Sara Elias recommends a new smartphone app to help mums in Waltham Forest connect
You’ve heard the story before; I’m new to the area and my husband and I moved here after we added a little one to the family.
The story you maybe haven’t heard is how lonely and incredibly isolating this experience can be. For weeks I walked the streets of Walthamstow, chatted to the shopkeepers, and waited for my husband to come home so that I could have a proper chat.
Loneliness during maternity leave is quite common and for mothers who suffer from post-natal depression, can be quite dangerous.
All the baby groups I had found online had waiting lists, and I looked at all the coffee shop mummy groups with a sad longing for my own social life back in north London.
And I’m not alone. According to new research, while more than four in five mothers consider their friends to be a source of happiness, 60 percent of them ‘often’ go through a full day with no adult interaction.
Then, while my daughter happily threw her toast all over the kitchen floor, I heard a story on the news about the ‘Tinder for mums’. I’ve never been one for blind dates, but at this point, I would try anything. And I’m so glad I did. Mush, an app, is so much more than that.
Yes, it does match you to other mums based on your location, the age of your little one(s), and your top three interests. But users can also add recommendations for places – I’ve found some lovely buggy friendly pubs – and there’s an area forum full of nuggets of gold, from people searching for nurseries and judo lessons to asking for recommendations for GP surgeries.
Of course, I have also been on some ‘mum dates’. My social life is now much healthier; last week I had two play dates and went to two activities I found through chatting to other Mush mums. If blind dates aren’t for you there are also Mush-ups, where a gang of mums meet for coffee. The last one in November was part of a national campaign which saw 200 events for mums across the country.
And it’s all for free.
For more information on the Mush app: