Over the past two years, I’ve had my fair share of trying to meet new people and get myself established in my own parenting “community”. I liked the idea of having a few friends with children the same age as T that I could ask for help or just have a meltdown in front of – it was a bonus if I could also meet other same sex families. But very quickly I realised that there weren’t many families like us nearby, so although I did feel isolated in that respect, making sure I wasn’t lonely became more important, so off I trundled to lots of baby groups!
Baby groups, especially ones that cover a huge area; are famous for having an array of parents as well as being extremely scary places. There were often established “cliques” that were difficult to get into – making any form of friendship building already difficult – or just getting the feeling that you’re the only one not really “getting” this parenting thing. It’s a very lonely place – even though, ironically, being a parent means that you’re in the biggest community in the world.
Thankfully for me, this period didn’t last long and I managed to gain some wonderful friends, but it’s something I wish I didn’t have to go through. I wished there was something that would have got me connected to neighbours and local groups a lot sooner.
This month, I’m working with the folks over at ScoopLoop – a London based company coming to Brighton – to raise awareness of their site that encourages local neighbourhoods to come together and have conversations without the needing of “adding” as friends.
Once registered, ScoopLoop is a website (with app coming soon!) that means you’re never too far away from someone in your local neighbourhood if you need to ask a question or find a recommendation for something. For me, finding local groups, or parents needing some company would have been my starting question!
Simply register with the website and you’re automatically connected to local people in your area.
As well as the community aspect of the website where you can simply chat and get connected, there are are several other features to the website that can help you with things;
- I’m Looking For…
- Neighbourhood Watch.
- Parenting Page
- Arts & Crafts
- Lost & Found
- Free Stuff
- Food & Drink
What I like about the extra features is that it really encourages the use of local businesses as well as pushing people to talk to their neighbours! So far, I’ve used to it to look for second hand camping gear for our up and coming trip to Camp Bestival, as well as asked around for toddler groups in half term.
Although still light in traffic, the site is really easy to navigate round. Although the simplicity actually took some getting used to, I actually liked the idea of just signing up with your postcode, creating a message and watching the replies. No fiddling around with finding a relevant group for your query or following certain rules! Just ask the question!
What was clever, was that once you entered your postcode into your profile it showed you your nearest areas – which is brilliant if you’ve just moved to the area and need to get your bearings.
As a new parent
Knowing that someone could help me find a baby group last minute or know the best place for a coffee would have been invaluable. When T was born, there were regular occurrences of getting T ready in the morning only to find that I was amongst one other at the library rhyme time or finding out my local coffee shop was closed suddenly for their holiday!
For me, I wish I’d had this when T was a new born.
Would you have liked something like this as a new parent? What are your biggest problems when it comes to getting to know people? Would you use something like this?
I have been compensated for the purpose of reviewing the ScoopLoop site, however as always all thoughts and opinions are my own.