I remember someone once telling me that having children is a great way to make friends. Well, having recently moved to a new village, I decided to test out this theory. I looked on Facebook and discovered there was a local Mums and Tots group that meets every Tuesday in the church hall.
I dropped my eldest off at school and headed down. I whispered a few words of encouragement to myself and pushed open the big double doors.
It was chaos! Lots of screaming toddlers crammed into a small, hard-surfaced room and mums desperately yelling at each other over the noise, trying to make conversation.
There was nowhere to sit so I followed my 1 year old around as she flitted from 1 pile of toys to another.
Nobody spoke to me.I’m not even sure that anybody made eye contact.
I came away pretty deflated. Yes the access to different toys had made for a nice change, but we’d really gone for the human connection.
I decided to give it one more week…
The same thing happened again. We stuck it out to the end and then I bundled my little one into her coat, resolved never to darken the door again.
But just at that moment, a mum popped over and said, “Hi. I think I’ve seen you at the school gate.”
To be honest, I didn’t recognise her in the slightest but we got chatting. It turns out she was relatively new herself and didn’t really know anyone else. Well we got on like a house on fire, and I’ve been back every week since then!
All it took was one mum stepping out of her comfort zone and offering me a kind word of welcome. It meant the world to me.
So fellow mummies, I call on all of you, as a united sisterhood – if you’re lucky enough to have other mummy friends to go to toddler group with, PLEASE spend a few moments looking to see if there is anyone on their own, and welcome them in. I know it’s easier to stay with your friends where it’s comfortable, but one day it might be you on the outside and I’m sure you’d appreciate that small act of kindness.