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Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor

This Mom Is on a Mission to Make Motherhood Less Lonely

Because when you’re up with baby at 2 a.m, there’s a whole slew of mamas who are right there with you.

The Bump presents #MomBoss, a series dedicated to showing off all-star moms. We catch up with mompreneurs behind products we love, influencers who get real about motherhood and SAHMs who can multitask in their sleep.

You’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a million times—It takes a village. But what if you haven’t found your people yet. The truth is, motherhood can feel lonely, especially when you don’t have a mom tribe beside you. Michelle Kennedy realized how true this was when she gave birth to her son, and immediately set out on a mission to fix that. It lead to the launch of Peanut, the Tinder for making mom friends.

Kennedy gave us the ins and outs of how to use the app to your advantage, and her other foolproof remedies to combat new mom loneliness.

Tell us about Peanut.

Peanut is an app that connects like-minded women who are mothers. Since its launch, it’s grown to become the largest social network of moms in the world. I wanted to create a platform where women can create meaningful connections and community, and use it as a resource for modern motherhood. Peanut views motherhood as an adventure in the life of a woman. It’s the best chapter in her book, but not the only one.

Can you walk us through the app and some key features?

Peanut recognizes the need for real-life connections between women at similar life stages who live near each other and share common interests, so we make it easy by having women swipe up and "wave" at another mama.

Plus, we decided to add a new feature this year to make it even easier to help moms strike up a conversation and make more friends. Meet Icebreakers—a quick and simple way for moms to send initial messages to help strip away the barriers holding them back from meeting others. Women can also now discover, join and create their own groups based off of their location or interests—from LGBTQ Women to Special Needs Mamas—giving women a new way to form long-lasting, strong ties with one another. Additionally, features like Peanut Pages help facilitate more conversations, creating a space for every mama to have a voice and support, and to do so in a technologically smart way.

What are your best tips for making mom friends on Peanut?

Be authentic. All of the women on Peanut are there for the same purpose—you all want to find your people. Also, try out our new Icebreakers! We're seeing these conversation starters already make a huge difference. Icebreakers have led to 50 percent more conversations between moms—that's 10K more conversations taking place on the app each day!

Need a little push? These are a couple of our users favorites: “Motherhood is like folding a fitted sheet, no one really knows how. Can you help me?” and “Question: pineapple on pizza?”

Photo: Michelle Kennedy

Did you feel lonely when you became a mom?

I did. I was one of the first of my friends to have a baby, so while I was up at 2 a.m. breastfeeding, they were out on the town. It was hard to admit that I was feeling isolated, especially as I found myself scrolling through blogs in the middle of the night looking for baby advice and longing for someone to talk to during those late-night feedings. The problem was, everything I saw reverted to anonymous forums and blogs making me feel like the only identity I had now was “mommy.” That’s what sparked the idea for Peanut.

What are other go-to remedies for a mommy pick-me-up?

Unquestionably, something that makes you feel good, whether that's a workout or a blowout! Remind yourself what made you, you before motherhood and tap into that.

What advice do you have for new moms you wish someone told you?

People want to touch you when you're pregnant and touch your baby when they arrive. It's infuriating! You're not furry, you don't need petting and your children aren't pets either! I used to grit my teeth and secretly hate it. I should have just used my voice! A word to the wise, it’s okay to politely say no.

What’s your best parenting hack?

A good bedtime routine. No matter how monotonous, it means you can travel anywhere in the world and your child will always know what the signals are to wind down. For us, that means a bath, bottle or boob, book and bed. It has been our salvation!

Any epic #MomFails you can laugh at now?

Oh my god, try every day! A 12-hour flight with a baby with a stomach bug and no change of clothes; wearing brand new cream trousers ahead of an important meeting and cuddling my then toddler goodbye who was mid-spaghetti bolognese; and an investor Skype pitch with my son doing naked dashes in front of my computer screen because, well, bath time.

What are some of your guilty pleasures? I have an addiction to terrible reality TV, dark chocolate and stormy red wine. But I'm pregnant at the moment, so just the TV and too much chocolate!

Published April 2019

Plus, more from The Bump:

Your Guide to Building Your Own Mom Tribe

10 Hardest Things About Maternity Leave

Why New Moms Lose Their Identity (And How to Get it Back)

PHOTO: Michelle Kennedy