How to Make Parent Friends: Strategies to Meet Other Moms and Dads
Strategies to make new parent friends—on the playground or online
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5. Ask for a favor or a recommendation.
It may seem counterintuitive but asking for help can forge a friendship. Maybe you’re at the playground and you need a Band-Aid or a wipe, or you’re going to be late for pick up and need someone to watch your child for a few minutes. Perhaps you’re looking for someone to feed the cat over the weekend or need a new babysitter. The great majority of parents are eager to help. After all, they know what it’s like trying to juggle responsibilities. Afterward, let them know that you’re happy to return the favor, and invite them for a coffee, or glass of wine, as thanks.
3 Ideas to Socialize with Your New Parent Friends
Once you find a new pal or two, what’s the plan? Indoor playdates won’t be in full swing again until kids are vaccinated, but there are plenty of other ways to connect, with or without the kids, both online and in person.
1. Plan a coffee date or happy hour.
Invite a few new friends to a parent’s night out at a local bar, or plan to grab coffee together after preschool drop off. Nail salons, pottery studios, and paint bars offer other possible activities to pursue.
2. Turn to old-fashioned texting.
If a night out on the town isn’t in the cards yet, texting can still provide you with camaraderie. Maybe you just want to know that someone else is up feeding the baby at 2am, or that you weren’t the only one who forgot to send in the recorder today. A group text can be a quick, convenient way to reach out when you need some mom-to-mom or dad-to-dad connection.
3. Get outside.
Even as the weather gets cooler, you can still make time to be with friends outdoors. Take advantage of nice days and organize a picnic with other parents and their kids, or plan to meet at a playground to chat while your kids play. In the mood to move? Organize a stroller walk or a run club, or take a group hike on a nearby trail.
It can feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to make and keep social connections, but the rewards are well worth the effort. You get to feel less isolated, and at the same time you are modeling healthy friendships for your children. The whole family benefits when your reserves, and sense of humor, have been restored.