Friendships matter, especially as a parent. Having friends who are also parents can really help navigate the choppy waters that come with raising kids. It can feel both comforting and validating to have friends who are available to vent. If you don’t feel like you have friends like this, it can like you’re missing out. It is possible to find those friends. It just takes some time and effort.
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To meet other parents it is important to get involved, attend events, and be present. If you want to make connections, it’s important to be approachable and present when there are opportunities to connect. The more you can slow down your schedule the better, as it will give you room to be present and connect on common interests with other parents.
Put your phone away during functions or activities like school plays, sports games, or PTA meetings, so you are open to connecting with parents around you. If you live in a development like East Edge Apartment Homes, you can meet parents who live in the building by chatting at the playground, as your kids make friends with theirs.
Bond Over Shared Interests
One of the best ways to make friends as a parent is to connect with people that share your interests and values. If you enjoy exercise or being outdoors, try joining a workout or hiking group for parents. If you value volunteering, choose a group project that is child-friendly and connect with other parents there.
You can meet friends at baby groups or the school’s PTA. It can also help to meet parents who understand your specific struggles, such as those with children with the same medical problems as yours. You might feel like you need someone who understands not only mom's life but the life of parenting a sick child. You could try to be friendly to some of the parents you see in the doctor’s waiting room during the visits when you’re all there for children with the same issue.
It can take some trial and error. Unfortunately, it’s a bit like dating. Some people will be a good match, some will be nice but more interested in keeping it casual, and others don’t work out.
Step Outside Your Comfort Zone
When it comes to meeting new friends, it’s important to take risks and reach out. It might feel as though you’re the only needing a social network, but when you reach out to other parents they are happy to make connections too.
It might take a little while and a push outside your comfort zone to find a group of parent friends. The parents at your child’s school might be friendly, but they might be in well-established friendship groups. It can feel as though you’re on the outside looking in.
If you notice other parents at your child’s sports practice or at the playground sitting alone, make an effort to meet them. Put your nerves aside, and you’ll soon be chatting and should find they’re happy to hang out.
CANDY TAI is a wife to David and mom of 5 with a degree in Communications. She's a native Texan (Hook 'Em Horns!) who's been making her home in the Kansas City metro area for nearly 15 years. She loves being able to shuffle her kids from their various sports activities, piano lessons, and school activities. She enjoys fashion, beauty, reality TV, and moviegoing.
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