This week I had my very first playdate with other Mums and their children. By this I mean with women I had never met before and didn’t know before they were mums! There had been a few other opportunities to socialise in a “mums” group since my daughter was born but I hadn’t taken them up. Mostly because I was a bit nervous! Lots of thoughts ran through my head before I arrived. What if they don’t like me? What if I say something stupid or accidentally judgmental? What if I talk too much? What if I talk too little? What if it’s awkward? What if I don’t like them?
Making friends as an adult is no easy feat! It can be awkward and uncomfortable. Yet without friends it’s easy to feel isolated and alone. As a stay at home mum the opportunity to interact with adults can often be few and far between outside of hubby and the odd word here or there. I’m also fairly introverted so the fearless confidence that (most) little of children have when meeting new playmates is a little lacking.
So what’s a Mum to do? Take a deep breath and dive right in there! After the event was made (on Facebook) and I realised that I didn’t have anything else planned for that day I decided I was going to make the effort to go. Besides, it’s at the beach, it’s pretty easy to be happy at the beach with all that natural beauty around. Upon arriving, I found I was the second to arrive. Naturally, I started with Hi, I’m Rachel and this little one is my daughter Miss 15mo. Which is a pretty good way to start a conversation! Thankfully, after she’d introduced herself and a few minutes of chatting we hit it off. Shortly after, the next mum arrived. We began chatting and she was also kind! Phew!
As our children played I found the conversation felt comfortable and my worry prior unfounded. Perhaps this is because we had a common ground (similar parenting styles, young children). Perhaps this is because we were both friendly and open. Perhaps it was because we both had felt nervous about meeting up with people we didn’t know! I’m not sure.
Regardless, now that the event is in the past I think why was I so worried? I am happy with my ability to hold a conversation. I have valuable points to add to conversations made by others. I needn’t have worried so much and I am so glad I went! The mums were so lovely and the small talk was nearly non-existent as we quickly found topics of common interest.
If you’re looking to make new friends, there’s plenty of ways to do it! Taking up a new hobby, going to a Facebook organised event, volunteering or even sparking up a conversation on the train to work. A quick google search will give you thousands of activities and events available to you! Perhaps the first person you speak to might be your new best friend. Alternatively, they may not, but have another go and I am sure you’ll find some nice people out there. I’m off to go find a playgroup to join!
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Author: Rachel Fredericks
Rachel Fredericks is a practicing Catholic, a wife and mother of one (two if you count the 2yo puppy). She’s currently studying her Masters of Organisational Psychology as well as bringing up her darling daughter who just turned one! She enjoys good conversation, quality time with family and friends, going to the beach or a run and reading good books.