Making Mummy Friends: How I did it as a first time Mum
With thanks to Amelia and Arlo
Entering motherhood is like entering a brand new chapter in your life. The beginning of a scary (at first ... ) but beautiful chapter in your life, with a tiny human by your side to love, nurture, worry about … and all the rest!
But with all the changes you go through in the early stages of first-time parenthood, the challenge of meeting other mums isn’t something we really plan for. We sort of assume that we’ll just automatically find other mums that we can go to to the park with, that we can call on whatever time of day with a question about our baby’s poop, or even that we can have good gossip with over a glass of wine … but actually, it’s not quite as simple as that.
I came to quickly realise that these ‘mummy friends’ I imagined do not just magically appear in your phonebook and at your front door, it was going to be down to me to make the effort to meet them. My son was just three months old when we moved to a brand new area, and after all of the settling in was done, it was important for me to find one or two people that I should share my journey in motherhood with. For new parents it can be an overwhelming time and if you don’t have anyone to share it with, even if it is just for a couple hours once a week, it can be lonely. And I was lonely at times. I knew I needed to make the effort.
For me, making mummy friends wasn’t easy. I was the first one out of my friends to have a baby so it was a bit like starting from scratch. It was like going back to basics (hello again school days ... ) but in a completely new area. I knew it would be great for both me and my baby to get ourselves out there, so this is what we did and what hopefully you can try too …
An app that allows you to meet other mums? In your area? Mind blown! The power of the internet at it’s finest! The two apps which I downloaded were Peanut and Mush. Some would describe them as a mum version of a dating app! All you have to do is share your location, some of your hobbies and interests, and you can either swipe right or match with other mums locally to you based on all of those things.
Both of these apps were great for me as being in a new area I didn’t know anybody and I could actually specify that I was new and it allowed me to match with other mums who were also neighbourhood newbies.
The apps were a success for me as I ended up meeting a couple of friends who were super local and who I am still friends with today.
PARENT & BABY CLASSES
This wasn’t my first route to meeting mums. I know it’s kind of installed into you to go to your local parent and baby group by your midwives when you’re pregnant, but I just didn’t have myself down as someone who would go. But actually, I was surprised! Being new to the area I knew this would be a great way to meet other mums and for my baby to interact with other children, so I plucked up the courage and went along to one.
You might not click with everyone, and I had to try out a few in my area before I found my favourite, but it’s definitely worth giving them a go. After all, it’s a great way for your baby to build confidence and learn new things in brand-new surroundings with different toys and activities to the ones at home - it’ll be a special bonus if you make a new mummy friend, and the chances are you will!
As a blogger, social media is a big part of my every day life and it’s been such a great tool for me. Instagram particularly is a godsend. Blogger or not, the Instagram community of mums is growing every day and there are so many mums on there who share their moments in motherhood, highs and low. Social networks like Instagram and Facebook can be the foundations to some great friendships, online and even offline.
Not everyone you follow and spark up a conversation with is going to live up the road, but using local hashtags and finding likeminded accounts that way will give you more of a chance to meeting other mums local to you. On my time on Instagram so far I have met a few local mums and it’s been a real game changer for so many when it comes to meeting other mums, so what are you waiting for? Get hashtagging!
If you carry or are planning to carry your little one, then you may want to try visiting your local sling library as a way to not only meet other parents and socialise, but to get hands-on support to help you carry comfortably and with confidence.
There is often comfortable seating for parents and children, refreshments, and many libraries will offer a variety of sling sessions - some which are more structured with the opportunity to try-on and/or hire a carrier and other less formal 'Slingmeets' where you can road test your new carrier during a walk in the park or trip to the beach with likeminded friends.
If you'd like to learn more about sling libraries, contact the Beco UK team who can connect you to your local library or sling consultant.
Meeting mummy friends might not come naturally to you at first, it certainly didn’t to me, but give it some time and do what’s comfortable, and you will definitely be on your way! Here’s to meeting some great mummy/daddy friends - good luck!