A year ago I relocated to a new area with my family. I was heavily pregnant and had an 18 month old already. In hindsight probably not the best time to move, but needs must, and 2 weeks later I had my son. It was an odd time; a new area, a new baby, a new family dynamic and none of my mummy friends close by.
I needed to make some local mummy friends! Having already been through this once when I had my daughter, it wasn’t as daunting this time, but it was still hard work. I often joke with old friends that it’s like dating all over again, but harder. What are the rules for making new mummy friends? Do you ask women for their number? How soon do you move from seeing a mummy in a playgroup to going for coffee? When does coffee move onto playdates? Its a minefield!
I wondered if I was alone with this worry and realised quickly that no, I wasn’t, and many pregnant women and mums, struggle with this, so here is my experience and tips…
Mum dating faux pas and wins
Loads of mums feel exactly the same. Being a new mum or second/third/fourth time mum all bring new challenges and its nice meeting people in the same position.
No one knows where to start, so asking if another mum fancies a coffee after a group is nice, and nothing to be embarrassed about. What’s the worst that could happen?
Having a little one is a perfect way to cover up any awkward silences or difficult conversations, so it can make things a lot easier. I know hiding behind a child doesn’t seem like a very mature approach but it can be a life saver.
‘Taking it to the next level’… this may seem a ridiculous notion but when does coffee then turn into inviting a new mummy friend over? I have had several awkward situations when it comes to this. Much like the actual dating world, don’t come across too strong. I met a lovely but overly keen mum who once booked up my whole week after one playgroup meet. Somewhat similar to the boy that texts an hour after a date, then the next hour, then the next. Maybe a little too full on too quickly. Or the other difficult situation when we did have a playdate and it turned out our children did not like one another and we had nothing in common.
Nothing lost though, we tried and it just didn’t work. Like in any walk of life sometimes we just don’t click and that’s ok, as there will be lots of others that do.
We all have bad days/ tired days/ don’t know what the heck we are doing days, but doing it together makes it a lot easier! My best mummy friends have been made on those days. The lovely neighbour who dropped in a new home card with her number when I didn’t know anyone. The kind mum at playgroup who gave me a hug when I burst into exhausted tears. The straight talking, funny mum who told it like it was and always made me feel better about having a ‘tear my hair out’ moment.
So new mummies, pregnant mummies or growing family mummies don’t be afraid to ‘put yourself out there’ as I am sure you will find that you get out what you put in and make some fabulous mummy friends along the way.