Shrug off the “I don’t wannas”
Adult lives are full of obligations, ranging from work, to taking care of children or elderly parents. It’s ever so easy to put yourself on the back burner, letting go of the desire to enjoy life, have fun, or get involved in anything, other than re-runs of Scandal. While this is totally understandable, it’s not in your own best interests to do so. Study after study extols the virtues of friendship on health, and even on life expectancy, as reported by the Mayo Clinic. It is important to motivate yourself to get out there, without feeling guilty about the time you’re taking away from your other obligations.
You knew those kids would come in handy someday
If you care for small children, you probably stand on a lot of movie lines, go to a lot of parks, and eat way too much pizza. (Here’s what you should be eating, instead). “After school and college, adults have to be more intentional about making friends. If you’re a parent, or grandparent, you can often quickly connect around various children’s activities,” suggests Helen Odessky, PsyD, a psychologist, and author of Stop Anxiety From Stopping You. Parents can be as cliquish as kids, but don’t be intimidated by the moms or dads you see, chatting each other up in the school yard or park. Your common frame of reference are your children, so use that as a conversation starter. You can ask for opinions about the homework assignment, school dress code (or lack thereof), or any other child-related topic you can think of. The worst that will happen is you’ll have a one-time conversation with someone, and call it a day. The best-case scenario is that you’ll enjoy each other’s company, and seek each other out until eventually a friendship blossoms. You can use the same strategy in children’s museums, waiting for the bus, or in child-friendly cafés. Whatever you do, don’t say these things to a stay-at-home mom.