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Fun and Creative Mom-Friend Date Ideas for Every Season

Motherhood is a journey unlike any other. Any mom will tell you that nurturing a child into adulthood is one of the most rewarding — and most stressful — experiences. And truthfully, no one understands that sentiment better than another mother. 

In addition to cultivating a sense of belonging and understanding, developing a strong social network of like-minded moms is hugely beneficial to a mother’s mental and physical health. But of course, cultivating said social network is often easier said than done… 

If you’re struggling to find — or maintain — mom friendships, know that you’re not alone. In fact, a recent survey revealed that 70% of adults find it hard to make new friends. And part of that is simply because our younger selves had significantly more time and ready-made opportunities to forge those connections. 

So, to make moms’ already-chaotic lives a bit easier, our team has rounded up some helpful tips for planning mom-friend dates. Stay tuned for inspiring (and practical!) ways to spend time with your mom friends. 

Why Mom Dates Are Important

When you’re constantly balancing sports practices, dental appointments, and after-school tutoring sessions, planning mom-friend dates often falls to the back burner. However, according to a new study conducted at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, a mother’s social connectedness actually impacts her child’s development. 

After correcting for factors like parental IQ and educational level, birth weight, and family income, the study found that moms have an average of 3.5 “social supports.” And the more social support a mother had, the higher her kids scored on early cognitive development tests. Contrarily, if the mom didn’t have many friends, her kids scored lower. 

But of course, the benefits of social support for moms extend far beyond child development. Generally, having other mom friends helps reduce stress and other mental health problems – which allows moms to act more positively towards their children. Other studies have found that functional social support lowers blood pressure while undergoing stressful tasks, which boosts the immune system

Tips for Planning Mom-Friend Dates

Whether you’re a new mom or a mother of five, it can be challenging to fit ‘mom time’ with your girlfriends into your ever-changing schedule. If that sounds familiar, here are some tips to make planning mom-friend dates a bit easier: 

Plan Ahead If You Can

As you probably already know, busy moms are constantly juggling doctor’s appointments, soccer practices, guitar lessons, and everything in between. Therefore, putting your mom dates on the official family calendar is essential. If you’re meeting up with several busy moms, remember that finding a date and time that works for everyone will be impossible. Simply find a time that works for most of you and run with it.

Meet at the Restaurant (Or Wherever You’re Headed)

Moms have busy schedules! And working around everyone’s schedule is tricky. So, instead of waiting on everyone’s spouses to get home to watch the kids, make life easier by planning to meet at the restaurant (or bar, park, coffee shop, gym, or wherever you’re headed). That way, the night out can get started, and moms can come and go as they please. 

Note that this works best when at least two moms are on similar schedules. (No one wants to sit alone in a restaurant!) 

Stay Close to Home

In our experience, moms’ nights work best when they’re located close(ish) to home. Instead of leaving the zip code, visit a local restaurant’s happy hour, attend a wine or paint event, or picnic at your local park. That way, everyone can get home quickly if an emergency arises. 

Skip the Sitter

Instead of having to rely on a babysitter, schedule your mom dates on nights when your spouse or family members can watch the kids. That way, you won’t have to stress about making it home on time. Additionally, consider scheduling your mom dates on a regular basis — say the first Thursday of every month — so you can incorporate them into both your and your spouse’s schedule. (But of course, plan to watch the kids for your S.O. just as much.) 

Make It a Habit

Planning mom-friend dates becomes significantly easier when you make it a habit. And while they might not be the same people — or to the same places — scheduling mom dates on a regular basis ensures they actually happen. So, jot them down in an undated planner and hold yourself accountable! 

Get Creative

Mom’s night out doesn’t have to mean hitting the bars and/or restaurants. In fact, a weeknight trip to Target can be just as restorative as wine nights. (And all busy moms could use a little something at Target, right?) Remember that you can get quality time with your friends anywhere – as long as you’re fully present when you’re there. 

