I had never thought that I would have to go out of my way to make friends. I’ve always had enough, I’m not a massively social person, a bit of an introvert really. Making friends is a difficult endeavor for me as I seem to create weird and awkward situations, my favorite being smiling at a girl with a baby on the bus, for far, far too long. Recently I have noticed that the friends that live nearby to me don’t have young children or babies; some have children that are older others have no plans to have children anytime soon. This has left me in a bit of a predicament, I really would like to have friends who have babies as having a new baby is a world unto itself, nobody really understands how it is until you are in the moment. Friends who have children have forgotten some of what it was like to have a baby and friends without haven’t much idea either; on top of this my little girl hasn’t much social interaction with other babies. This is why I’m out to make other friends (with babies). Now I already have met one lady, throughout my pregnancy I joined baby centre and was lucky enough to be buddied up with a really lovely lady, who lives close but not massively close. So it can be difficult for both of us (especially having new new babies, hers even newer than mine) to meet up often.
My first thought occurred not long after my baby was born, I need to attend and join groups, so I looked into different things that looked interesting the first happened to be baby massage, so I booked myself a place. It was very promising there were lots of other mums there most with their first baby, I went out of my way to chat and chat and chat (which is not my usual self at all) I probably made myself sound like I loved my own voice. Anyway at the end of the group, every time I tried to build myself up to instigate a meet up, I chickened out every time. I don’t know why, I felt like a weirdo for asking people if they wanted to be my friend, it just doesn’t feel like a normal social situation to me. It got to the last session and I just didn’t do it, I discussed it with my friends, we all thought perhaps asking to add them on Facebook was a good idea and again when it came down to it I just felt stalkerish asking so I didn’t bother. I also kept word vomiting random sentences when trying to ask (I think they honestly thought I had Tourette’s by the end) at one point I repeated the word foot over and over again, like I was broken and the person I was talking to stopped talking to me and spoke to somebody else who was less broken. On the plus side I always have another chance as they are all going on the next music and massage class when our babies are six months, here’s to hoping I gain some umph and a more chilled out and less stuttering persona. I also learnt baby massage which I must admit is a massive help, it chills her out loads especially having her legs done. There is also this facial stroke which helps get her to sleep by stroking her nose, it works amazingly especially when she is fighting sleep.
I started attending our local breastfeeding support group with a similar idea, again I’m rubbish at asking people to be my friend and I am awful at going (even though it is literally across the road from me) I don’t know why, maybe it’s because I enjoy my bed too much and if I’m being allowed a lie in by my daughter I know when to take it. The people there are nice and they are there every week so it’s always a future option to try and make it more of a regular thing, whilst getting breastfeeding support.
My other option (actually the first thing I tried) was to message a distant friend, I haven’t spoken to her in years probably 12 years plus (since I stopped going to guides). The good thing about this is I know we have a lot in common, not to mention she knows my mum, my mother in law and my best friend. It took a lot of courage to message her as I thought she would think I was a nutter, however it turns out she was thinking the same thing! So here is to having two baby friends, me and my new friend have started going to sensory swim every week, which is brill for us both as now our little ones have a buddy!
I will continue trying to make friends no matter how weird I feel (or look) or how many really awkward situations I put myself in!
Love Kate X
Joanie enjoying her massage