Mom friends can be so essential to our well-being as mothers. Just the simple fact that you have someone who’s going through a similar experience to chat with, complain to or cry with can make all the difference. In this series of Mama Meet Cutes, we’re talking to four moms about the funny, unusual, and surprising ways they met their mama pals and how these friendships have shaped their motherhood journeys. Last but not least, here’s Isabelle (Art Director and mother to daughters Juno, 4, and Violet, 4 months) who met Katja (social worker and mother to Johan, 3 ½ years old, and newborn Jari) during a very brief encounter in a tram (Amsterdam’s version of a streetcar). Tell us about that infamous tram ride! My husband and I had just been to the zoo, to Artis, with our daughter Juno (who must have been almost a year old at the time). We decided to take the tram home because it's just a few stops to our house. We got in the tramcar and I was talking to Juno in German, my native language, and this woman sitting in the tram next to us must have heard me because she said, "Oh, how great, you're German!" I looked over and there were two women, Katja and her mother, and a small baby in a stroller. "My daughter lives here too and she's just had her baby!" I could see on Katja's face that she was very embarrassed. "She doesn’t know many people here - why don't you two exchange numbers and grab a coffee sometime!" I thought it was super nice of her mother to be reaching out like this and was happy to give Katja my phone number. This all happened in the span of two tram stops, so maybe two to three minutes. A few days later I got a message from Katja, asking if I wanted to meet up sometime. And we did! So it's really thanks to Katja's mother that you became friends! Yes, I thought it was so sweet of her to reach out on behalf of her daughter. I really felt for her; she had just moved to a new place, didn’t really know anyone, AND was a new mother. She must have felt very alone. As a new mother, you need someone you can chat with, share experiences with, ask questions to, etc. So yeah, that’s how we met. Three years later, we still see each other; our kids are good friends! She just had her second and has asked me to make her baby’s birth announcement card! How has your friendship changed over the years? In the beginning, when our kids were still babies, we met for coffee dates and stroller walks. Now we do things like go apple picking or attend theatre performances with the kids. It has changed as the kids have gotten older. And they still get along so well, they've known each other since they were babies which is really special - Johan was at Juno's first birthday party! And you were both pregnant again at the same time? Yes, I remember we talked about the fact that we both wanted another baby, I guess a year or so ago. And then we did get pregnant at around the same time, Katja a few months after me. We saw each other during our pregnancies and could support each other in that way. You’ve mentioned how important mom friends can be, especially when you’re a new mother. Would you say these women have supported you in your motherhood journey? I think it really depends on what stage of motherhood you’re at. I was part of a few mom groups like Mom in Balance (outdoor fitness classes) when I was pregnant with my eldest, Juno. Even though it’s great to be around people who are going through a similar experience as you (especially as first-time mothers!) I noticed that friendships based solely on the fact that you’ve had babies at the same time kind of ‘dilute’ after a while. Life gets in the way and so much happens over the years. When you first become a mother you're so vulnerable and you're almost craving those kinds of connections - and it's crucial to have those friendships to get you through that very special time. With a second baby, it’s very different; you already have your friends. And those friends have children too? I have mom friends because our kids are friends but that doesn't mean that we talk only about our kids. And then I have friends who I had before becoming a mother and who have kids now too - many of those relationships have become stronger because you share something that's so monumental in your life. Thanks, Isabelle for sharing your mama meet cute with us, and congrats Katja on your new baby!
This post was sponsored by Huddle, a new video messaging app for sharing personal moments with family and friends in a more meaningful way. Whether you're looking for a fun way to stay in touch with a mama friend who lives halfway across the world or even in the same city, Huddle brings you closer. Available for download from the App Store now.