Having a baby will inevitably bring about a lifestyle change. Before baby came along you had a much more flexible schedule to see friends and to go out and socialise. Now things are a little different. There is now a wonderful little being in the picture that needs looking after and you may not always be able to meet up with friends for those long, lazy, boozy luncheons. Also, as you fall into the role of mom you may find your interests start to shift.
This is an exciting new phase of your life and existing friendships will inevitably change. You are a new mom and may find yourself wanting to share your concerns, joys and triumphs with other new moms who are just as eager to discuss all those baby related things.
However, you may not have existing friendships with other moms yet and may find you feel somewhat lonely and isolated. It is important to seek out new friendships during this period so that you can build up a support network with moms going through the same things as you. However, developing new friendships can be a daunting task.
Especially when you are caring for a little one, still wanting to maintain a happy household as well as a healthy relationship with your partner. Besides, you are probably not going to be comfortable just walking up to random strangers and striking up a conversation. However, the chances are that there are dozens of other new moms feeling exactly the same way that you are feeling. You just need to know where to find them.
Finding new friends
When on a quest to establish new friendships, it is important to put yourself in situations that allow for social interactions. It is far easier to chat to other moms at the playground than it is at the grocery store. You just need to know where to look.
Get surfing: Okay not physically, although that could be a whole other ball game. We mean surfing the net. There are tons of mom groups and support networks out there that welcome new members. You just have to log onto a search engine and look up networks and groups in your area. It is as simple as that.
Scout out the playground: Does your local park have a playground? Chances are there are going to be other new moms there as well who are keen for some company. And you need not have a bouncing toddler for an excuse to visit the park. Take baby for a stroll and suss things out. Just be sure that it is a safe park.
Be a bookworm: Chances are there is a wealth of mom and baby specific activities taking place in your community. Libraries and bookstores often have children readings and other fun activities. You just have to call the library or local book store and find out what their calendar looks like and take it from there.
Join an exercise class: Post natal exercise classes are all the rage. Your gym or community is likely to offer some sort of exercise class whether it is walking or yoga for moms and tots. The great thing is that these classes are a double whammy…you get to interact with other moms while getting fit.
Hit the mall: Bigger shopping malls have play areas for kids and you are likely to find other moms who are looking for some adult conversation. The great thing is that, if you do hit it off with another mom, you can casually suggest grabbing a cup of coffee without it sounding very committal or being an inconvenience…you are at the mall after all.
So, after scouting out the local gym, park and mall you may find you are still not having any luck. Establishing new friendships does not always come easy and you may have to be more proactive and take matters into your own hands. The thought may be intimidating but there are ways to go about it that require you to be less forth right.
Get the word out there: You could always announce that you are looking to start a moms group in the community section of your local newspaper. Or you could draw up flyers and leave them in pediatrician’s offices, at baby stores and on community boards.
Double date: Yes, the mere thought may conjure up images of your teenage years and those awkward double dates that often ended in tears. However, it may be a great way to meet new parents. Chat to your partner or some friends and ask if they know of any parents who have also just had a baby and invite them over for dinner.
Talk to strangers: We are not disregarding everything our parents told us when we were younger. However that woman standing in front of you in the queue at the grocery store, the one with the pram and all the diapers in her basket, well she could very well be new friend material. The key is to casually engage in conversation and not to be overbearing. Finding common ground is a surefire way to get things flowing. New moms love talking about their babies so try asking her something relevant such as where she got that adorable little dress her baby is wearing or if she had any tips for getting baby to sleep.
Food for thought
Remember, developing new friendships can be a lot like dating. You may not always get on with other new moms. You may have differing views and opinions, or you may find some new moms to be haughty. Sometimes you may just not ‘click’ even though the other person is perfect friend material on paper. However, it is important not to allow yourself to feel despondent and to continue to get out there and to meet new people. Remember, it is likely that the friendships you cultivate and nurture at this point in your life could very well go on to last for a long time.
– Meet other parents on the Calora Baby Forum.