In the past four months I have made more friends than I have in the two years I moved to this city, I wrote all about this in my Making Mum Friends post you can read here. Meeting someone for the first time can be a bit daunting. The conversation can lull and suddenly you find yourself looking at your baby who is sound asleep in their pram and half-hoping they wake up fussy just to spare you from the awkwardness.
Keeping momentum going can be difficult with someone you’ve just met – this doesn’t mean you don’t get on with them, but you don’t know their boundaries/sense of humour/interests yet, all you have in common is motherhood. So why not start there?
Don’t bombard them with questions straight off the bat though, offer some stories about yourself along the way, let them answer your question and then answer it yourself or let the conversation just naturally flow. If it staggers again, you can always throw another one of these their way.
My top 10 questions:
- Did you know what you were going to have?
- Did you have a baby shower?
- Did you have any friends pregnant at the same time?
- Are you going to any baby groups/classes?
- Have you met many new parents?
- Have you family nearby?
- Are you on maternity leave?
- What does your partner do?
- Was it a surprise or planned?
- How are you finding it (Breastfeeding/Co-Sleeping/Motherhood)?
Most of these questions are conversation starters. People love to talk about themselves. One of my biggest flaws is asking D a question, not letting him respond by asking him two more and then going on to answer it myself. You need to allow the conversation to flow if you are ever going to get out there and make more friends.
These questions start on the familiar motherhood territory but allows you to expand the conversation to learn about the pre-mommy self of the woman sitting across from you.
Those last two questions are only reserved if you find you get on with the person as they are a little personal. If you find an hour or two has gone by without you noticing then it’s probably safe to ask. Jellybean was a happy little surprise we found out about at week 6, I wrote a blog all about how we found out. I then ask if their’s had been a surprise or planned. If you offer a personal story first it will help them feel more comfortable about sharing.
EXAMPLE: How are you finding it? (re: Breasfeeding)
Jellybean had been asleep for hours, my boobs were aching and I was itching to feed her so when she finally did I settled down, not even thinking about having a muslin near me – and then she popped off and three strands of milk went flying in every direction. One into my face, one into Jellybean’s and one over my shoulder. I’m flailing around, baby in my arms, looking for something to cover it shouting “Muslin! Muslin! Muslin!” D, as if typing on a keyboard (using hand action), put his index finger on my nipple, plugging it and saving the day.
That one always gets a few laughs.
Did you find it difficult making new friends? What are your go-to questions, or have you mentally stored these for future reference?