“Make new friends, but keep the old; one is silver and the other’s gold.” – Author unknown
Life is full of changes, and arguably, none is more life altering than having a baby. It can be difficult if your friends aren’t having babies at the same time you are. Maybe their children are older, maybe you are the first within your social circle to have children. You may have found, like I have, that it’s difficult to have social outings, especially with those who don’t have similarly aged children.
So, if you need new friends that are parents, how do you find them?
While there is no magic formula, one of the best ways to find new friends is to join a class. The class could be a book club, fitness class, library story time, religious study group, Mom’s Day Out program or anything you might be interested in. If you live near a Cotton Babies store, try visiting a Tiny Socialite Gathering to meet new parents. If you live in an area with limited class options, keep your eyes open. Watch around at the places you frequent, whether it’s the neighborhood park, daycare, a church nursery or anywhere else where moms and kids are around. Look for parents with children of similar age to yours. Put on your best outgoing personality and strike up a brief conversation. If it’s a place that you visit regularly, in time, you may discover if you have enough similar interests to build a friendship on.
Shortly after my fourth child was born, I joined a book study. It cost $25 for the book and an additional $10 for childcare, several hours each Wednesday morning for about 12 weeks for the study. I was a sleep deprived mama of 4, all under age 3, but even I could do the math to figure out this was a GREAT deal on childcare. Honestly, I signed up for the book study just to be out of my house and have a small parenting break each week. What I didn’t expect was that I would meet new people, some of which were parents of young children as well. I really needed that, as my husband and I had relocated to a new city just months before our baby was born.
What began as pure survival has bloomed and grown into some of the best friendships of my entire life. Granted, four years have passed. No, I’m not friends with everyone from that first group, but I met a few good friends. Those few friends introduced me to new friends, and so on down the line. It took a lot of effort. I had to chose not to be passive; but to smile, chat and step outside of my comfort zone to meet new people. For me, making friends as an adult was much more difficult than making friends as a child, but the effort has paid off in many positive ways.
Do you have real life friends in your town? How did you meet? How do you make new parent friends?