Making Friends As A New Mum| Pal App

Friends come from all walks of life.  You’ll have friends that have lasted from your school days.  Friends that you’ve made from work.  Friends you’ve made through other friends and so on.

But the hardest time to make friends is definitely when you feel most isolated, and for many mums that’s after the birth of a child.

It’s frustrating because the desperation seeps out of the pores of many new mums looking to find some comfort in the open arms of another sleep deprived individual with a reflux vomiting baby.

But the reality is those arms generally remain closed.  Not because people are mean, but because it’s hard to let a stranger suddenly into your life even if you both so desperately need it.

And so the isolated mother continues.  Lone walks pushing a pram to the park.  Texting the friends that ‘were’ just to keep a line of communication with anyone open to not feel quite so lonely.

Making friends as an adult is hard.

But it’s not impossible.

And it’s not just mums, many new dads must feel the same pressures.

I’ve listed a variety of ways to make sure you don’t feel that isolation ever, because some of the things you can do can begin during pregnancy.

But if you find it’s too late to turn back the clock, I also have some ideas on making new friends with a baby in tow.

Hopefully you’ll find some of these ideas useful.  But don’t stress too much if you’ve tried everything and it still isn’t working for you.  The best friends you’ll make fall into your life at the right time and in the right way.  Just be open to receiving that friendship when it appears.  It may take months or years to nurture, or it could be an instantaneous spark.

1. NCT

One of my huge regrets is not joining an antenatal NCT group, but then again when I had my first-born we were moving so I knew making friends in the area we were in was pointless.  I did consider it again when I was pregnant with my second baby, but Mr London Mum was working abroad and lack of childcare in the evenings meant it wasn’t something I could attend without neglecting my son.  But I know from loads of friends that have joined the antenatal NCT groups that they’ve made lifelong friends.  Whether that’s with the whole group or just a specific person from that group its been successful for them.

The cost to join the group does seem quite steep ‘just to make friends’ but it’s a great place to gain some invaluable information as well.  And honestly the cost is worth it if you come out of that group and begin your journey as a parent with other parents alongside you.

2. Apps

Friendship apps are the new dating apps.  Many people now turn to the online world to find their perfect partner, so why not turn to the online world to find your perfect friend? After all many friends last longer than husbands or wives 😉

Pal is a newly launched app which can help you find connections close to where you live.  You can search through activities and connect that way, or if there’s an activity you really enjoy you can create your own and let other people find you.  Chat can be in groups or one on one, so it’s up to you really to make the connections that suit your lifestyle.

While using an app might seem strange now, I think we can all safely say that times have moved on.  And it’s a great way to reach out to other lonely parents stuck at home.

3. Play groups

Every town or city has a play group which is open to all parents.  Usually there’s a small fee but it’s worth that to just get out the house and often have a hot cup of tea or coffee (which is normally a complimentary feature).  I went to a great one where we used to live that cost £2 per child, and they’d provide tea, coffee and biscuits for the parents and a light snack for the kids- which actually worked well as a lunch for William because they always had quite a lot of food!

Because the kids are busy you’ll be able to strike up conversations easily.  After a few meets you could even mention a trip to the park or the duck pond?

4. Birthday parties

If you feel like after years of trying you’re still lonely don’t fret.  Once your kid is eligible for their free nursery hours (if they don’t attend a nursery already), you’ll be inundated with birthday party invitations.  We didn’t start getting them until our son started the pre school part of his nursery.  This is the time when I feel like real friendships are forged between the kids and little friendship groups start to form.  It’s at this age as well that children are more aware over what their birthday means and so parents feel like they have to throw bigger celebrations.  My son has a social life that’s far superior to mine, but I don’t mind.  I’m starting to get to know the other mums at nursery because I’m bumping into them at the various parties most weekends.  And some of those mums I’ll be bumping into at the school gates come September!  We’re all connected now by phone and where possible we arrange play dates giving us all the chance to get to know each other better.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post

thelondonmum

21 Comments

  1. It’s amazing to think of all the different groups of friends you have – wait until your child starts school! As a new parent though I totally recommend baby classes, a perfect place to meet new friends in exactly the same situation! Sim x

  2. Some great ideas. I will be downloading the Pal app today and seeing if there’s anyone in my area. I could definitely do with some new mum friends. A lot of my friends don’t have kids so we’ve drifted apart.

    • It’s so hard when you’re one of the only ones to have kids. It’s hard to keep some friendships going.

  3. I remember new Mums anxiously dropping off their school newbies & hearing many say exactly the same thing. Schools in particular can be ‘the next excitement of life’s chapters’ not only for children but can also rescue parents from social isolation & re-ignite parental social confidence & social life. I’m sure you’ll be fine! My apologies for past ‘awkwardness.’ Maybe L’s right? Fear not LondonMum … I won’t say any more.

    • We find out which school he’s going to next monday! I’m so nervous! arrrggghhhhh!!! What awkwardness? None from my end! x

      • … thank goodness for that – thank you LondonMum!!!

        Hope you have great news re. him gaining a place at your first-choice school on Monday. Hey LondonMum, try not to be tooooo nervous but, (I remember, – from the actual school side,) that it can be such an important & anxious time for parents when on the daily count-down to ‘envelope drop’ day … fingers crossed for you!!! I hope it’s a school with both a strong music & rugby playing tradition of course haha – ‘wot?’ C’mon LondonMum; which-ever school … he’ll be the muscular rugby playing Head Boy from day 1!! – Mensa? … here he comes! … with another fabulous ultra-intelligent Head Girl with sparkling eyes to follow! – You’re going to be ssooooo proud LondonMum & I’m sure you’ll all make great new buddies along the way!!! Hope all’s well – onwards LondonMum.

  4. I actually hated making friends with other parents or going to baby groups as I found them really snubby in the areas I’m from, that and the fact I was a young mum meant I felt I got looked down on. I have however found a lot of my friends online after I started blogging which really helped with the feeling of not feeling so isolated anymore x

    • It strange, I found that different areas had different ‘types’ of mums too. Some were far too grown up for me! lol. The app I think will offer a similar life line like blogging can for mums that don’t blog 🙂

  5. This sounds like a fantastic app – I have recently noticed that a lot of my friendships have fallen by the wayside as I have a new baby and they don’t have kids so it would be great to meet likeminded local mums.

    • It’s so hard when your original friends don’t have kids, you feel so torn.

  6. I joined a group after having my first daughter and to be honest didn’t stay in touch with people from there. I made loads of friends when we started nursery though. The apps sounds great for new parents.

    • I’ve found that making friends is definitely easier as they get older.. conversations are less about the kids then and more about the individuals which is much better! lol

  7. We moved after having our second child too so I have to make new friends and like the above, this is how I made my current friends. Many of them from local children’s playgroups. Our kids still meet up and play together.

  8. My neighbor is someone who desperately needs some (mummy) friends especially those experiencing the same thing. I try to be there but my job keeps me away for too long. These are great tips

  9. I found it so hard to make friends as a new mum. I’ve never been a really confident person, so striking up a conversation with a relative stranger is terrifying for me. I wish the pal app had been around 14 years ago. It might have made my life a lot easier!

    Louise x

    • It’s a much needed new tool that mums can use that’s for sure.

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