Amanda harper
January 21, 2017 12:40 pm
Having a baby is not easy. Being responsible for another living, breathing, human being’s whole entire life is beyond stressful… and lets be honest, sometimes, totally isolating. During the early days with your newborn getting out of the house can be hard enough; and the thought of being sociable and making new friends??? Impossible. It's not uncommon for new parents to become recluses - household hermits if you will - after the almost unexpected and sudden birth of their baby turned their whole life as they know it upside down (not to be dramatic or anything). But it is important that couples do not completely give up on the life they once had. Making and keeping up with new or old friends becomes incredibly hard for first-time (or even second, third, fourth (#SOS)) parents due to the demanding lifestyle of, well, being a parent! Many people actually think they lose a lot of friends after having a baby, but believe it or not studies show a woman’s friendship group actually doubles after having a child. This is because new ma’s and pa’s have said it’s easier to bond with another person once they too have become a parent - therefore improving their social life by expanding their friendship circle in ways they didn't know possible. So, if you're looking for ways to expand your social circle after the introduction of a little chubby bubby who throws up on everything you love, read on! 1. Change out of your diarrhoea stained clothes and wash your greasy hair Yes, you heard me right. Its time to venture out into the crazy, new unpredictable world of baby stores, play groups and local cafes. Which new friends are you going to make while you're cooped up inside your house - ‘Ted’ the TV? ‘Mark” the Microwave? Yeah, I didn’t think so. Go make yourself look as friendly and approachable as possible - that includes putting on real clothes and shoes with straps…. no one wants to make friends with the crazy one. Get out there! 2. Become a pro at exchanging contact details After you meet a new potential friend it may be a little awkward or overwhelming asking for their contact details and if they’d like to set a play date up for your children. Don't be intimated or shy! Take the first step and extend a hand of kindness - ask what they're up to next week or if they’ll be back at the Mothers group next Tuesday. In addition, be sure to ask what kind of contact they prefer - phone calls, texts, emails? Maybe they'd prefer to add you on Facebook (Pro tip: Make sure to get the spelling of their first and last name before you leave to avoid trouble finding them later). Finally, be flexible with your new friend's schedule. Be open to last minute venue changes or times. You both know how hectic it is being a parent! 3. Visit the local playground or play centre Okay so I promise this isn't as creepy as it sounds…. Getting out of the house and going to the local park for a few hours every week is a great chance to make new friends (and to soak up the sun while getting you and Bub some fresh air!). Other parents have most likely brought their children to the park to play too so this is a great opportunity to mingle your offspring and pounce on a new potential friend! Try bringing extra toys for your child to share with others or sharing a park bench with another parent supervising their child. Make sure to engage with other parents by asking them sincere questions e.g: “Whats your child's name? How old is he/she? Which neighbourhood do you live in?” If the conversation goes well don't hesitate with going ahead and asking if they’d like to organise a play date in future, or if they'd like to get a coffee. 4. Sign up for parent-and-baby classes, such as swimming, music and reading (or join a new one!) This is a great way to connect with other like-minded parents who are interested in the same activities or hobbies as you. Plus your baby gets to learn some cool new skills! Getting out and about and engaging in these interactive classes is a great way to socialise and expose your baby to new things like singing, dancing, reading and swimming. All whilst in the presence of other excited parents wildly clapping their hands looking around the room to see if anyone else is as confused as them. Make it a rule to go to these classes once a week. Try and make it at least to the 4th class - after the 2nd or 3rd class new faces become familiar ones but by the 4th you're an established regular. If you spot some parents looking lost, approach them and make them feel welcome! Offer to sit next to them and tell them any little class secrets like where to get the best instruments and fairytale books from, or even where the cheapest parking is. 5. Like a new parents advice page on Facebook There are hundreds online! Try searching terms like “Mums advice” or “(your home city/town) parents advice”. Networking with other new parents in your local city or suburb and exchanging great tips and advice on how to actually tame the little mini human you’ve just welcomed into your life is a great way to get to know new people… and potential new friends. Mingling with other parents online may not seem like much, but at the end of the day having constant contact with hundreds of others who are going through the same thing is comforting - you’re all covered in vomit singing the alphabet hysterically. You all get it. If you notice a certain user who attends your child’s play group reach out to them by sending a private message or question. Groups like this are made to support one another and help others out, so make the most of them! 6. Talk to the other parents who are waiting outside the daycare or kindergarten… don't awkwardly pretend to text This is a prime opportunity to make new friends! It's even easier if your little one has already done the hard yards and befriended their child during snack time. Don't waste it by sitting in the car until the bell rings or by standing behind the gate awkwardly pretending to text. Simply approach the parent and strike up a conversation - perhaps about how well your children get along or how much you love the daycare centre staff. Remember to keep it light hearted and positive. Keep this up every time you pick your child up from day care or kindergarten and you’ll be friends by no time! Imagine that, your new friend saving you a seat on the bench outside the door, exchanging gluten-free recipes and being brought a mid-afternoon pick me up coffee by your new playschool bestie! Winning! 7. Go to the gym Not only will exercising make you feel better by kickstarting your endorphins each morning (and help you shred any post baby weight *cough* Dads included *cough*), it will also open up a whole new potential friend base. Heaps of stay-at-home mums and dads tend to exercise mid to late morning after they’ve got the rest of the troupe off to school. Seriously, those mid morning CRX and Soul Cycle classes are packed with young mums in their Lorna Jane kits. Pro tip: Make sure you join a gym with childminding so you can workout with the other mums and dads without a worry! 8. Visit the Toy Library Local toy libraries lend and hire out toys, puzzles and games to parents for up to 2 weeks at a time. Not only is this a great community resource, it's also a great way to meet and mingle with other parents who also frequent this massive toy kingdom. Toy libraries also offer free play sessions for other children to make friends and learn valuable sharing and listening skills. Why not drop by every few weeks and check it out? 9. Don't forget your neighbours One of the most commonly overlooked places for meeting and making new friends are often in your back yard… Seriously though, have you considered your neighbours or the people in your own street? Begin by hanging out in your front yard more often or introducing yourself to new couples that move in. A lot more doors will open (literally) if you start being social and developing strong and reliable friendships with your neighbours. 10. Keep in contact with your old friends They know the pre-baby you the best. They are a small blast from the past and have the ability to remind you about the person you once were before you were constantly sleep deprived and survived off several coffees a day. These people will be your main life line. They may not get what it's like to have a baby but they get you. Enjoy reminiscing about the old times but remember they are still your friends and nothing has to change with how involved they are in your life after having a baby. Focus on making new memories with them and enjoy the amount of support (and free babysitting) they will constantly offer. If all else fails, at least you have your new born baby and partner as back up. Chances are they’ll be all the friends you ever need! #lifelongbesties
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get twogether exists to build global friendships through local conversations by allowing our users to share their special experiences with friends. We understand the difficulty faced by couples who desire more friends with similar interests and priorities, but lack the time, knowledge and resources to branch out on their own. So, we've spent countless hours researching, developing and refining our idea to provide couples with an easy-to-use, intuitive platform that allows them to seek out meaningful social relationships with other couples. And well, we think we've nailed it.