Tinder-style app helps mums find new friends for play dates

Play dates with new friends might be easier to organise thanks to a new app.
Play dates with new friends might be easier to organise thanks to a new app. Photo: Getty Images

I vividly remember the first day that I spent alone with my newborn baby. She was two weeks old by then and we had enjoyed precious family time before my husband had to return to work. There had been a flurry of callers along with daily visits from the postman who brought gifts and flowers from further afield.

For two weeks my baby girl and I had enjoyed the company of others. And then, with the click of the front door, it was just the two of us. We fell into a routine of sorts, me drinking cups of tea and languishing in pyjamas, her, feeding and sleeping in my arms while the day went on regardless.

At first I was content. I talked to my baby, and provided a running commentary (more for my benefit than hers "I'm going to put the kettle on! I'm going to have a shower!). I listened to the radio and talked back to the DJ. When my husband got home from work I would talk to him – or rather, I'd talk at him, so starved of human interaction I would unleash a days conversation in one go.

It is very obvious to me now that I was lonely. I didn't have many mum friends, and the women I did know weren't local. I knew that I would make friends at my local mothers group, but I wasn't scheduled to start that for a while. In the meantime, I had the company of my gorgeous baby and the four walls of our lounge room.

Loneliness is a common problem for new parents, but perhaps in the 'app for everything' era, it doesn't have to be. Two mums from the UK, Katie Massie-Taylor, 33, and Sarah Hesz, 34, have recently launched a new app that allows women to make contact with like-minded mums in their neighbourhood.

Mush lets users see all the mums that are in a nearby radius along with their interests, age, how many children they have. The app will also tell you if you have any common connections. If you think a mum looks like a potential friend, you can see if she is free for coffee right now or organise a meet up in the future.

The two women behind the app met in a playground during their maternity leave.

"We were the only ones in this drizzly playground, such was our desperation to get out of the house.

"There was a really awkward exchange of small talk and before we left Sarah just said: "Can I have your number so we can hang out?" It was so cringey, but I was so grateful."


During the coming months the pair realised they weren't the only mums who had busy lives pre-children but now were struggling to get out of the house: "People give you attention for the first 4 weeks or so, but then you are left to your own devices," said Massie-Taylor.

The pair wanted to create something that would help others mums find their tribe and so Mush, was born. So far the app has been really well received by users.  "Someone said the other day that they couldn't have imagined maternity leave without it, another called us 'a lifeline'," said Massie-Taylor.

Although the app started in the UK an Australian version launched in June, and already has thousands of users, I just wish that it had been available when I was a new mother.

Even if the friendships didn't last, it would have at least given me something different to talk to the walls about.