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Feeling ridiculously friendless on maternity leave

(23 Posts)
Toffifee Wed 27-May-15 21:44:22

I am loving being on maternity leave, looking after DD who is five months old. We go out most days to activities or just for walks in the park or to the library but although we often get chatting to other Mums, I have yet to strike up any friendships that have led to exchanging numbers or planning to meet up again. We went to antenatal classes when I was pregnant and I had high hopes of making friends at those but sadly we failed to become particularly close and beyond seeing each other a handful of times when the babies were tiny, we seem to have gone our separate ways. I feel stupidly lonely when I see ladies with babies of a similar age walking and chatting together in the park or tucking into tea and cake in the cafes and I can't help glancing over wistfully which must make me look like a bit of an oddball! Any tips on how to go about acquiring new friends would be much appreciated. By the way, I do have plenty of non-Mummy friends and friends with older DC and I like to think I am a nice person and not a complete social misfit!

slightlyconfused85 Wed 27-May-15 21:49:55

Is it your first baby? My local children and family centre had a group specifically for first time mums with non walking babies. I also didn't gel in a long term way with nct group but really made some good friends at this group who I still see now our children are 2.5-3. Perhaps ask your health visiting team if you get a chance?

Waggamamma Wed 27-May-15 21:53:29

Are there any activities you attend you could suggest a few of you go for a coffee afterwards?

I made a tight knit group of friends after ds1 but I'm quite shy around new people and it took a lovely lady saying to me 'we meet for a walk on Tuesday at 12 and coffee after if you would like to join us'. She also asked my name and added me to private facebook groups for local mums that you can't find by searching. Maybe you need to be the person to suggest a meet up?

I'm now on my second mat leave and haven't made any new mummy friends despite getting out to a few groups and classes. I don't mind though because I still have close friends from when ds1 was little.

Bobian123 Wed 27-May-15 21:58:55

When you get chatting to other mums, could you take the plunge and suggest you take their number? It's hard to do, I know, but sometimes the other person doesn't feel comfortable doing it either! A year ago I moved to a new area with an 8 month old and I made myself ask for numbers in a (hopefully?!) breezy way. Kind of felt like I was dating!!

If you get chatting to a mum in the park, for example, and they have a similar aged DC I think it's totally fine to say "oh, tell you what-let me take down your number and we could meet for a coffee if you fancy it?" This is the one time in life people don't find it a totally odd request as they're all in the same boat!

MrsMargoLeadbetter Wed 27-May-15 22:07:03

I'd:

- Make the first move - inperson or online

- Join local FB mum groups, there might be meet ups you don't know about

- Attend a few different groups/classes to see if you can find "your people"

Sorry you are feeling like this. thanks You will probably find the other mums will be really grateful you did. I think a lot of have our confidence knocked following the baby's arrival etc.

bippityboppitypoo Wed 27-May-15 22:20:37

I found going to the same groups on a regular occurrence helped to build friendships as you will start to see the same faces week by week and then eventually get to know each other.. I'd ask weekend plans? And the next week ask oh how was xyz at the weekend? To show I was interested.

Roseybee10 Wed 27-May-15 22:20:47

That's a shame. I've never really met up with anyone from groups but I've been lucky in that a lot of friends and family have had babies and been off on Mat leave at the same time as me.
Where are u based? X

skankingpiglet Wed 27-May-15 22:21:30

I've been in the same boat. I'm the first of my friends to have a baby, and we moved a little outside our area a few years ago so don't have many local friends and contacts. My DD is nearly a year now but it's only been the last couple of months I have been one of those mums in the café. I just couldn't get up the nerve to ask for numbers, despite having mum-friends I chatted to each week at various groups. Thankfully a lovely lady eventually asked me smile If you feel up to it, definitely ask others for their number as they most likely feel the same as you. Otherwise it's just a bit of a waiting game really or spend your time convincing your non mum friends they want to hurry along and get knocked up quick!

NinjaPanda34 Wed 27-May-15 22:30:10

I could've written your post. I went to a playgroup for the first time yesterday and it was horrendous! I'm getting really sick of the "you must have your hands full" looks of pity when they see I have twins. They were the youngest there, everyone else was perfectly groomed and cliquey. I have a twins group but that's only once a month. I'm finding this whole mat leave thing very lonely, and am realising that all my friends are at work and that I don't really have any hobbies. Just feeling like I'm stuck in a rut. My parentcraft group also not kept in touch. It's tough isn't it? sad

Bedsheets4knickers Wed 27-May-15 22:32:14

I'm def one for take the plunge and suggest swapping numbers if you feel the vibe is right. I do it I have my fathers way with people . I promise that most people will gladly accept . I think mums esp have like a pact that u stick together. X

Toffifee Wed 27-May-15 22:57:57

Thank you so much for the replies! I need to be brave and pluck up the courage to suggest exchanging numbers and making a plan to meet - I suppose I'm just anxious about looking pushy, needy or desperate and suspect that most will have friendship groups already. It definitely feels like dating again - or being back in the playground at school!

