The following is a guest post from Samantha at Happily A Housewife. Samantha lives here in Prince William County and shares something I think many of you will relate to: Her own experience in moving to PWC, not knowing anyone in the area, being a new mom, and trying to find the perfect playgroup.
One thing I have noticed since moving here 6+ years ago, is that no one else seems to be "from" here either. When we had Matthew our first born, I knew NO ONE. The six months we had lived in the DC metro before he was born I basically stayed in my apartment all day, everyday. I knew once having him, that had to change, we had to socialize. But living in a new place, with no family or friends, makes that tough.
The way I changed things was joining a playgroup. It was hard at first, I felt left out, like I was never going to fit in. Here is how I changed that:
First how I found the perfect playgroup.
1. Look online. This is the easiest way if you aren't too outgoing. Meetup.com is where I found so many groups to chose from. Especially in the DMV there are so many different groups. Find a couple. Join and attend a few meetups to see what fits you and your kids best.
2. Find a group that has kids the same age as yours. A group with school aged kids probably isn't going to meet when you are available to play with your toddler.
3. If you are more outgoing and willing to talk to people at random (I am not), go to your local library. During the story times and playtimes. Also hit up a local park. Talk to the other moms, they probably have a group they can refer you to.
Fitting into a playgroup.
1. My biggest piece of advice to give anyone...... GO TO THE MNO (mom's night out) or girls night out events. It is SO worth making that extra effort, trust me! Being able to talk to other moms without cranky, whinny, hungry toddlers at your feet is much easier.
2. Don't get discouraged. If the first few times it feels a bit off, like the other moms aren't making a huge effort, they probably aren't. They don't want to put in the time to meet someone new if they don't think you are going to stick around. The more events you attend, the easier it will get.
3. Don't push your parenting philosophy. It is so nice to have a group of women you can turn to when your child isn't eating, sleeping, or having problems at school, but advice is different than a mom who thinks her way is the only way. Be the mom you are, and don't change that. At the same time, don't expect others to change the way they parent either.
There are still so many times while sitting at a play date with my kids, that I remind myself how glad I am that I took the effort to find a playgroup. The kids have all become friends, and probably more importantly I have founds a group of women that have become true friends.
People I can rely on.
Other moms who keep me sane.
I am Samantha, a wife, SAHM of 3 wonderful kids (Who apparently doesn't have ONE photo of her family of five, awesome, right). We live in PWC and love it! I blog at Happily A Housewife. You can also find me on Twitter, and Instagram where I over share about our life, write the things I wish I could say to my kids, attempt to share recipes every once and awhile, and most importantly post 8 million (unnecessary) photos of my babies!