Mom friends can really be everything when you’re new to the game; they’re the ones ready to answer your questions about which diaper cream to buy or to give you a hug when you need it most. In this series, we’re talking to four moms about the funny, unusual, and surprising ways they made their mama pals and how these friendships have shaped their motherhood journeys. Today we're talking to Maren Kus, body positivity activist, mom to 10-month-old Matthild, and The Labour Department contributor (you might remember her from this inspiring piece).
Moving to a new city while pregnant and having a baby during lockdown couldn't have been easy. Did you know anyone, any mamas-to-be or moms when you moved? No, I didn’t. So I decided to go online and joined a few Facebook groups. I know my way around the social media connection- sometimes I think it's even easier than walking into a room and scanning people in real life. When you're in a Facebook group, there are those first filters (you're in the same city, you're all moms/moms-to-be, etc.) and that really helps. So is this where your 'mama meet cute' happened, in a Facebook group? Yes! I met several mamas this way, I thought it was super unusual at first, it feels kind of like flirting, like you’re dating for mom friends (laughs). There’s one friend, in particular, Dominique, who reached out to me because she was moving back to Amsterdam from Hong Kong and was looking for other moms based in the east of the city. We ended up creating a Whatsapp group with 15 other moms who live in the area - we started meeting up in the park while we were pregnant and we all had our babies within three months of each other. We're still in touch via Whatsapp and meet up once in a while; we're actually having a big prosecco brunch in the park at the end of the month!
How important have these friendships been for you in your motherhood journey? Well, it was a really strange time to be pregnant and have a baby. Everything that you usually have during pregnancy (the classes, the birth courses, etc) wasn’t available because of the pandemic. I really needed to go out of my way to find people to connect with, to take the next step, and meet with them because it didn't naturally or organically happen. During that time, Dominique and I even thought about setting up a Tinder-like app for moms, so that they can easily swipe and meet each other. There’s a similar app from diaper brand Lillydoo in Germany; the app has a baby buddy function with a swipe thing for moms to meet, it’s really great.
How would you compare the friendships you have with moms to the friends you had before you became a mom? Having these mom friends has been great - the fact that these people are going through the exact same thing as you is a big plus, you will never feel alone and you can always reach out to them. When you become a parent, 90% of your conversation is going to be about your child - it just happens. I don't have any friends here in Amsterdam who don't have kids, but I do find it hard to keep the conversation going sometimes with the friends back in Berlin because other than my child, not much is going on in my life. I think it can be really hard on friendships if you don't both have this significant experience to relate to each other; I don't want to hear about your dating story while I have my baby throwing up on me right now! Thanks Maren, we'll definitely pass that tip along to other (expecting or new) moms looking to connect with other mamas in their area! And enjoy that prosecco for us!
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 mom friend who lives halfway across the world or a mama group in your same city, Huddle brings you closer. Available for download from the App Store now.