Making Friends 101 by Rhianon

[advert:mpu]How do you meet people you’d want to hang out with even if it weren’t for the kids? Me and the boys need some friends but I’ve suddenly become a shy violet. I've caught myself avoiding places where I might even have to stand next to people. I guess it’s the language issue – I struggle having meaningful conversations with 4 year olds – and the constant mistakes don’t help. But seriously, what other town has a name for the city centre which is very easily confused with a rather ripe word for female anatomy? I’d be convinced it was a joke if anybody ever laughed. And of course it’s like water – as soon as you try to remember, the right pronunciation trickles from your mind.
Perhaps it’s just confidence then, but I’ve been doing some very un-me-like things (actually thinking about the clothes I put on in the morning; wearing make-up on the nasty acne which I’ve had since I cut down on breastfeeding; noticing when I have odd socks… I could go on) and I’ve got to snap out of it, as I’m sure the smell of social fear puts people off right away.
So first things first – where do you go to meet potential friends in their natural environment? The park’s off limits as we seem to always miss the one hour of daylight when it’s not raining. Cafes are stressful with ds1, don’t get me started. The kindergarten is great but everyone’s too busy to be social. The library has been our biggest success story so far - ds2 projectile vomited over the cloth books and I got to chat to the people who helped me clean it up.
So that leaves the inevitable mother and toddler groups: the plastic smile you have to wear as a newcomer, the dread you feel that your kids are going to do something conspicuous and that first-day-of-school-feeling when you sit in a corner on your own waiting for someone to talk to you. I hate making friends.

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