Lilipot15 Thu 28-May-15 19:34:16

Good luck - I suspect you will find that if you make the first move you'll be pleasantly surprised. I've been thinking about how I'll make friends in a new area on maternity leave with my second child, have missed the boat for an antenatal class. Just hoping that I'll start to recognise familiar faces at groups and push myself to suggest meeting up outside of the groups.

TarkaTheOtter Thu 28-May-15 19:43:39

The best friends I've made whilst at groups have been those where I or they have been a bit pushy.
But I sympathise as I have struggled to make friends after moving from a very sociable area and I know how lonely it can get.

AntiHop Thu 28-May-15 22:06:39

Yes it really is like dating! I'm on mat leave at the moment. I've made friends by attending the same activity over several weeks so I see the same faces, or sign up to something that us a block booking so it will be the same people every week. And by being very proactive. I frequently suggest going for a coffee asking classes. I've asked to swap numbers or link up on facebook. It was quite exhausting but definitely worth it as I've made some good friends. Also if there are local coffee mornings anywhere that's a good place to start as there's more opportunity for chatting than many classes. Good luck.

Smitten1981 Thu 28-May-15 22:13:53

I have an 18 month old and have made no mummy friends at all. I feel pretty sad about it to be honest, especially as I'm quite sociable and have lots of friends, but none have kids. All the people that go to the same classes as me seem to all be friends from NCT or elsewhere and we don't get past a bit of polite chit chat. I've given up on making friends with anyone now, which is a bit tragic.

AbbeyRoadCrossing Thu 28-May-15 22:19:42

I could've written your post OP. Making friends as an adult is hard! Especially as I don't want to be friends just because they have a similar aged baby, I'd like to be genuine friends if that makes sense?
I tend to go to the same things each week and get to know people like that. I was new to the area and certain groups (e.g. nct) are difficult to become part of if they all did classes together. I've now got one good friend who was also new to the area. Try and spot people in the same boat as you would be my tip.
There's another new woman in a class I go to who I'm thinking of 'asking out' next week grin

Lilipot15 Fri 29-May-15 09:10:56

Yes, it's when people talk about their "NCT" gang that I worry I will feel excluded. BUT, as discussed above, having a baby of the same age does not necessarily mean that you will automatically have other stuff in common, and I'm hoping I can just get chatting to folk and build things naturally rather than having a group "made" for me by an (expensive) antenatal class!

Toffifee Fri 29-May-15 14:25:38

Thank you all - it is very reassuring to know that I am not the only one who finds forging new friendships hard! I completely agree that I don't want to 'buddy up' with other Mums just for the sake of it if we have nothing in common other than our babies being of a similar age. I will try harder to not be quite so shy about asking for the contact details of anyone with friendship potential! Thank you again.

Bumblebzz Sun 31-May-15 09:36:18

I felt exactly like you OP when I had my first, now just finishing mat leave with my second and it has been much better because of a variety of reasons, not least because my first is at school which opens up the route to some friendships. Also I just have far less time to socialise!
However one thing which helped both times was to invite people to my house for a coffee/tea and so the little ones could "play" (in as much as 5 month olds play). I think it's far less stressful than a first meeting in a noisy cafe, and no doubt you have toys/changing table etc so it's very baby friendly for everyone. It's also a much more friendly gesture as I think when people have met you at your home they get to know you better as they get a better 'sense' of you if you know what I mean. Also cheaper for everyone and others might return the favour.
Good luck, it can be lonely. It helps me sometimes to think that all those happy cafe people might also have lonely days just like me/you.

TribbleNamedDave Sun 31-May-15 09:40:29

Where are you all? I found I struggled with this second time round after the birth of ds2. It's still not brilliant, but I am making inroads now he's two hmm.

TribbleNamedDave Sun 31-May-15 09:41:38

Personally, I'd love it if someone plucked up the courage to make plans with me. I'm fed up of doing it myself all the time (this is not to make boasts, I just always feel that I'm the one chasing people).

Nolim Sun 31-May-15 09:52:40

I was i. The same situation op. I did not make a single mum friend during mat leave. I wish i did but the small talk at babygroups etc did not lead to friendship. I am not a very sociable person tbh.

22neve2326 Tue 09-Feb-16 23:07:27

I know this threads been quiet for a while but I'm facing my last day of work this Saturday. And whilst I'm looking forward to not being totally exhausted I'm dreading it. I live only about 5 miles from my family but my mums the only one who can drive and she looks after my dad full time so she doesn't visit a lot. My husband sells cars and he is flat out all the time. He works on the cars during the day and in the evenings he tends to get a lot of calls for people to come look at them.
I come from a big family with a noisy house and now it's just me. With a cat and a dog. I feel like some sort of crazy cat lady. And all my friends work so I'm just going through this day to day wondering what I'm going to do each day. I do feel a bit useless and lonely. And the babies not even here yet!! And there isn't a great selection of mummy classes in my area and the one I went to just to get a feel for the mums were a lot older and already had one or more babies and they were really hard to talk to!! I'm a bit awkward anyway so I can't totally blame them but I'm friendly. I feel like i stink of desperation for a friend I can have a good giggle with.

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