What inspires an already busy working mom to launch a mom friend website and app that helps mothers stay social and plan playdates for kids? Let’s find out! We threw four questions at Hello Mamas cofounder and CMO Christa Terry to find out why she has put so much time into making Hello Mamas the must-have friend finder for moms.
- What are some of the classic examples of why mothers begin to feel lonely and isolated?
First for new moms, there’s the fact that you’re suddenly responsible for this new human being who has A LOT of needs – and you’re doing it while utterly exhausted and while your hormones are going crazy. But that eventually passes or at least you learn how to cope. At that point, you may have a family challenge that makes going out and staying social hard. For instance, my daughter was born prematurely in the middle of cold, flu, and RSV season and so going to the newborn group at the hospital or a mommy and me type class wasn’t an option. We were essentially housebound. A mom with a child with special needs – any kind of special need, from something like cystic fibrosis or Down syndrome to food allergies – may find that meeting friends or getting together with friends is very hard because people don’t understand her situation. That said, even moms who are living what seem like idyllic lives can be lonely because just being a mom 24/7 is hard enough! Kids demand a lot and sometimes just getting a couple of little ones out the door can feel like a huge deal. Too many moms turn inward or are afraid to ask for help.
- What can mothers do to create their own “village” or support system?
Getting social and staying social is big – and to build that village you need to connect.But even something as simple as how to find a mom to have playdates with can be challenging! Myself and my two cofounders – Julia High and Meg Gerritson – found ourselves having real issues building that village and that’s why we created Hello Mamas. While moms’ groups and story time at the library are great, they’re also moments we’re focusing on the kids instead of on making mom friends. And when you’re a new mom meeting groups, exhaustion can make it harder to connect. It’s good that we’re so focused on our kids, but we need to make sure we’re taking care of ourselves, too. Hello Mamas gives moms an opportunity to find and connect with other local moms on a lot of different levels. You can meet mom friends with kids in the same age range, which is important, but you can also meet moms you have more personal things in common with. It’s about finding mom friends, finding like-minded moms for support, and helping kids stay social, too.
- Why is that support system so important?
The one thing all moms have in common is needing support – preferably support in the form of someone who understands what it’s like to get pooped on more than once in a single day or to have someone you love more than anyone on earth screaming “I hate you” because of a curfew disagreement. There are people in your life who care for you a great deal and will do what they can to be there for you but haven’t walked the challenging, amazing, unique path of motherhood. A mom friend is going to have a better understanding of what you need right now, in that moment where you are going crazy.
- What is your personal connection to Hello Mamas
My own story? I wrote my life goals early and then I met them early: I wanted to live in a few different countries, have some kids, and have a book published by a major publisher. I did all three by the time I was 30 and then found myself kind of adrift. Like ‘What do I want to be when I grow up, anyway?’ I needed a project to give me direction and that’s a big part of why I co-created Hello Mamas. That, and I had the experience of feeling alone during pregnancy because for a while no one else I knew was pregnant or had ever even been pregnant. It was pretty weird to be experiencing all these huge life changes without the support of my closest girlfriends. Then when I did have my daughter, she was premature and that brought a whole new level of isolation. So now I’m all about helping moms find that “village” of mom friends before they need it – wanting to see that next mom friend success story in my inbox keeps me going!