You’ve signed up, you’re hoping to get social and have probably even had a quick nosey at the other mums in your local area … what now? Here at Mummy Social HQ we’ve learned that it’s what you do next that’s the important bit, so we’ve put together this 10 Step Guide to help you get the most out of your Mummy Social experience.
1. Put a little time into your profile.
OK, there’s no need to spend hours agonising over the best profile picture and/or trying to come up with something witty to say in the About Me section – this isn’t MySpace circa 2005 – but your profile is the first impression. No one wants to meet up with your dog, or some pretty flowers or an interesting arrangement of pebbles. In fact, if you don’t have a profile photo of yourself it’s going to be hard for another mum to feel comfortable asking to meet up with you. It doesn’t need to be a professional headshot and could just be selfie you took on the sofa with the kids – anything is better than nothing! And while you’re there, why not say a little something about who are you, what do you like doing and why you have joined? It shows there’s a real mum behind the screen.
2. You have to actually do something.
As brilliant as Mummy Social is, it is not a magic wand (we’re still working on that!) So, if you want to get out and meet other mums you are going to have to do a little bit of legwork first. Luckily, you can make the first move from the comfort of your living room. In pyjamas. Hurrah.
3. Don’t wait for someone else to make the first move.
This is not like dating as a teenager. There is no virtue in ‘playing it cool’ or waiting a day or more to respond to a message due to your fear of sounding ‘too keen.’ If everybody waited for someone else to make the first move we would all be waiting a very long time… Why not Suggest a Cuppa (this one-click wonder removes the need to think about what to write in a message).
4. And if you do decide to go for a full message…
… Don’t just say ‘Hi!’ A ‘hi’ is about as useful as a ‘poke.’ You don’t need to write an essay but do try to write a proper message, introducing yourself and including a question so the other mum has something to respond to.
5. Don’t fall into the trap of chatting but never suggesting a meet up.
(Unless, of course, you are both happy to just chat forevermore!) If your original aim was to get out and get social then somebody is going to have to make that happen. It’s all too easy to end up playing “We must meet up sometime!” ping-pong but ‘sometime’ is never going to happen unless you try and find a date. Take the lead and suggest a day.
6. Don’t be put off if you don’t get a response.
Not everyone will check their emails/notifications and occasionally they’ll end up in the junk folder – it’s not personal! Just keep trying and keep sending!
7. Push through the nerves!
We are all nervous but trust us when we say it’s worth keeping in mind why you signed up! Just take a look at the testimonials if you need some convincing. There’s no need to worry that you will run out of things to talk about, either. Kids provide the best conversation material ever. Babies, pregnancy, kids, partners… all these things give us loads to talk about. The golden rule when it comes to keeping the conversation going is keep asking questions.
8. Plan your meet up well.
Recognising someone from a profile photo is easier said than done so make sure you’ve made a plan of how to spot each other*. Put some thought into the most suitable venue. A tiny packed café? Not so good. A spacious play café or a walk-and-chat in the park? Great! And remember, this is Mummy Social, not Kiddy Social. It’s OK to suggest some mummy only time. In fact, these are often the best Socials!
9. Don’t over think it or worry about how it went.
If we’re honest with you, some meet ups are a disaster (usually because one or more children scream the place down and you don’t really get to know each other at all). That is OK! There is no pressure to meet your new BMFF (Best Mummy Friend Forever) on the first playdate you go on. If it wasn’t a roaring success, so what? You still got out of the house and met up with another mum. There will be many more occasions where the kids don’t kick off, you get to know each other and have a bit of a laugh – trust us, it’ll be worth it!
10. Keep in mind the wider Mummy Social ethos.
This isn’t just about us as individuals. It’s about a mum community, supporting each other through companionship to combat loneliness. So, when you send a message or suggest a social never forget that you are giving another mum the chance to get out. You don’t know how much she might be struggling that day, or what a difference a message from you could make. If that’s not an incentive to press ‘send’ on that message, we don’t know what is …
So there you have it! Good luck, and let us know how you get on!
Josie and the Mummy Social team xx
*As always when meeting people you don’t know please stay safe! Don’t give out too much information about yourself and meet in a public place.