Moving is hard. Moving more than 500 miles from your friends and family with a 9 month old is scary. Being the new mom in town is, in a word, terrifying. When my husband and I made the decision to move to Baton Rouge from Fayetteville, Arkansas, so that he could pursue a job opportunity, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had a great group of friends who were there for me long before I became “Etta Mae’s mommy”. Suddenly, I had to start from scratch with a baby in tow. Anyone who has tried to make mom friends knows how awkward it can be. Do I email her? Should I wait a few days, so I don’t look creepy? I thought when I got married that I was done with that part of my life!
What’s a mom to do?
Like any modern mom would, I started by hitting up Facebook. If it included the terms “Baton Rouge” or “Red Stick”, I “liked” it. Soon, my newsfeed was full of events and info about my new home. We visited Mike the Tiger. Library story time, Mall of Louisiana’s Mommy and Me, and Live After Five became great places for me to meet other moms and for Etta Mae to burn off that toddler energy.
I soon learned that I was blessed to live in a town with a great park system. The Baton Rouge Recreation and Park Commission (BREC) maintains the local community and neighborhood parks as well as the Baton Rouge Zoo. We spent many a morning playing with the toys left at Leeward Park, cooling off in the splash pad at Forest Community Park, and riding the train at the Baton Rouge Zoo. There were always other moms looking for some adult conversation while our kids played.
Once I felt like I’d learned the lay of the land, I started seeking out playgroups. Websites like Meetup.com were a great resource for finding like-minded moms. I was able to find several playgroups that met several times per week. There were also non-kiddo related groups like book clubs and wine enthusiasts. I have made several friends who I now hang out with outside of the scheduled meetups.
What I learned through this new adventure is that most moms, new to the city or life-long Baton Rougians, felt the same way I did. They wanted to make friends with other mothers and give their kids a chance to socialize, but they didn’t know where to start. With a little research and the courage to step out of my comfort zone, I was well on my way to going from being the “new mom in town” to becoming a true Red Stick mom.
If you are a new mom in town or just looking for something to do, make sure you head to our Around Town page for a ton of ideas!