The Lonely Side of Parenthood: Why Making Friends is Harder with Kids
The path of parenting can often be an isolating one, particularly when it comes to socializing with other parents. A survey conducted by BabyCenter revealed that 60% of new moms and dads experience difficulty forming meaningful relationships after having children – a hardship many are hesitant to discuss. In this blog post, we’ll uncover why friendship is tougher following parenthood as well as recommend tips on how you can break through the barrier! Keep reading to learn more about why making friends is harder with kids.
Limited Free Time
Parenting is a full-time job and with the additional obligations that come from working, it can be difficult to find time for forming friendships. Data collected by American Time Use Survey revealed that parents of children younger than 18 years old are typically investing 8.8 hours into work or household related activities on any given day, leaving only a small amount of free time available for leisurely pursuits such as socializing.
Different Interests and Priorities
As parents, our main focus shifts from ourselves to catering to the needs of our children. Without a doubt, this means that we are now preoccupied with their schedules and activities more than ever before. This can contribute to an air of isolation when interacting with those who do not possess similar interests or priorities as us. Therefore, it is even harder for us to take the initiative and build new relationships in these circumstances.
Introducing yourself to unfamiliar faces can be an intimidating experience, particularly for those with social anxiety. The immense pressure of making a good impression and the possibility of being turned down are amplified when forming friendships as a parent; yet this apprehension often leads individuals to abstain from social situations, which only intensifies feelings of solitude and alienation.
Location and Accessibility
For parents of young children, it can be difficult to attend social events and meet new people outside their neighborhood. This obstacle is only compounded for those living in rural or suburban areas with limited access to public transportation or community centers. Such an environment can make it tough to venture out and explore the world beyond one’s home.
Tips for Making Friends as a Parent:
Join Parenting Groups
For parents seeking to build relationships with others, participating in a parenting group is an ideal solution! Not only does it allow you to build connections with other individuals that are undergoing the same struggles as you, but these groups also offer camaraderie and assistance. From playgroups and support sessions on up through parenting classes; no matter which one you choose, they provide invaluable opportunities for growth both personally and professionally.
Volunteering is an incredible way to build relationships and give back. Whether it be through participating at your child’s school, leading a local charity, or attending a community gathering – you’ll have the chance to associate with people who share in your passions and core ideals. Not only will this enrich your life outside of work but also help those around you!
Attend Community Events
Get out and explore the abundance of activities your community has to offer such as farmer’s markets, concerts, or festivals! By taking part in these events you can not only have fun but also build relationships with others while getting involved in your local culture.
Utilize Social Media
Social media is an amazing tool to meet and mingle with other parents in your region. On Facebook, you can find numerous parent-oriented communities dedicated to exchanging helpful advice and experiences. Moreover, it’s a great way to build strong relationships with fellow parents too!
Parenthood is not a path to be traveled alone – if we take the initiative and understand why it can feel so difficult, we are empowered to make meaningful connections with others. After all, C. JoyBell C.’s wise words remind us that “The only way to have a friend is to be one.” It begins with courageously reaching out; let’s get started!