Meeting fellow mums - advice for the introverted amongst us!(13 Posts)
I am pregnant with my first and due in May and looking for some advice. Friends and HCPs are telling me about lots of baby-related activities to get involved with when dd arrives and I am keen to get out of the house and keep busy so I don't get cabin fever, and to meet other new mums too. The thing is I am not one for group activities, or big group get togethers where lots of people are trying to be heard at the same time. I much prefer small groups and getting to know people on an individual basis. Can anyone relate to this and/or recommend what kind of activities I could get involved with when baby arrives that would suits this part of my personality? TIA.
I try to get to groups early so I can talk to the first one or two who arrive and it doesn't seem so scary then! Some groups are nicer than others so do persevere, they do keep me sane!
I found that an organised class was much better than an unstructured playgroup type thing. So things like Baby Sensory, music groups, a baby massage class etc.
At those sorts of groups the opportunity for chat is more limited, and you have something to chat about as you can talk about the activities. If you get on well with someone you can stay after for a while or arrive a bit earlier.
What brighton said.
I am a bit of a 'loner' and generally prefer the company of people I'm close too. I developed a friendship with one mum who seemed to go to Sing and Sign, Baby Sensory and Baby Massage with me. But I couldn't abide play/toddler groupy type things. Give them a go but you sound to me like they won't be your cup of tea.
I am an introvert but amazingly didn't mind some toddler groups. I think it's because although I'm rubbish at small talk, having a baby or toddler gives you something to make small talk about.
I made two friends (and lots if acquaintances) one of whom is now one of my closest friends and our children are too. She is also an introvert
Note my use of the word some though. Not all toddler groups are the same. I am lucky in that there was one day to chose from but I didn't go more than twice to unfriendly ones.
Glad I am not the only one! I think I will have to try and keep an open mind, try a variety of classes/groups and accept that some will be more suitable than others, although I won't necessarily be able to predict this in advance.
Yes, sunbathe, I have antenatal classes coming up so that should be a small and 'safe' group to get to know others. Also, as maillotjaune says, there is that common ground so small talk will be a bit easier in a lot of groups.
I made some good friends at ante-natal yoga. We still meet up nearly 7 years later. Give the local groups a try as they're generally drop-in - no commitment required.
When you have kids, you always have something to talk about with other parents!
Try your local Sure Start centre. I go to quite a few groups and there's never millions of people (although obviously that may be dramatically different where you live!). Your health visitor should be able to advise what's best for you - there might be a breastfeeding support group (if you are doing that) or something where people can't help but be chatty! Good luck!
Definitely try SureStart, my local one was fantastic when I had my DS. It's closed down now but I'm still good friends with the mums who went. Baby groups have such a bad reputation, the SureStart group I went to was very quiet and the other mums were very much like me - introverted and quiet, not competitive and a bit nervous about being a mum. We just made small talk, laughed about our bad days and got to have a cup of tea. It actually started out as a baby clinic for having LOs weighed and it developed into a stay and play. I'd look for groups which are like a drop in, rather than ones with a strict start/end time. That way you can choose how long you stay and you have the option of leaving straight away if it's a bit hostile.
Don't be put off if you have a bad experience the first time, sometimes it takes a few weeks for people to relax, music groups and massage etc are quite difficult classes to get to know other mums as you can't really chat. Saying that, I've been to loads of groups and the latest one was really hostile, it hasn't put me off trying another new groups but I know if it had been a year ago I would have gone home in tears and probably never tried a new one! Good luck, I hope you find a nice group. The support is very useful.
Bear in mind you don't need to be social if you don't want to! When my twins were small and napping half the day I happily spent my time reading and surfing the web. Baby café? I have nice tea right here!
A tip that someone gave me really helped (and now seems blindingly obvious so sorry if it is - but I was glad I was told)
Basically, everyone loves talking about their baby. Your opening gambit is always "awe, so cute. How old is your little one?". Gets the chat going and is also gender neutral for non blue/pink dressed babies. Follow up chat usually comes pretty easily.
I'm not great socially and haven't yet made any new friends-for-life but this advice got me through the first few awkward moments of several situations.
Thanks, everyone. Some great advice, and I feel better just for 'verbalising' this. I am going to try not to over think things and not put too much pressure on myself to enjoy or make lots of friends, then anything else is a bonus!
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