Becoming a mother is wonderful and terrifying. At times, it can also be very, very lonely. When my oldest son was born, I joined a group in my local community called PEP, which is short for Postpartum Education for Parents. It’s a wonderful resource, that connects you with other mothers in your community who have given birth within a 2 month period. These mothers were absolutely life saving to me in those early days. We met weekly to share our highs and lows and they understood those dramatic swings in ways that no one else possibly could have. I formed lifelong friendships and always had someone to turn to, when I needed parenting advice, a shoulder to cry on, or a good old mom’s night out. Our sweet little babies are seniors in high school and about to venture forth into the world. When I see updates about those kids, I feel as proud as if they were my own. Not every community has such a beautiful program and the transition to parenthood can be incredibly isolating for mothers. That’s why I absolutely adore the idea behind the Peanut, which is a social networking app for mothers.
It works much like a dating app, in that you create a profile and can “wave” at other mothers in your community. If they wave back, you connect. When you log into the Peanut app, you can add the ages of your children to your profile and then you get to choose up to 3 “categories” that describe you and your style of parenting. For the record, I chose Geek Chic, Routine Queen and Bookworm. I think this closes any outstanding questions on whether or not I’m a nerd.
These categories ostensibly help to connect you with other like minded mammas. I did find it a little difficult to categorize myself, given the options, but I absolutely understand why they would structure the app that way. Transitioning to motherhood often rocks your sense of identity, so it’s nice to have the ability to break it down in a simple way.
Now, I’ll be perfectly honest here. I have wonderful friendships, but I am an introvert. The first time I logged into the app and someone waved at me, I quickly shut the app, yelped and physically ran away from my phone. Hmmm, let’s hope I never have to use online dating apps. It’s making my palms sweat just thinking about it.
In my experience, having the support of your peers as you parent, is one of the most important things you can do for your mental health. What have you done to seek support as a mother? Have you used Peanut and found your people? Tell us about your amazing groups of mommy friends!