As a transplant to the east coast after a lifetime in the Midwest, I had a little bit of trepidation about making new friends. Were people different in New England? Would the women “get me”? Did I have the right clothes and fitness regime to fit in here?
Now that I’ve been here for over 18 months, I am happy to report that people are people. Women are women. Moms are moms. And Friends are Friends. Here, in no particular order, are a few tips for you if you feel like you want to expand your tribe a little bit, want to make a new friend or two, or if you are feeling lonely and looking for someone who shares an interest of yours.
1. Go where you are invited. If a neighbor invites you to her LulaRoe Party, go. Enjoy a glass of something festive, look at the pretty clothes, and if you can, treat yourself to the most comfortable pair of leggings you will ever own. Whether it’s book club, bunco, a painting night, or any other activity, JUST GO. Try something new. Go outside of your comfort zone. You will meet interesting people and make a new connection to the person who invited you.
2. And, on the flip side – HOST SOMETHING. One of the first things I did after I closed on my house was host a Kindergarten play date for our new school. My kids were starting at a place where they knew no one, and I wanted them to have a friendly face in their classrooms. So I opened my home, met a handful of new moms, and my kids got to meet some new friends. I have also hosted several different direct sales events in my home, which is always a fun time to try to recipes (my last one was largely made up of Pinterest FAILS, but I had fun trying).
3. Find a moms club in your area. Whether it’s MOPS, Newcomers, or Moms Club International, almost every community has some type of gathering group for Moms. If I had not joined the Moms Club Of Trumbull, I would not have 80% of the friends I have today. And I didn’t just join. I started going to as many of the events as I could. Moms nights out. Kids Day Outs. Couples Nights. I am definitely making the most of my membership and it is the best thing I could have done for my social life and my sanity. (I’ll make another whole post about my threes group and how magical that is).
4. Accept offers of help. The first time I met my new bestie, it was because she stopped her car at our bus stop to introduce herself and offered to take my daughter to an upcoming birthday party because she knew I had a bunch of other kids, and she had an extra car seat. Now, we are the go-to backup for each other on snow days, for carpooling to CCD, and in any other kind of pinch you can imagine. It is just SO comforting to know that she has my back, and I have hers. Bonus points here if you will actually ASK FOR HELP. I have gotten rides to the train, help with babysitting, and even errands run just by putting out there into the universe that I needed something.
5. And conversely – OFFER TO HELP. Make a meal for a new mom. Offer to pick up groceries for your elderly neighbor. Let that mom from school drop off her younger kid for a couple of hours so she can get a run in or get her nails done. If feels just as good, if not better, to help someone out than it does to get the help. And stay away from, “Please let me know if you need anything.” Sometimes it’s just better to take the bull by the horns and do something than to wait for the ask. Not everyone is as comfortable asking for help as you are now. WINK WINK.
I cannot imagine my life here in Fairfield County without all the friends I have made. I am especially grateful that I have friends from so many different parts of my life. I have gym friends, book club friends, friends I picked up at the park (OOPS – I forgot the mention the park pick up – 2 great friends came from literally asking a woman for her number of if she would be my friend on Facebook).