Children in the main tend to be good at making friends, their confidence will tend to enable them to automatically engage in play with a peer who they haven’t met before. If a child isn’t confident, then chances are another more confident child will bring them out of their shell. My daughter did it with another little girl a year ago and nursery made a point of saying how she was helping the less confident child to become more involved. #proudmummymoment.
Anyway, this post isn’t about the children, it’s about the adults.
How do you make Mummy/Daddy friends?
I have friends from different stages of my life – school, university, work, and thankfully antenatal. These friends all have children of different ages, but having moved away from the antenatal bunch I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve struggled to make friends with my daughter’s nursery/school Mums.
Problem number 1 is that I rarely see them.
I drop daughter off to pre-school and then I dash to work. There is no playground chat. If I’m lucky, I’ll get a nod of the head from Isaac’s Mum, or Hector’s Dad.
At pick-up, its a race to get there before close, when many a time, my daughter is the last one left. Again, a potential nod as the slightly earlier parent walks away whilst chatting to their offspring about their day.
Problem number 2 is that, well basically, I’m a bit shy.
This is exacerbated by problem number 1.
Party invites are beginning to increase, and foolishly I thought this was going to be the start of some serious Mummy bonding. Unfortunately, it transpires it is not as simple as that. You see, I’m not actually sure what to say.
On arrival at parties, there always seems to be pockets of chatting between parents. They all look as if they’ve been friends for years whilst I stand alone, usually with a child clinging to me and I begin to feel a bit self-conscious.
A bit like I don’t fit in.
I’m too embarrassed to interrupt a conversation, so instead, I stand there like a lemon desperately hoping that someone will come over and talk to me.
This cannot be good role-modelling for my daughter!
Problem number 3 is I probably don’t come across as very approachable
The fact I’m rarely seen means I’m probably known as the ‘full-timer’. I’m the career woman who must oose confidence and self-esteem. I probably don’t want to be part of the Mummy group as I’m far too busy doing very important work! (** as they see me checking my phone for the umpteenth time, pretending it doesn’t matter that I’m by myself**)
But I do.
I really do want to be part of the group. I’d like to be involved and whilst I’m no good at baking or crafts, I’m not a bad organiser and I do actually smile and laugh quite a lot. In fact, I will quite happily chat to strangers at a work event, or present in front of a panel of people. I’m strong, independent and confident – apart from as a Mum.
Making friends sure does get harder as you get older. Maybe I need to learn a thing or two from my daughter.
Does anyone want to come out to play?