Meeting like-minded Mums and forging new friendships can be a challenge, particularly if you’re from a small town or village and people are a bit set in their ways/cliquey/knobheadish – however, Mum friends are essential to surviving parenthood and every now and again you might just spot someone who you think could be well worth the awkwardness/potential tragedy and decide to put yourself out there. I’ve devised a foolproof 5 step plan* to help you dodge the weirdos and meet your Mum match.
*WARNING: Will require bravery.
1. The scan: Scour room, look out for Mum with children of similar age/similar amount of children/excellent dress sense/bored facial expression/common interests (e.g. Coffee Drinking/Baby Wearing/Avoiding Ball Pit At All Costs)
2. The approach: Make eye contact. Smile. If in particularly tedious/noisy/exhausting place and feeling brave roll eyes/raise eyes to heaven. If smile/eye roll/silent prayer is reciprocated, casually approach. While sidling over, think of conversation starter questions (ages/names of children, source of cute kids outfits/where the heck did they find that amazing pushchair/changing bag/etc)
3. The opener: Greet & ask selected conversation starter question. Ensure you do not spit on/snort at/leer desperately towards potential New Mum Friend (NMF). Await response. First impressions count so don’t breathe too heavily or stare at them too excitedly when they’re talking.
4. The sigh of relief/quick escape: If common ground is found and quiet insults re: odd/judgey/rude people present are shared you can relax: you are well on the way to securing a NMF. If indeed responses/initial chats indicate odd/judgey/rude tendencies make speedy excuse (emergency toddler toilet trip/imaginary nappy stench/”ooh is that a non organic snack your precious little angel is about to eat?”). Move away calmly but quickly and never, ever look back.
5. Seal the deal: Vital stage to confirm NMF status. This should take the form of either a telephone number swap (if you’re feeling confident) or, if you’re still not 100%, a nonchalant “Are you on Facebook??” will suffice. If latter option is selected DO NOT check your phone before leaving the premises. This will look painfully desperate and if you are discovered in the act you will almost certainly have to return to Step 1 and repeat the entire process. You have been warned.