Guest Blog Post by Kay Harrison, a journalist and frazzled mum of one.

So I’ve spotted this new mum at messy play. And she seems really nice. And I’d like to take it to the next level. Maybe swap names? Exchange words? But I’m scared.

I sound like an awkward teenager with a crush. In fact, awkward teenagers have got the edge – at least they can make the first move after a couple of WKDs. Me, I’m fuelled on five hours’ broken sleep and a cup of cold Kenco.

Making contact with potential mum-friends is not easy. Having a small child who’s drawn to pointy objects and wrestling strangers does not help new conversation flow.

Attempts at eye contact are futile. I’m either trying to locate the source of screams or staring at the floor, after saying something that sounded much funnier in my head. Or my eyes are darting about, praying someone I know will walk over and help me talk properly, not like a, sorta like, kind of, yeah… you know? An idiot.

Clearly, I don’t give a good first impression. I wouldn’t want to talk to me.

I shouldn’t be this rubbish. I’ve spent years talking to strangers. Worse – strangers who actively DID NOT want to talk to me. Doing death knocks – hammering down doors where people had just died, talking my way into living rooms for the inside story. I’d trail after soap stars until I got a newsworthy soundbite, when all they wanted to do was get their hair cut or go for a wee.

That I can do. But give me so-and-so’s mum at a Let’s Get Playing session and I turn into a stuttering wreck, unable to say anything of interest. Breaking into mum cliques is tougher still.

Other mothers make this stuff look easy. Fearless mothers. My older sister trawls forums and arranges meetings with mums she’s met online. They get together, moan about men, then go home. Like Tinder, only the complete opposite.

I’m eternally grateful that my first mum friend made the first move. She took pity on me in the doctor’s waiting room, six months into the whole parenthood thing. I was wild-eyed, crying and incapable of buttoning up my coat. She told me to go to a local baby group and I obeyed.

In fact maybe that should be my thing. Crying. The ultimate icebreaker.

Written by:
Kay Harrison (Journalist and frazzled mum of one)