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.