Planning Mom-Friend Dates: What NOT To Do

Want to ensure your mom-friend dates are a success? Here are some things to avoid: 

Require a Dress Code

Unless it’s a special date, don’t make your mom friends worry about getting ready. Instead, opt for neutral activities that allow moms to get as dolled up (or not) as they’d like. 

Host at Home 

While hosting dinner parties can be so much fun, they do require a bit of prep work. So, if you’re looking to unwind and destress from your everyday life, we recommend gathering in a neutral, public place. That way, you won’t have to worry about whether the living room is clean enough or whether anyone needs another glass of wine. 

Forgo All Responsibilities 

Motherhood is a full-time job. And while you may have gotten a mom’s night out, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re off the hook in the morning. If mom’s night involves one or two (or three) glasses of wine, make sure to plan ahead. Drink plenty of water before you go to sleep and have Tylenol or Advil on standby the next day. 

Mom Date Ideas 

Now that we’ve covered the dos and don’ts of planning mom-friend dates, here are some inspiring ideas to get you started: 

Run Errands Together 

Leave the kids with your S.O. and go grocery shopping, pick up prescriptions, or get haircuts with your mom friends. Remember that mom dates don’t have to be elaborate or extraordinary — sometimes doing the little things with someone is just as meaningful.  

Meal Prep a New Recipe 

Have a new recipe you’ve been dying to try? Invite one of your mom friends over and prepare it together! Hours spent chopping, slicing, and sautéeing are far more enjoyable with company. And of course, meal planning an arsenal of wholesome, frozen meals is a great way to prep for busy weeknight dinners. 

Try a New Workout Class

Busy moms often struggle to fit exercise into their schedules. However, inviting other mom friends to a workout class is a fun way to kill two birds with one stone. Not only do you get to catch up on life, but regular exercise supports both physical and mental health

Go For a Walk or Bike Ride

If you don’t have a gym membership — or simply enough time for a workout class — we recommend loading the kids up in strollers and going for a walk. Physical activity doesn’t need to be complicated, and going on regular, brisk walks is an easy way to access a variety of health benefits

Pick Up a New Hobby Together

Picking up hobbies can be daunting — especially if it’s something you aren’t familiar with. However, bringing a friend along makes trying new things significantly less intimidating. (Plus, it’s usually way more fun.) 

Start a Book Club

Research shows that reading fiction improves one’s social cognition and ability to empathize with others. And because there are so many fantastic books to choose from, it’s easy to find one suitable for every mom. Select a title that you’re all interested in, then meet up over wine and charcuterie to discuss it. 

Go to the Farmer’s Market Together

Going to the farmer’s market is a summertime classic. Not only can you stock up on fresh, local produce for the week’s dinners, but there are plenty of kid-friendly activities and attractions the whole family will love. 

Train for a Race Together

Have a marathon on your bucket list? Or even a themed 5K? Encourage your friends to sign up for a race and train together. Not only will you get to catch up on a regular basis, but training ensures you’re getting regular exercise. (And regular exercise, as we mentioned, improves mood, boosts energy, and staves off disease.)

Invite Her Family Over for Dinner

Not only will you love your friend’s company, but your kids and spouse will enjoy the time spent with fresh faces. Keep the menu casual and ask your mom friend to bring dessert. Then, spend the evening laughing, catching up, and playing all your favorite board games. 

Planning Mom-Friend Dates

Forging strong social connections is necessary for a mother’s physical and mental health. And if you needed help planning mom-friend dates, we hope today’s article helped break you out of your dinner-and-a-movie rut. 

Remember that you don’t have to be the best mom planner ever to have fun with your friends. Quality time is more about the people you’re with than what you’re doing. So, take a look at your busy schedule and figure out what activities could be shared. (Little league games? Bake sale prep? Hemming your children’s school uniforms?) Trust us – the possibilities for mom-friend dates are endless.