5 WAYS TO MAKE NEW MUM FRIENDS
By Laura Fountain
Just because your kids are the same age, go to the same school or live in the same street as someone else’s, it doesn't mean the two of you are going to get on like a house on fire.
But because you realise your non-mum-friends don't always want to talk kids - and maybe you want to let your catch-ups with them be a sanctuary from talking about sleep schedules and OFSTED scores - you need mum friends in your life who ‘get’ you. If you’re a new mum amd you’ve outgrown your NCT buddies or moved to a new area, here are five tried and tested ways to find your mum tribe.
Remember the things you enjoyed doing before having kids? This is your ticket to finding other mums with similar interests. So if you were a gym-goer before getting pregnant, investigate a mum-and-baby fitness class. Love a good film? Find yourself a baby-friendly cinema screening and get chatting (wait until the credits come up - nobody wants to be friends with someone who talks through a film).
Your mobile has every aspect of becoming and being a parent covered - from finding your partner to telling you when you’re fertile and tracking your pregnancy and baby development. So it’s no surprise that, when it comes to making mum friends, there’s an app for that too. Mush and Peanut work just like dating apps - punch in your area, age (of your child - so no taking off a few years) and interests then get ready to swipe.
The idea of singing ‘Wheels on the bus’ for the tenth time may fill you with dread and the idea that you could find your new bestie over a pile of developmental toys might sound preposterous to you, but traditional local parent and child groups aren’t to be overlooked. Look for clues: the mum who brought a book you’ve had on your ‘to read’ pile, the one wearing the coat you’ve been wanting all winter, the one who you recognise from the pub. Seek and ye shall find.
Friends of friends
Your friends without kids who you’re trying so hard to save from having to listen to your child-rearing worries, might just be the key to new mum friends. Next time they mention someone they know from yoga who’s pregnant or their work mate who has a child a similar age, ask for an introduction - in real life or via social media. If they’re a friend of your friend, they already come pre-approved!
Friends don’t have to be there in person staring back, sleepy-eyed over a coffee to be significant to your life and well-being. Some of the best friends I have started out at people I chatted to on Twitter. The benefit of online friendships is that you find people who are up at the same time as you - so whatever sleep schedule your child is currently enforcing on you, there’s people in the same boat. The London Mother Twitter and Instagram feeds are a good place to find fellow parents and you can tell a lot about a person from a few words and a picture.
What have you found helpful when it comes to making new Mum friends?