How to meet locals when you have a baby

As most of you know I have been off on maternity leave for the last year. It has really given me an insight into how people meet one another over here in a different setting than I have previously experienced.  I do hear a lot from American expats on how they struggle to meet people and actually I have found having a baby has made it even easier!

Part of the reason we moved to my village is because it is lovely. But I am married to a local who knows the area well and which areas to stay away from and which ones are good and some of the areas can only be blocks away from one another!

There are differences between the classes and their approach to meeting one another and some of it does have to do with money. The middle class people like to join the NCT (National Childbirth Trust).  It does cost money and you do go to classes that you can also get free on the NHS (well some of them) but some of the women I know think that these classes will be filled with teenagers and very young mums. Its kind of nice because you meet other women and their families going through the same thing as you are and probably in your surrounding area which is very nice. I didn't do this because I didn't know anything about it.

Children centres are great resources too. My local centre holds baby yoga and baby massage classes. I have met several mums this way.

Some churches hold baby groups. Now some non-religious people may be a bit wary of these but they are by far the best way to meet other mums. I go to one weekly, its inexpensive compared to the other things I have suggested and nice to get out of the house. I don't find they press their message too much I go for the coffee and the conversation.

A lot of these things are mostly for the mother, not for the child. It is important for you to be out and about and interacting with other people and it is important for your child to be socialized as well.

 The key is to see people frequently. If you are in one class together and then you see each other in a group somewhere else, it helps a lot. Don't expect them to invite you to meet up right away, it is just really not how it is done here like you see in the military and in the US. But you can always suggest meeting for a coffee another time.

If they do invite you, take them up on the offer. If you are busy and they as again, then you must then make sure you make it. Otherwise, they think you are not interested in meeting with them.

I thought I would write this because a lot of people are keen to 'mix with the locals' but then find their only friends are those with the bases. You need to get involved with the local village for it to feel like home.

All the Best!

American to Britain