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Baby steps to making new friends

A young mum finds it hard to bond with others in her mothers’ group.

QUESTION:

I am a young mother. My baby is two months old.

I have joined a mother’s group but haven’t made any friends even though other members appear to be seeing each other socially.

They are nice people and listen to anything I contribute but don’t chat to me as they do to each other.

I am a friendly person, a good friend to those I have known for a number of years. But I find it difficult to make new friends. I think I lack the skills to participate in a group.

I have always had this problem. I was once told long ago that I was “la-di-da”!

ANSWER:

It is important to connect with others and get out of the house when you are at home with young children.

Mothers groups are an excellent way of doing this, but they may not appeal to everyone.

If you are getting some support and feeling listened to it may well be worth continuing to attend. New members may arrive with whom you “click” with more readily.

The friendships you are noticing may be because some group members have known each other for longer than they have known you. It is often hard for a newcomer to form bonds when connections are already well established.

You may choose to attend another group to see if you are more comfortable there, or continue to attend your current group but change your expectations. If your main aim in attending is to get some support through talking with other mums about babies problems, then it will be a bonus if you happen to form a friendship. It sounds as if you have friends in other areas of your life, cherish these because good friends are not that easy to come by. Some people have very busy social lives but few close trusted friends. Inviting the advice of close friends can help.

If you are feeling you need assistance with building up your skills and confidence in participating in a group, it would be worthwhile seeking professional counselling or looking for groups on developing communication and social skills.

Submit Your Questions

Have you got a question you’d like us to tackle?

Fill out the form below or send questions to Family Forum, The Advertiser, 31 Waymouth St, Adelaide 5000.

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Relationships Australia (SA) appoints panels of general practitioners, medical specialists, lawyers, therapeutic and financial counsellors to discuss each letter before the appropriate professional answers it.

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