I am a desperately shy person. Always have been a lot happier with my family and close circle of friends. Small talk has always been my downfall. I either don’t say enough or talk so much about rubbish that I assume people are put off. I am determined to work on this however, and have improved with age, but I have a long way to go.
Making friends as a stay at home mummy is not easy, especially when you are super shy and have what I’ve had described as a ‘Resting Bitch Face’. Basically this is when your normal face looks like you are annoyed and can be off putting. When I had my older children I was 19 and 22. All my friends from school where either at university or starting their careers, so I found that I had very little in common with them anymore. I stuck like glue to my online friends and those with children and lived in my little bubble. I struggled in the school playground talking to other mums and found I had very little in common with them. I was either a lot younger than them, or as a working mum didn’t have the time to stop and chat as often as I suppose was needed to kindle a friendship with any of them. I decided when I was pregnant with Penny that I would try much harder on making new mummy friends.
It’s hard some days, but Penny has such a busy social calendar that I often don’t have time to stress about things. Going to baby centred sessions means it’s a guarantee that I’ll meet mums with children around the same age so there is instantly something to talk about. Would be lovely to meet up outside of the sessions in the future though, but time will tell. Baby steps 😀
We are moving up to Stage 1 this week and hoping to meet some new friends there. It’s been lovely watching all the babies grow over the 10 week course and can’t wait for Penny to start using the signs we have been learning. She already does the sign for milk, but we are working on her using it correctly, consistently. Thank you to Suki and all the ladies for making me feel so comfortable being silly together.
We tried a few taster sessions when Penny was younger and in my opinion the babies get more from the sessions once they are able to interact more. There has been more signing in these sessions than we did in Babes-Sing and Sign and it sometimes goes a little fast that it’s hard for me to follow, let alone a 6 month old, but we will see how it goes. We are two weeks in to our 10 week course now and have met a few mums who seem lovely and the babies seem to really enjoy the sessions. We bought some bubbles and are trying to explore the senses at home too. I’d definitely recommend trying the classes out with your baby first before booking.
There are LOTS of options when it comes to baby swimming lessons. Some are far more pricey than others but they all promote confidence in the water for babies and parents. Having taught my older children to swim, I felt confident that I could do it alone with Penny especially as she LOVES the water so much already. I couldn’t rely personally on myself having the dedication to go regularly enough off my own steam however so when a mum I’d met at Sing and Sign suggested the local swimming baths I jumped on it. At less than £15 a month, I can’t complain. The sessions have a relaxed structure and last 30 minutes with toys and confidence boosting techniques. I would always suggest making sure your child is confident and capable around water from a safety standpoint and meeting like minded mums feels great.
I first found Walking mums through their facebook page. I have written a more detailed article about them here, but we love our walks and have even planned our own. These are by far my favourite activities that Penny and I do together. The walking enables exercise for me, bonding time with my baby as well as the opportunity to have grown up conversations with women from all walks of life. The walks take place all over London and are all pram accessible and on varied days, so it’s always possible to find one suitable for you 😀 I have met some lovely ladies and hope to continue these walks for a while to come.
Yet again we hope to meet some of the ladies I’ve met in group sessions outside of the group setting in order for me to open up to the possibility of friendships. I wish it didn’t bother me and I hope that it doesn’t come off desperate, but I am keen to use these experiences and to combat the loneliness that being a stay at home mum can bring.