Users sarcastically refer to it as “Tinder for mums,” but it really kind of is. The Peanut app, which launched in 2017, is making it easier for mums to make friends and plan meet-ups in their area.
Why do grown women need help making friends? Because even if you have plenty of friends, if most of them don’t have kids (or live near you), new parenthood can be isolating. Your friends care, but they don’t fully grasp how depleted you are. And it’s hard to come up with just the right pick-up line to use on the other parent at the playground that will help you strike up a friendship with a perfect stranger.
We wrote about the Peanut app back when it was brand new, but it wasn’t old enough to have many users then, you only had the option to log in via your Facebook account and it didn’t have the added message board component. You can now log in via Facebook, Google or by entering and confirming your phone number. And if you don’t necessarily want to meet up with new potential friends for coffee or a playdate, you can still use the message boards to connect with and ask questions of other mums in your area.
The size of your area matters
The app is most useful if there are a lot of users in your area. One parent in our Facebook group who lives in a small town tried the app, but with only 36 local users and just one post on the message boards, it didn’t do much for her. The larger your city or town, the more robust you can expect the experience to be. In my city of approximately 75,000 residents, there are more than 800 users on the app, and the messages boards are fairly lively with topics like schools, pediatricians and local activities and events.
There are also groups for people in your state or who have similar interests—in my area, there is a book club group, a pregnancy group and a meet-up group, for example.
Yeah, it can be kind of cliché
A lot of the design and vocabulary on the site can be a little cheesy. It’s a lot of “mama this” and “mama that.”
You have to select three categories that are “your thing” and the options include, unfortunately, things like “wine time” and “hot mess.” But there are also options like “neighbourhood newbie” for someone who just moved to the area, “single mama,” “step mama” and “LGBTQ,” all of which are helpful for mums who are trying to find friends who can relate to their specific situation.
Dads have to go elsewhere
Dads need friends as well, but there are no dads allowed on Peanut. (I had to take a selfie through the app to confirm my gender, which isn’t exactly a foolproof way to keep men from joining.)
Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a good Peanut equivalent for dads, but there are other pregnancy and parenting apps out there geared toward men—there is a good list here.
They don’t have to be forever friends
A couple of parents in our Offspring Facebook Parenting Group have used the app just to connect with other mums during their maternity leave. Here’s what Lauren said about her experience:
I used it while on maternity leave with my second kiddo. Though a couple mums didn’t respond to my outreach, I ended up finding a mum with a similar-aged baby who became my coffee compatriot. We got together a handful of times—it was such an easy way to meet someone new in a similar phase of motherhood. And though our time has been more crunched since both returning to work, we share articles and milestones over text (like a digital pen pal) and get together every few months. I only really made the one contact, but I was so grateful for the app—I felt way less isolated than my first leave.
So even if you’re just looking for a little company/commiseration during a particularly isolating phase of parenthood, Peanut may be able to help you make a connection.
The app is free and available on iOS and Android.
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