Sometimes we just need a Mum friend
How, and most importantly, where can we meet other Mums is something that we’ve all found ourselves wondering at some point. Where do they hang out, what do they like to talk about, and do they even want to talk to me are all questions that I’ve asked myself recently. It’s a scenario that is a lot more common than you’d think, especially when your usual friends seem to be MIA since you’ve had a baby.
While they’re out working and generally getting on with their lives, you’re sitting at home with a little one, wishing you had someone to talk to or have a coffee with that understands how you feel and is happy to talk nappies and teething for hours on end without getting bored.
Trying to make friends when you’re a Mum, especially a new mum, can be a lot like dating after a long term relationship. You know you need to get out there and do it, but you don’t quite know where to start, and before you know it, it can all get a bit overwhelming.
Unless you’re a very confident person, it can be really hard to walk up to a total stranger and start chatting away like you’re best friends already. You might be lacking in confidence, you might not know what to say, or you might have tried making the bold move before and didn’t get anywhere
Luckily, whether you like to be outside, or you’re more of a homebody, there are plenty of things that you can do to get back in the saddle and make some great new friendships.
How to meet other mums when you’re out and about
If you’re desperate to get out of the house and you’re more of an outdoorsy person, then there are a few places you can go to maximise your chances of meeting someone you click with:
Baby groups can be a great way to meet other people that have children the same age as yours. Baby groups tend to be very age specific, which means all of the babies there will be around the same age and ability level. Because of this, it’s quite easy to start talking to someone, as you will likely be going through the same things as each other. Whether it’s crawling, weaning or teething that’s keeping you up all night, you’re sure to find someone to bond with over your shared lack of sleep.
Sure start centres
Sure start centres can be a really great way to get out and about and meet like minded people. They’re totally free too, which is good for those living on a maternity wage, or if you’re a stay at home mum. They offer a lot of variety, and have everything from messy play, sensory groups, weaning support groups and even adult education courses.
I’ve written about my love of the library before, and I still think it’s one of the best ways to meet other mums. I’ve shared many a laugh and a chat with someone when we’ve ended up sitting next to each other while the kids fight over the same book!
As with the library, the park can be another great way to meet other mums. Children tend to gravitate towards each other really easily, which means that the parents usually end up doing the same thing. When you find yourself sitting on a bench with someone while you’re watching your children play together, it’s inevitable that you’ll strike a conversation up.
How to meet other mums from the comfort of your own home
If you prefer to stay at home, then there are plenty of online groups and websites you can join that are full of other Mums:
Mush is a great app for meeting people and having a chat. You can search for people in your local area, or you can join in on the group chats on the home feed. There are also polls to participate in and helpful articles to read about parenting. There are quite often meetups arranged that you can go to, or you can even start your own.
While Twitter might not be the best place for striking up a long lasting friendship, it can be a great place to have a chat with like minded people. I’ve been on Twitter for about a year, and I’ve met some great people who have been so friendly and supportive.
You can find me on Twitter here.
Facebook groups can be an easy way to meet other Mums, both in your area and further afield. If you have a search you’ll find that there are groups for just about anything you can think of. I find they’re a great way to talk to people who are going through the same things as you. I’m part of a few groups on Facebook, and I find they’re a great way to get and share advice.
I joined a birth club on BabyCentre when I was pregnant, and now, over 2 years later we still all chat on there regularly. We’ve even set up WhatsApp groups outside of the message board too. They can be a great way to ask for advice or share your feelings because everyone will be going through things at the same time as you.
How to meet other mums when you don’t have any confidence
All of the above is all very well, but what about if you don’t have much confidence, and you don’t know what to say when you do spot another mum.
Everyone is in the same boat
A good thing to remember when you’re feeling nervous about striking up a conversation with someone is that everyone is in the same boat. We’ve all had a sleepless night, dealt with tantrums and haven’t had an adult conversation in forever.
It can be hard to break the ice with someone and start the conversation, especially when you don’t really know what to say. Here are some easy conversation starters that may help:
- How old is your little one
- Depending on age – How is the teething, crawling, walking going
- The weather (Boring, but the weather always works!!)
- I love your little one’s outfit, where’s it from
- I love your outfit, where’s it from (Make someone’s day)
Can I have your number?
So you’ve met some new mums that you actually quite like, you’ve managed to find enough to talk about and you think you could actually have found a potential new BFF, so how do you ask for their number when you’re lacking in confidence?
Luckily nowadays there are a lot of different ways to communicate with people. Rather than just straight out asking for someone’s number, you can try a different approach.
Facebook and social media
If you’re on social media, you could always let someone know your handle, or let them know about a group you’re part of and follow each other on there.
WhatsApp group (if you’re chatting to a few)
If you find you end up chatting to a few people or you’re part of a close knit baby group, you could always suggest setting up a WhatsApp group so that you can all keep in touch together.
Arrange to meet for a coffee
If you feel comfortable arranging to meet up again, you can arrange a play date and give them your number just in case their plans change. That way the ball is in their court.
If you’re a small business owner and have business cards with you, you could always give one out and let someone know they can get in touch with you if they want to meet up again. As above, the ball is then in their court.
The most important thing is not to overthink things too much. Get out there, have a go, and see what happens. You may meet a friend for life.
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