How To Make Friends During Maternity Leave

While chatting to a fellow mum at a playgroup about how we keep the kids entertained all day, she exclaimed ‘I’ve never had such a busy social life since I became a mum!’ It struck me that my own experience was quite different. While I was expecting my daughter, several friends of mine who’d had babies told me how they had a whole new group of friends, who they had met at various mother and baby groups. So I was looking forward to spending my maternity leave with a group of new best friends, going round to each other house’s for coffee and meeting up for play dates. However, making new friends with other mums turned out to be much harder than I anticipated.

Back To Work Mums

While I made a great group of friends by joining the NCT for antenatal classes while I was pregnant, my friends all returned to work after 12 months, which left me, a stay at home mum, feeling like I was back at square one in regards to having people to meet up with during the day! I’d never had problems before making friends, whether it be at uni, or at work, but making friends with other mums is a whole new kettle of fish. It’s not because other mums are standoffish and unapproachable, far from it, at playgroups they’re normally very friendly and mums often praise each other’s children, but going from having nice chat with a mum at a group, to following through and meeting up outside the playgroup, is a massive leap. Add to that the fact that mums are the busiest people I know, often having to rush home to get chores done or pick up older children from school, and it’s hard to find people to spend your day with.

Get Out There

Looking after a child can be a very isolating experience if you don’t have friends to meet up with during the day. No matter how much you love spending time with your child, you need to have adult company too. It’s vital then when you become a new mum, to make a big effort to meet people, so you don’t become lonely. My own experience has shown me that friends don’t always just ‘happen’, you have to be proactive. Go to as many groups as you can, first time mum’s groups are great as most other mum’s will be in the same situation as you and will want to make new friends. There are also breastfeeding groups, postnatal yoga (some where you use your baby as a weight, so you don’t need a babysitter!), mother and baby swimming classes, music classes, sensory classes, and more! There are so many groups you can go to, and once you’re there, swallow your shyness and approach people. Most other mum’s will be in the same situation, and will love the opportunity to make new friends. At the end of a group, why not suggest going for a coffee, or going together to take the kids to a nearby park. Don’t worry about looking desperate, no one will think that and you might make a great new friend out of it!

After going to one particular playgroup a few times, one of the mum’s I chatted to invited me to a night out they were all having. I went along and haven’t looked back, I’ve now made a lovely group of friends, and my daughter loves spending time with the other mum’s children (another reason to make friends with other mums!) If I hadn’t gone, I wouldn’t have made those friends, so I really recommend being proactive and get talking to people!

Alternatives?

A friend of mine who also found it hard to meet other mums now she was stay at home mum, took a different approach. After going to mother and baby groups she felt too shy to approach people, so she went on netmums instead. Here you can post a message saying you’re a mum and would like to meet other mums in your area. She now has a great group of mum friends she meets up with regularly. So this is definitely worth doing if you find it too intimidating approaching people!

Alice from www.pregnancy.co.uk is trying to help people understand exactly what they can do to make friends after they have given birth!

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