Developing Your Parent Network with Family Cards

I have a new grandson! Well, he’s not that new, he is more than 15 months old now. But he still fills me with awe and delight, and I know he will continue to do so forever. I am also looking forward to all the things he will teach me, about being a grandmother, and the world and how to move through it.

His mother, Chloë, my daughter-in-law, has been teaching me since we first met many years ago. She has taught me about baking sourdough, making chickpea tofu, dying yarn and colour work in knitting. I am always amazed by the way she teaches herself new skills. Motherhood is no exception. Chloë has taken the role on so gracefully and thoughtfully.

I want to pass on one of Chloë’s most novel ideas. As she came out of the fog of the first few months of motherhood, Chloe realized how isolating it was to be at home, alone with a baby. Her partner (my son Simon) was back at work, all day, and she was going to have to find some mom friends to hang out with.

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Those “mom friends” we make when our children are small are a very important part of our adjustment to our new role as a parent. In a isolating, solitary occupation, such as caring for a small child, they are our “colleagues.” If you started a new job as an accountant, rocket scientist or esthetician, you would want to make friends with other folks who do the same thing, face the same challenges and find solutions to the same problems. You need to know people who understand the life you lead and share the same ups and downs.

However, finding parent-colleagues isn’t easy. Especially when you are a parent for the first time. You can’t just go up to a pleasant-looking parent in the park and say what you did in kindergarten: “Will you be my friend? I like the colour of your baby-carrier. Mine is purple too.” (Although, I’m sure that might work in some cases. I would find it charming!)

You feel you should do something more sophisticated, more grown-up. You might feel shy in a way you have not for a long time. This is new territory.

Then you meet someone nice, you chat with them, but you find that by next week when you show up at the same play group, you have forgotten their name. Or you go back to the same stroller-fit class week after week, and they never show up again! You missed your chance to make a friend.

Chloë drew on her experience of networking in other contexts and decided to make a business card for her baby. She used one of the many online business card designing websites to design and order cards that had her baby’s name, as well as his parents’ names, their phone numbers and email address. Then, when she met a group of parents, she could hand her “family cards” around. It doesn’t guarantee they will call you to go for coffee, but it gives you a chance to connect. Chloë is back at her full-time job now, and my grandson is at daycare, but those family cards are still being used. Simon has handed them to other parents at daycare and music class, now that “play dates” are becoming a thing.

Business cards are not costly to make, there are several companies to choose from online, and designing the card is a great activity to do while you are nap-trapped. Make some cards, today and get out there! Develop your community of parents that will support you as you do this important but exhausting job.

Eva Bild
Eva Bild
Eva Bild is a childbirth and lactation educator and grandmother. She is the founder of Mothering Touch, where she continues to facilitate Baby Groups on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Come and join her. Learn more at