“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?
LLL is an awesome place to meet like minded moms. Where I used to live the group was amazing! Unfortunately, where I live now it isn’t much. I have different pockets of friends: some church, some homeschool and some cloth diaper related.
My husband and I have a two month old (Noah), and after being at home all day with Noah for the past two months (literally only getting out of the house for church and groceries!), my hubby convinced me to start back up with a women’s Bible study I used to be involved in a few months ago. I JUST attended this past Tuesday, and it’s amazing! The fellowship is great, it’s refreshing to get into the Bible regularly again, and childcare is free (plus, the ladies that do childcare REALLY like the Bumgenius AIO and asked about where I got them)! I couldn’t thank my husband enough for encouraging me to go again. 🙂
Nearly all of the women I am friends with are because of our local MOPS group. If not for them, I would have sat home alone. Because of them, I have several different social groups upon which I rely for “girl time.” I could not have survived with them!!!
I’ve met so many great mom friends through my church! Whether through volunteering, women’s events, or our mom’s group, there are lots of young mamas to connect with there. Most of my closest friends aren’t having kids yet, but it’s been so nice to start building friendships with other moms. It’s amazing how much it helps just to know someone else is going through the same things.
Our area is too small for a parent’s group. We tried library time, but my then almost 2 year old was the youngest by far and couldn’t sit still. Pissed off all the other kids, the parents and group leaders were okay with it, but it got old shushing her every 2 seconds so the other kids could hear. The closest thing I’ve come to a parent group is a ‘knitting’ group from our church. I asked if I had to knit, and of course, they said NO! It’s basically just a way for the women to get together. Some people knit, but others just sit and talk, do homework, or whatever. They were happy to have me, and even asked if I was going to pass around the baby when he or she comes. I made a couple of hand stitched items as gifts for Easter while chatting. It’s only once a month, and it has tween girls through adults, but it’s a nice mix! Everyone takes a turn at their house–and we get to sample different foods of course. No one complains about watching their weight or anything, we just chat about everyday stuff. I wish more people were involved, but it’s still fun! My 2 year old stays home with her dad and goes to bed, so I don’t have many worries about getting home or anything, it’s pretty nice.
My oldest turned 6 in January and I realized that I had been raising babies for 6 years and had no social life.
I started joining local mom’s groups (four at this point). I don’t know if I’ll stay with all of them, or perhaps join another. Right now I’m still testing the waters to see what’s a good fit.
I’ve met some great ladies and am very happy to have social events on the schedule each month. It is definitely worth the effort!