Do you struggle to make new friends? Maybe you’ve outgrown old ones, moved away from ancient ones or are just feeling lonely as a new mum. You’re really not alone. It’s easy to sit at home day in, day out with your little one but at some point you’ve got to get out there. Making new friends is daunting but I’m here to offer a few ideas to make it a little easier.
So you’ve braved a new group all on your own. High five mamma…that alone is a mini achievement. Now what. Everyone seems engrossed in conversation. They all know each other. Although you’re surrounded by other mummies, all with similar aged children, you still feel alone.
Here’s the tough love!
It’s your responsibility to make friends. No one is going to do it for you. If you want friends, you’re going to have to put yourself out there and be vulnerable. Maybe not straight away but at some point you will.
What if no one wants to be my friend?
Don’t let that self doubt creep in. Jump in and see what happens. You’ll naturally get a vibe from someone within a few minutes of chatting whether they’re a good match for you. Think of it like dating.
Where to begin?
So you’ve spotted a friendly looking mum standing alone, you’ve psyched yourself to make a move. But what to say? My advice is to compliment something. Either an item of clothing, jewellery or ever her kid’s shoes. It’s the perfect icebreaker. Who doesn’t love a compliment?
As much as a compliment starts to the conversation, you can’t get very deep with it. Here are three questions you can ask that can lead to loads more questions and are a great way to find out lots about someone in a short space of time.
1) Do you live around here?
You can ask about local events, attractions, parks. Ask what the neighbourhood is like. Ask what they know about the local schools. People love to talk about what they know.
2) Are your family local?
This is great for finding out about what family they have. You can lead into whether they get help with childcare or if they see relatives regularly.
3) How old is your little girl/boy?
Mum’s love to talk about their little one. You can find out their child’s name, birth weight and shoe size all within a few minutes. Maybe it’s not the most riveting chatter but the more you talk, the more you’ll bond.
Without realising, you’ll have had a lovely chat and will either be sizing her up as your new bestie or not. It won’t happen with every mum you meet but the more you do it, the more likely you are to stumble upon an amazing friend.
How to convert
Before your conversation ends, you’ll need to decide whether this is someone you’d like to see again. Like I said, it’s like dating and you’re going to need to be a bit brave. You’re going to need to ask for her number. Or at the very least ask if you can message her on Facebook /WhatsApp.
Eek…”Can I have your number please?”
Why not try “It’d be fun to get our kids together for a play date, shall we swap numbers?” Ideally you should set a date. How many times have you said I’ll call you and it’s just slipped your mind. Even if you need to reschedule later, try and put a place holder date in so you’ve got something to work from.
If you haven’t already, now is the time to properly introduce yourself. Make sure you actually know her name. Repeat it back to her. Trust me, I’ve met some lovely mums, had countless conversations with them but have no clue what their name is. It’s seriously embarrassing and too far past the point of asking.
You’d think you’d remember what she told you a week or two later, but if your memory is anything like mine, you won’t. My top tip here is, when you save her number in your phone, add extra details like her children’s/partner’s name, kid’s ages and where you met.
Like dating, you may need to ‘kiss a few frogs’. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a friendly chat at a playgroup, it just means that’s where the relationship will stay. We are all busy and have our different responsibilities so you need to value your time and choose friendship that make you feel good. Don’t waste time with people who bring you down. You don’t need to settle.
How did you meet your mummy friends?
Here are some of the great mummy friends you might meet