To meet Mum Friends is almost like a right of passage for new parents, but how do you meet them?
Here at Mumbler, a huge part of what we do is tell you where you can go with your little ones. But sometimes, you just want a bit of company. Mums of older children will tell you how important it has been to meet Mum friends. But for a first time parent, this can be a bit daunting.
Getting out and about with a baby or toddler can be a big job itself. Is everyone dressed? Is the nappy bag fully stocked?
But first…….where will you go?
Have a look through the Mumbler Website and see if there are any Baby & Toddler Groups or Classes that are close by. Reach out to the Group or Class organiser (via text or Facebook) to let them know it will be your first visit and they will be able to advise if you need to pre-book, bring cash payment or where to park your car/pushchair. Many groups and classes are bookable on a termly basis, so you will see the same mums each week!. Playgroups are also a great option, with most of them a drop-in set up.
Or have a look for community groups on Facebook. There are often meet-ups for parents with similar interests or for people going through similar parenting experiences. From walking groups to twin groups, breastfeeding groups to parents understanding and supporting each other with disabilities. Again, send a message to the group organiser, they will always be happy to look out for newcomers to their groups. Keep your eyes open on the North & South Leeds Mumbler chat group for our very own Mumbler Meet-Ups.
We know it can be nerve wracking heading somewhere new on your own, so we are going to share our tips of how to Meet Mum Friends once you get out and about.
1. Be Organised – Know where you are heading and what time you want to leave. Have your bag packed the night before with everything you might need. Nappies, wipes, spare clothes and snacks.
Look up where you can park your car and check if you need to bring any change. Take any additional worry or stress out of your time away from home by being prepared and knowing you have everything ready to go.
2. Play with your little one – If you are heading to a Playgroup or similar, instead of sitting at the edge or the room looking in. Sit on the floor with your little one and play with them. You are far more likely to be able to strike up conversations and meet mum friends if you are within the play space.
For parents of older children, let your little ones navigate the room and see where they take you to play. Your child may just lead you to your new BFF. Smile at other parents as you arrive.
3. Time to make small talk – Have a few questions and conversation topics up your sleeve that you can pull out and use with other mums. Ask about their little one’s outfit? Ask if they’ve been here before? Could they recommend any other groups or classes? What pushchair friendly walks have they been on lately?
Making small talk can be really difficult, especially for introverted people. So try to keep in mind that the other person may be feeling exactly the same. If you are asked questions, avoid single word answers. And if appropriate, ask them the same question back.
4. Be Brave. Exchange Numbers – It’s almost like dating. You’ve had a lovely conversation but where is it going from here? Don’t worry if you don’t exchange numbers the first time you meet someone, just say you’ll see them at the same group or class next week and catch up then.
If you are ready to swap numbers, but it feels a bit awkward to ask outright. You could always suggest you send them a link to something that would be helpful to them…..e.g. North Leeds & Wetherby Mumbler website which is full of ideas of things to do with their little one. Ask what is best, text or Whatsapp.
5. Send That Message – You’ve promised you would share that super helpful link. Now is the time to do it. Let them know it was so lovely to meet them today and if they fancy trying out a Mumbler Pram friendly walk with you then you’d love to get it in the diary.
It’s all about keeping that conversation flowing.
6. You don’t have to be friends with everyone – You’re not going to become best friends with every other parent you meet, or with every parent you swap numbers with and that is ok. If you don’t feel you click with someone, you don’t have to be friends with everyone.
And remember, friendships take time to build. Sometimes you may need to visit the same class or group a few times to get your bearings before you feel comfortable getting into conversation with other mums. But it is totally worth the wait to meet Mum friends.