I’ve been on SO many dates recently, and it feels great!
Not with Jai (though we do have our regular post-hair-wash, pjs, beer, slippers, and take-away Friday, and we took a sneaky trip to visit our pal at his new pizza restaurant on Saturday), but with lots of lovely new friends.
There was a fairly hefty patch somewhere between finishing high school and settling down into coupledom (and subsequently familydom) where making friends was kind of tricky. And by tricky I mean, near impossible.
I have distinct memories of being in grubby nightclub bathrooms and getting deep into conversations with randoms girls while reapplying lipstick and vowing that we should totally be friends in the real world. In the drunken moment, making friends seemed so straight forward, but sans vodka cruiser, my pool for recruiting new buddies stretched only as far as ‘people I worked with’ and ‘people I had just always been friends with’. And just about no one else.
It’s not that I don’t love and enjoy those old friends. We’ve been through so much together, and will likely be close friends until we’re all old ladies – but I’d forgotten how to make new friends, and how nice it feels.
Recently though, something changed.
Obviously, the two smalls have made me way less self conscious and entirely lowered my standards around what seems socially acceptable, that is obvious *see: the state of my car, my hair, the bags under my eyes on any given day. But more than this, I have made a conscious decision to reach out and have decided that the idea of waltzing up to someone and asking for their hand in friendship doesn’t actually have to be awkward or weird at all. And as a result I have found myself courting new friends left right and centre.
Last month I had dinner with a dear new friend who I originally knew as ‘our barista’, now she comes and drinks tea with me on our couch.
On Mondays now I usually catch up with two mums I met at Sto’s ballet class, we chat and throw down coffee whilst trying to entertain our combined 6 kids under 4 (would not necessarily recommend).
Last night I hung with some newish mum pals that I met in a Facebook mothers group – friends I met online (past me, would NEVER have even entertained that thought).
Then yesterday I finally had lunch with a fab colleague of Jai’s, whom I always love to stop and chat with when calling in to the office.
It’s safe to say I am feeling pretty bloody social, and it has got me thinking about friends, and specifically about making new ones as an adult.
I feel like I’ve learned a thing or two from all of this shameless Facebook stalking and asking for peoples numbers.
Firstly, the easiest place to start is with reconnecting with old friends, which was the first step in this friend making adventure for me.
When I was pregnant with Story I noticed an old friend from high school was due with her second child around the same time as me. Being one of the first in my immediate group of friends to have babies, I reached out to her on Facebook with all the expectant mum questions.
We picked up where we had left off ten years prior, which led me to reconnect with two other buds from school and leaving me suddenly with a rad mum posse of four and Story instantly with a gang of bebes her age.
Secondly being vulnerable is not even that bad.
Join a group: joining a mothers group seemed like such a not-me thing to do, much less an online mothers group, but clicking join to a “due-in” group (way back in the early exciting but secret weeks of pregnancy) was one of the most rewarding things ever. These other expectant mums became such a safety net and support network and a safe space to ask anything.
Perhaps it’s because I spend far to many hours chatting to toddlers, and deprived of meaningful adult conversation, but I can wholeheartedly say that becoming a mum has without a doubt done wonders for my social life. At the very least it’s given me a point of conversation, or a mutual talking point and reason to connect with others.
I encourage you guys to give it try.
Anyhow, time to pick the kids up from kindy and see if I can get any of the other Mum’s phone numbers.… Jokes! #kindanotreally