So I had just written about this for my lovely friends at the Herts & Essex Observer and then saw Mumsnet’s blog of the day from 2boys1mum talking about it and it inspired me to take this a bit further.
Loneliness is never really spoken about in the heady world of the new mum but it was something I as a self-confessed extrovert and chatterbox was NOT expecting. Here’s how I managed to stop feeling alone.
How to make mates when out and about?
1 Choose a class/activity and commit to it for a while – people will remember you. Offering to help out also “wins friends” – take a few cups back to the kitchen and plonk them in the sink. Book clubs and exercise classes are also good but there’s less likely
2 Don’t leave early if you can help it, hang back and see if anyone might like to head off for coffee then or make a date to do so later in the week.
3 Smile and make eye contact. Put the smartphone down. Start by saying Hello. Use children as a go-between “Hello little one! What’s your name?”is a good icebreaker. Asking questions “which other playgroups do you go to?” also helps you find other places to meet other mummies – win, win! This works at the swings/playground too.
4 If you can’t remember someone’s name – go with your preferred term of endearment. Makes you seem friendly, even if you’re not feeling it.
5 Remember everyone else is faking it too.
Ditch the empty feeling when back at home?
6 Facebook, Mumsnet and Twitter are a great way to pass a long day. But do be sure to take everything you see on social media with a good pinch of salt. Fear Of Missing Out is a terrible affliction and it’s easy to get sucked into feelings of loneliness and envy with glorious retro filters on Instagram (I’m as guilty of fannying about with the photos as the next person) and tags of people having a wonderful time on Facebook. See also, point 5, above.
7 Turn off the telly and put the radio on – I love a bit of Radio 4 or Radio 4 Extra, though now flit between Absolute80s and CapitalXtra. Whatever the station, it definitely stops the house feeling empty and certainly the spoken channels make me feel less baby brained.
8 Say yes more. Someone asks you to come to something, DON’T use the baby as an excuse. Take the baby with you OR get a sitter if you can.
9 Call your mum. Or phone a friend. It may be hard to meet up in person for long but a phone call can lift the spirits in many ways.