Finding out that you’re going to become a parent is one of the happiest, most exciting times of your life. That being said, your new addition will often mean that you’re going to have to adopt a whole new lifestyle.
Although you’ll stay in touch with your non-parent friends, you’re likely to find that, without children, many of your nearest and dearest friends will find it hard to fully understand and empathise with your new lifestyle. Finding like-minded people that are going through the same experience of parenthood can be extremely helpful. But many of us know just how difficult it can be making new friends, especially in adulthood, so to guide you in the right direction, below are a handful of ways to make friends as a new parent.
Don’t Be Afraid to Introduce Yourself to Other Parents in Your Neighborhood
It may seem a little daunting to drum up a conversation just because you’ve noticed a neighbour pushing a twin pram, but we promise it gets easier the more you pluck up the courage and just say ‘hello’! The truth is that you often don’t have to look very far from home to find prospective friends that are facing the same challenges you are. So be proactive about introducing yourself to other parents in your neighbourhood. Getting friendly with people living nearby will also make catching up much easier than if you were to travel, which can be another thing that’s made more challenging once you have a baby in tow.
Join a Local Parenting Group
Parenting groups are an obvious place to meet like-minded people in a similar situation to yourself and are often a great place to start if you’re searching for some support when it comes to your new lifestyle. Whether you choose to attend a physical class hosted by the hospital, church or library or sign up to a group via social media, all of these are an excellent and easy way of cultivating new relationships with people.
When considering which parenting groups are best suited to you aim for ones that are not only local but also groups or classes that interest you. Consider joining parenting classes that teach you and your baby new skills such as music, or dance. Taking part in classes that you genuinely enjoy will not only give you something to look forward to. Having a great time will make you feel more at ease and could, therefore, be beneficial when it comes to making a good first impression to potential new friends.
Join The Gym
You’re more likely to make more meaningful connections if your new friends share similar interests to you. That’s why fitness classes or the gym can be great places to make friends as a new parent. Many gyms now have childcare facilities where you can leave the little one while you work on getting your pre-baby body back.
If your gym has childcare, look out for other parents dropping their children off and start a conversation with them. The great thing about meeting people whilst going about your daily routine is that you don’t have to make further changes to your lifestyle to see them. If you’re not ready to hit the gym just yet then you could also find friends at your local park, children’s play area, or coffee shop.
Making new friends as a parent can be a challenging and nerve-wracking experience, so once you’ve found someone you get along with, be sure you make the effort to maintain that friendship and allow it to blossom. The great thing about gaining friends who are parents themselves is that they’ll understand that parenting is a tough job that takes up the majority of your time and energy, therefore making it difficult to prioritize new friendships. That being said, if you’re serious about making friends be as proactive as your routine allows and try and keep in touch with your newfound friends as often as you can.