Becoming a parent is such a wonderful experience, but it can also be overwhelming, scary and downright lonely.
Whether you’re the first in your group of friends to have a baby or you’ve recently moved to a new area and don’t really know anyone at all, it can be really hard not having other mums to talk to.
If you’re ready to go for it, here are 5 ways you can get out there and meet some new mum friends.
1. Get online
Putting yourself out there and trying to make new friends can feel quite scary to start with.
You can ease yourself in though by starting off online.
Websites like netmums are a good place to start. Netmums has local pages where you can find out about classes and events in your area, and you can normally find a chat group there too to start talking to other local parents.
Another option is to head to Facebook and look for local parenting groups there. Then it’s just a case of taking a deep breath and joining in with conversations or reaching out and introducing yourself.
2. Make the most of waiting rooms
When you’re pregnant you’ll spend a fair bit of time sitting in waiting rooms to see the midwife or to go for blood tests. And it doesn’t stop after the baby is born. You’ll probably head to the surgery quite regularly to see your health visitor and for baby’s jabs.
Make the most of this time spent sitting and waiting and get chatting to other mums there who look like they’re open to talking. These kind of situations give you a great opening as you can just ask how old their baby is, what their name is and so on. Nice simple conversation starters!
3. Brave babygroup
Venturing into the world of babygroups can be quite scary, but they are a wonderful way to make new mum friends.
I’ve written a post about going to baby group for the first time, so head over and give it a read, especially if you’re shy and really feeling nervous about it.
A lot of places will have organisers who’ll be happy to introduce you to parents with babies the same age as yours. If not then have a wander round and look for another mum who seems to be on her own to go and start a conversation with her.
4. Try a class instead
If simple babygroups aren’t really your thing then try a baby-related class instead.
There are so many options these days, from baby signing and yoga to swimming and gymnastics, there’s bound to be something that you and your baby would enjoy.
These classes are all great opportunities to meet other mums, and again you have the common ground of having babies so it’s a bit easier to get talking. If you’d rather do something for you than your baby, then things like buggy fit exercise sessions are another great option. And you can always suggest going for a coffee after the session as a reward for your hard work, and to carry on chatting.
5. Visit child-friendly places
Sometimes you can meet new mum friends just by heading out to child-friendly places.
So take your little one to the play park and to feed the ducks. Go along to the local library, lots of them have rhyme time sessions that are really popular and you can foster a love of books at the same time. See if there is a community centre near you that you could visit.
I know how isolating it can feel when you first have a child and don’t really have any friends who are experiencing the same things as you. If you head to the right kinds of places though you can meet so many potential new friends who will understand everything you’re going through.
Once you’ve taken those first steps of getting chatting to people you can take your new friendship one step further and ask them if they want to meet in the park one day, or come to your house for a playdate.
Just remember that pretty much every mum you meet will be feeling the same way as you and will be happy to have someone else to chat to.
One last thing though.
When you do get chatting, make sure to introduce yourself. And I mean, give them your name and make sure you get their name too.
I have spent far too long calling people ‘so and so’s mum’, and after a while it’s almost too awkward to ask them what their name actually is!