Making New Friends
I love taking the boys out to drop-ins and classes. I gets me out of the house and teaches me new activities to keep the boys busy. Plus, I never fail to learn some new trick to make the parenting road easier to navigate. Today, for example, the teacher at our Strong Start program told me that children are visual learners. If you want to redirect them, get them to visualize what to do. I am, however, still learning to get over my social anxiety with meeting new people.I have to be a bit blunt about this: I am trying to find mom-friends. While we are still a comfortable distance from our old friends, it would be amazing to have resources in town for spontaneous play dates or yoga class buddies. I have a fair bit of social anxiety, which probably doesn't come across because I am also an extrovert!Meeting new parents feels a bit like dating though, and I never liked casual dating. You size other parents up, first by superficial means - patterns on their carriers, how they dress their kids, which coffee shop they are fueling from. Then you strike up a conversation about their kids to suss out parenting strategies and make sure they have similar tactics as you (the "handsanitizer" parent and the "let them eat dirt" parent aren't always the fastest of friends). Usually then you segway into the rest of your life - work, family, hometown, hobbies, etc.I always get stuck here. I always blank on the proper way to initiate the next step. Do I wait to bump into them again? Do I invite them over and frantically scramble for a few more parents so there is less one-on-one pressure? Plan a park meet up? Facebook? I don't know, and I am petrified of being doing this awkwardly! I meet plenty of parents, but I very rarely see the same ones twice with frequency. This is definitely a skill I have to work more on if I want to make any friends nearby.How do people do this? What are some tips for making that transition to friendship easier for those of us who freeze up at possible mom-rejection?