There’s a lot of challenges that come with being a parent and perhaps one of the most surprising is how isolating it can feel. Before baby came along, you likely had plenty of adult conversations. However, once you’re a parent, a LOT of time is taken up by your little one and it’s not unusual for many parents to spend days alone with just them and their child.
This isolation can have a dramatic negative impact on your well-being. While it’s great spending so much quality time with your child, you need a separate life too. If none of your friends have children, it can be difficult to relate to one another. Many friendships sadly fizzle out once baby comes along as your priorities switch.
So, how can you prevent yourself from becoming too isolated? The answer is to connect with other parents. Here we’ll look at some of the best ways to connect with other parents and stop yourself from feeling like you’re going insane.
1. Join Local Groups
Local baby and toddler groups are perhaps one of the most successful ways of making new friends. It’s something both you and your little one will enjoy as there are plenty of different types of groups out there to choose from. Baby yoga, music, sensory, ballet and story time groups are just some of the different activities available.
As you attend these often weekly groups, you’ll start to develop friendships. Soon you’ll be off, out to coffee mornings and arranging playdates.
2. Get Out Of The House
If you’re trying to save money, just getting out of the house for a walk to the park gives you the opportunity to connect. You’ll meet other parents who you can strike up a conversation with. Or, maybe you’ll bump into people who stop to admire baby and they have friends or relatives with a child the same age.
People generally love to connect with other people. So, you’ll have no problems connecting with other parents while you’re on a local walk.
3. Start A Playgroup
You struggle to keep up with your own child so the thought of starting your own playgroup can seem outrageous. However, if your little one is only in their first year, a playgroup will actually benefit you and other parents more. This is because although yes you will have more children to look after, you won’t be alone. Their parents will be there too so you can get to know one another, have a break and have actual adult conversations.
You can advertise your new playgroup on social media too. You’ll be amazed how many local parents would go to a playgroup; especially if it saves them money. You could offer the group for free, but ask parents to bring their own drinks or food if you don’t have a huge budget to work with.
4. Go Online
The internet has provided parents with a wonderful opportunity to meet others. From forums to dating sites – it’s amazing how you can find other like-minded parents online from the comfort of your living room. As a matter of fact, we have our own forum that we’d love to have you join. We promise it’ll be the friendliest parenting community you’ve ever been a part of!
There’s even groups online you can join which offer members the chance to meet up and partake in numerous activities. Of course, these online forums and sites aren’t just great for meeting up with other parents – they also offer a lot of support on everything parenting related.
Making friends online first is a particularly great idea for shy parents who struggle to strike up a conversation with others in person. Keep in mind that you’re welcome to join our forum completely anonymously, and you’re welcome to partake in discussion as little or as much as you’d like to.
5. Turn To Your Phone
It’s not just your computer that can help you to find new parent friends. Your phone is also a fantastic resource!
Did you know that there are apps designed specifically for parents to make new friends? Some are designed as a dating app, while others focus entirely upon platonic relationships. So, think about the type of friends you’re hoping to meet and find an app which best fits your requirements.
Just fantastics include:
Smile Mom – An app designed to help you not only connect with other moms with similar aged children, but to get advice too. It’s free to use and helps you connect with people locally, as well as giving you the ability to arrange playdates.
MomCo – Another fantastic free app MomCo allows you to search for and connect with other moms nearby. It also lets you schedule playdates, get support and find up-coming events. There’s an additional bonus that the app also offers discounted and promoted goods.
Hey VINA! – This unique app works a lot like Tinder, only it’s not a dating app. It matches up women who have the same things in common. You get to see pictures, view their profiles and get matched up depending upon results from quizzes you can take on the app, your location and whether you have any mutual friends.
These are just some of the great apps designed to make it easier to meet new parent friends. Thanks to technology it really has become so much easier to connect with others, even when you can’t leave the house sometimes.
However, there are some factors you need to take into account.
Things To Consider
It’s one thing knowing where to find new parent friends, but what about how to do it? While it is possible that other parents may approach you while you’re out and about, it’s important to not rely too much on others. Instead, you’re going to need to put yourself out there.
This means making the first move. Don’t be afraid to strike up conversation with other parents. It’s not always going to work, but unless you try you’ll never know. Also remember it’s more of a gradual process. You’re unlikely to go out one day and make an instant strong connection. You’ll likely need to make small talk over a period of time before you can actually make meaningful friendships.
Finally, if you decide to try out the online methods of making connections, it’s imperative you do so with caution. You never know who you’re chatting to and internet safety rules don’t just apply to children. So, always try to chat to the other parent on the phone or over Skype before you agree to meet. Also, arrange to meet in a public area.
Overall, it can be difficult knowing where to start when it comes to connecting with other parents. The above tips will help and thanks to the internet, it’s easier than ever before to meet likeminded parents.
Do you have your own tips on connecting with other parents? How did you get out there and meet new people? Let us know below, and remember to sign up to our forum if you haven’t already!