Free app aims to combat loneliness among mums

Half of mums find it hard to make local mum friends and sixty per cent sometimes go a full day without adult interaction, according to a survey by the free app Mush.

Friday, 17th March 2017, 11:03 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:03 am
Mums meet-up SUS-170317-104819001

But a wave of new social opportunities in Eastbourne being organised through Mush is helping mums who are new to the area, who are struggling to get out with their baby or who just want to widen their social circle, to get out and meet others like them.

The app puts you in touch with others based on the ages of your kids and your interests, such as walk along the seafront and coffee shop meet ups.

Loneliness among mums can lead to mental health problems and Mush is trying to end isolation by urging mums nationwide to sign up to the free app.

Local mum Taryn Sargent, 34, is mum to four-month-old Ellie and, as the Mush research suggests, found it hard to meet people at first.

She said, “You become a mum and your whole life changes, so all of a sudden you don’t have as much in common with your existing friends who don’t have children.

“Being a new mum is really tough as there’s so much to get your head around and you’re exhausted and emotional, so it can be a lonely time if you don’t know others in the same position who can assure you what you’re experiencing is normal.

“I didn’t get to do any ante-natal classes and meet any mums-to-be as my daughter was six weeks early, but Mush allowed me to meet more mums who lived near me and who had babies of a similar age.

“There are loads of great play groups and classes in Eastbourne, but it can be nerve-wracking trying to strike up conversations in a big group of people you don’t know, so I joined Mush and have since met some lovely mums I would probably never have met otherwise. I have organised some great coffee meet ups in town.”

As well as helping to organise play dates, Mush also helps organise group meet ups, like coffee in a child-friendly café or a weekly group walk, and these are now taking place regularly around East Sussex.

The app was launched last year and now has more than 60,000 members across the country. It was set up by two mums who met in a rainy playground and formed an instant friendship – they had no tech experience, but made it their mission that no mum should do it alone and want Mush to be the largest social network for mums globally.

A nationwide survey of 4,000 mums found:

•50 per cent of mums find it hard to plan with kids

•80 per cent of mums prefer to go to playgroup with a friend

•22 per cent of mums only have one local mum friend (62 per cent have four or less local mum friends)

•50 per cent go to the shops primarily for adult interaction

•50 per cent find it hard to make local mum friends

•60 per cent of mums go a full day without adult interaction

•82 per cent of mums think having mum friends makes you a happier, more positive mum