Having young kids can sometimes feel a little unsociable – especially in the newborn months when you’re sleep deprived and getting to grips with your new life as a parent. Socialising is probably the last thing you feel like doing and it can sometimes be hard to muster up the energy to leave the house. You can certainly kiss goodbye to those spontaneous evenings out – at least for the time being.
But having kids can also bring a whole new circle of friends and give your social life a new direction. Throughout my two and a half years as Mum, I’ve made the effort to get out and socialise. From attending Mother & Baby groups, to hosting parties for the kids, there are some great opportunities (and excuses) to make mum friends and extend your social circle.
Mother and Baby groups
In the early days with Taylor I made the effort to attend a variety of Mother and Baby groups. From Rythm Time and music classes to messy play sessions and baby massage there are lots of local activities available across Children’s Centres and Village Halls. Not all of them will be to your liking, but some you’ll love and will look forward to returning to each week. These also help to bring some structure to your days amidst the constant cycle of feeding and cleaning up in those early weeks.
Toddler stay and play sessions
It can be difficult to keep a curious toddler entertained for a whole day. I also found that if I made the effort to leave the house for half of the day, then Taylor would have a decent nap in the afternoon – leaving me to crack on with some of those chores or have an hour’s peace and quiet! Most of these sessions usually have some element of crafting involved – so you can also leave the paint/glue/play-doh mess behind! Win-win!
Soft Play dates
I’ve been pretty open about my love/hate relationship with soft play, but I can say that I’ve become pretty fond of the places now that Taylor’s old enough to run around these delights mostly on her own. Most soft play centres also conveniently have a handy cafe selling tea and cakes, so they’re really not so bad! The perfect place to arrange to meet your mum friends, or make new ones.
It can be tempting to turn down invitations to kids parties, especially if you won’t know anyone. They’re usually on a weekend when you have something else to do…But I say you should try and go. We recently relocated to a new area and Taylor got invited to a party during her first week at her new pre-school. Despite not having the hubs around to accompany me, we went along and met a lovely group. Sometimes you just have to put yourself out there.
Be the party host
Kids also give you the perfect excuse to throw parties, get family and friends together, and make new ones. They’re also pretty easy to arrange and don’t have to cost the earth. Make sure you have a good supply of food and drink, some party games, or use a free quiz maker to add another element of fun. Not forgetting cake and a few treats for the party bags. A bouncy castle also goes down a treat and they’re much cheaper than you’d expect to hire for the day. But it doesn’t have to be all about the kids – parties are a great opportunity for the parents to catch up with friends and build new relationships.
Start a parenting blog
Before I started blogging, I had no idea how much blogging is about being part of a community. The parenting blogger community is full of like-minded mums (and dads!) and is so supportive. There are also a number of blogging events and conferences throughout the year that provide the perfect opportunity to find new buddies.
Have you made new friends since becoming a parent?
Disclosure: Post written in collaboration