Having a baby changes every aspect of your life, from your body to your hormones to your sleep schedule - or lack thereof. While the changes when you have a child can be exciting, they also tend to be accompanied by a sense of loneliness.
Whether it's because you moved to the suburbs to start your family or because your friends are in a different stage of life, losing touch with the connections you used to have happens to many new parents.
If you're nodding while reading this, this blog post is for you. Read on to learn simple, practical strategies to make friends with other parents.
4 Simple Ways to Make Friends
1. Get out there!
Being open and willing to meet new people in your neighborhood is the first and most obvious step to making friends. Say "hi" to the parents at your local playground, bring extra toys for other kids to play with, and never hesitate to approach others to ask questions, compliment their parenting, or ask about their kids.
If you click with a parent you meet in public, save their number on your phone. Whether your connection flourishes into a budding friendship or you remain casual acquaintances, you now have someone you can reach out to for advice, support, and potential playdates down the road.
2. Start Networking
If you've got friends who live far away or don't have kids, ask them if they know any new parents in your area you could contact.
Having a connection in common makes messaging someone you don't know much less awkward, and you'll also be likelier to have things in common with them than you would a complete stranger.
Just know that when making friends using this method, you'll need to be the first to initiate contact.
3. Try Out An App
No, we're not talking about dating apps. Many friend-making apps are out there, including those explicitly catered to new parents. Here are a few you can download to get started:
Peanut - This app provides a platform for new moms to chat, get advice from one another, share experiences, and meet in person.
Bumble BFF - This app is for anyone looking for new friends. You can specify the friendships you want to make in your bio and start swiping.
Meetup - This app is for those looking to meet people at events and activities nearby. Use it to search for events catered to new parents or find classes and activities related to your interests.
4. Don’t Rush or Put Pressure On the Connection
Finding genuine connections takes time and effort. If you get frustrated with the amount of surface-level conversations and unfulfilling meetups you end up having, know that everything happens with time.
Remember: Although it can be difficult, try to have some patience. Some people you meet will remain helpful acquaintances, while some will eventually blossom into meaningful relationships.
Raising a child takes a village known as a community of kind, caring friends. Find people who can relate to your experiences as a new parent, be there for you, and support you throughout your journey.
Put yourself out there, be open to new connections, and discuss your search for new friends with others. You will eventually find the like-minded people you're looking for.