Play.
One of the biggest mum friend apps, Mush
offers great coverage across the UK and is home to a very active community of mums, both new and those with toddlers or multiple children.
After uploading a brief profile, which protects your surname, the app will highlight the mums living closest to you based on the first three digits of their postcode.
Then it’s up to you to say hello and spark some conversation.
I had been chatting to a mum on the app for a couple of weeks before realising she lived opposite me. Convenient!
Mush meetups allow mums to organise open events, creating spontaneous mixers in your local area. The best bit? Everyone is in the same boat and there for the same reason.
So it’s less awkward than it might seem. The app’s message board is always bursting with conversation with mums able to throw questions out to the community, no matter how bizarre they might seem, gaining invaluable support and advice.
There’s also a handy message board where you can sell/give away your used baby bits.
Another frontrunner in the growing world of mum friending apps, Peanut
is a popular and easy platform that works in a similar way to Mush except for the way in which mums connect.
It is as close to Tinder for mums as you will get, offering a swipe up/down ‘wave’ function.
If both mums wave at each others profile, you’re in! On registering you can choose three personality traits that sum up your vibe, from Wine Time to Mum Boss or Outdoorsy, making it easy to identify like-minded mums while also giving you a good conversation starter.
It’s a slick platform that also offers a chat stream among the wider Peanut community, as well as more localised groups.
Happily, message boards are moderated to ban any posts relating to advertising, canvassing of mums by the media or hate, making it a peaceful and supportive space to meet other mums.
4) Mummy Social
was set up in 2015 by mum of three Josie Barron, and in 2016 welcomed Helen Skelton, of Blue Peter fame, and Sarah Turner (AKA the Unmumsy Mum) to the team.
Filtered by distance, the app tells you how close another mum is down to 0.1 of a mile, although your exact location is protected.
You can also filter mums by the age and gender of their children too.
Unlike other apps Mummy Social also offers the ability to tell other mums which days you are free, allowing mums to seek out other mums likely to be at a loose end at the same time of the week.
Once you’ve loaded up your profile with as much information as you can muster, mums can send each other a private message, ‘suggest a cuppa’ or add them as a friend as you build your mum network in a similar fashion to Facebook.
Mummy Social mums can also put an open call out to mums in their area to meet up at a certain time and place, with events searchable within a set radius.
A bit more clunky than some of its competitors, Bumply
is more basic but offers a similar service.
Locations are not postcode or GPS generated, which means you can pick the general area that you are based by dropping a pin and then select mums nearby from a map – a useful variation for those who might be more more cautious about their privacy.
Profiles with which to scope out mum mates are more basic, with only key stats requested but with the option of offering as much about your interests as you like.
Connect to mums by sending them a ‘bump’ to invite them to chat.
It also offers a week-by-week guide to pregnancy, which is useful, but not vital as most mums I know use a separate, more detailed app, for tracking their pregnancy.
Far fewer bells and whistles than some of its competitors but a simple, lo-fi app that does the job nonetheless, if enough mums in your area are signed up.
What apps have you used? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!
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