Friday, 30 August 2013

Friday Fives: Tips For New Mummy Mingling!

As I've mentioned before, we recently moved from the North West to the South West of the country.

I'd lived in the south west previously, but in a different town 40 minutes drive from where we live now - so although I do have some friends in the area, I don't live close enough to them anymore to see them all that often.

Plus none of my old friends have babies yet - I always thought this wouldn't matter to me, and to an extent it doesn't - I have just as much interest in my friends without children as I had before, infact its nice to be around people whose lives don't revolve around the price of nappies and night feeding!!! - but equally it is nice to have friends who DO understand why I'm tired all the time and who understand that going out and being somewhere on time isn't as easy as it used to be.

Plus people who also have children are likely to be on maternity leave like I am - so they are free during the day, which is when I'm bored and wanting to get out and do things!
I also think its important for Tyne to be around other children - especially as he's currently an only child  - as he needs to learn to interact with them, plus as he gets older it'll be much more fun for him to play with other children than to always be trying to play with us boring adults!
So, when I moved to this town, I was determined to make an effort to mingle with people who also have children.

I am naturally quite a shy person, I always have been, and I can find it quite difficult to make conversation with people - so I wasn't overly confident about putting myself out there, but somehow being with Tyne makes me feel a bit more confident as I'm not really alone in a situation - if I feel awkward or there's a silence I can't fill, he's there for me to chat to and play with!

Within a week of moving here, I'd done all of the things on the list below in an effort to find some new Mummy friends and although we've only been living here for a few weeks, we have already met some lovely people and made a couple of nice new friends who we can go for fun days out with etc!:

1. Join NetMums Meet A Mum Board is a brilliant resource for parents for many reasons but one of my favourite things about the site is their Meet A Mum boards.
You sign up to their website and you can then read through the boards for your local area to find other Mums looking for friendship - you can also post your own thread introducing yourself and stating that you're looking for people to go for a coffee with,etc.

2. Look for local Facebook mum groups

I've found that - for my area - there are a quite a few local Mum groups on Facebook, one in particular was set up purely for the purpose of local mums being introduced to each other. They run regular local meet ups where the Mums and children get together in a child friendly so that the kids can play and the mums can mingle!
I went along to one of these meet ups with Tyne last week and it was really nice - it was quite a small gathering so not too intimidating  - Tyne loved playing with the other babies and we both made a new friend!

3. Go to a class

Mother & Baby classes are a great way of meeting other mums, as the classes you attend will most likely be aimed at people with babies a similar age to yours.
The other women who go to these classes are more than likely there because they also want to mingle and meet new people, so they really are an ideal place to get social!
Surestart centres run some great Mum & Baby classes in most areas and are well worth looking up.

4. Visit local parent & baby hang outs

If you don't fancy a structured class, just visiting a local park or play cafe can be a good start as there will be plenty of other mums around and it's usually pretty easy to strike up a conversation at these kinds of places.
You never know who you might meet if you're friendly and approachable - smile!

5. Pregnancy Clubs!

My final tip is less about meeting mums to hang out with in your day to day life, and more about mum-to-mum support.
Not everybody is lucky enough to have a large number of amazing and supportive friends (myself included!), and so sometimes online friendships can be really valuable and just as important.

When I was early on in my pregnancy, I found my way onto the Baby & Bump website and browsed the Pregnancy boards - people often start up threads on these boards looking for "bump buddies" which basically means that they are looking for people who are at a similar point in pregnancy to chat with.

I found a group of girls who were all due around the end of March/early April - there were around 10 of us - from the UK, Ireland, USA and Australia.

We chatted pretty much on a daily basis from the first trimester, and now that our babies are all around the 5 month mark we STILL chat pretty much every day.

I may not have met these girls in person and I may not be able to go for a coffee with them whenever I feel like it, but having their support at the end of the computer has been amazing and - if you're not the kind of person who fancies getting out and about - I highly recommend finding yourself some bump/baby buddies online! 

Do you have any Mummy Mingling tips to share? What have your experiences of the social side of Mummyhood been like? As always, I'd love to hear from you!

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