Almost 6 months ago, we moved away from my family and all our friends for my husband’s job. It was a difficult decision, but an offer we couldn’t refuse. As the boat left Liverpool, I watched the country I knew and lived going into the distance with everyone I knew still there.
A few short hours later, we arrived in the Isle of Man and our new life. After a few weeks of getting the new house sorted, I faced the fact that I needed to try to meet new people, but when your an adult, don’t know what’s going on in an unfamiliar place and not going into work, where do you start?
Baby groups. Thank goodness for the boy! Walking into those groups for the first time is incredibly daunting, but it only takes the boy a minute or two before he breaks out his cheeky smile and charms everyone into talking to me. It’s a long process of going every week and putting yourself out there, but six months in and I feel I’m making a few friends.
Husband’s work. I was lucky, my husband was returning to a previous employer, with a few people I’d met occasionally on visits over. These people have been incredible. They immediately took me under their wing – inviting me round for coffee, introducing me to other friends with children and taking me to different baby groups so I didn’t have to go alone.
A new (ish) hobby. After speaking to someone about their involvement, in a moment of madness I decided to take up an old hobby again. I joined an amateur dramatic society and had a small role in their latest performance as well as helping backstage. I met a lot of new people that I wouldn’t have come into contact with otherwise, but the best thing was that it gave me the opportunity to meet people as myself, not just as a Mum, which is something I’d completely forgotten how to do.
My advice to anyone who find themselves in a similar situation is to take advantage of every opportunity. Talk to everyone who wants to talk to you and put yourself out there. It’s a scary prospect, but I found taking a deep breath and just doing it without thinking too much was the best way to get myself trough the door. Once I was in, it was never as bad as I thought and I’ve met some lovely people as a result.