Have you ever been sitting in a room, staring at a television, following along with its plot with more than a little interest, only to realize you’re watching a Bubble Guppies episode that you’ve seen fifty-seven times?
Sometimes, we can get so lost in the phase our kids are in that we forget what phase we’re in. Yes, we are parents. But we’re also adults who are wired to connect relationally with other adults. It’s not just a want. It’s a physiological need.
With Covid restrictions lessening, how about we all agree to “grow up” a little this summer? (Or at least agree to hang out with people our own age from time to time?)
Here are five ways to connect with other parents this summer:
- Take a class. Wanna brush up on those salsa dancing skills? Learn to cook Italian food? Take a primitive survival course? There’s no time like the present. Learning new skills or improving old ones is a great way to meet other people in your area. Plus, lots of communities offer summer courses through their parks and recreation programs at discounted rates.
- Take a health and wellness challenge. Before you skip to the next suggestion, hear me out. You don’t necessarily have to go to a gym or bench press your own body weight to focus on your health and wellness. Maybe it’s a Facebook group you join on nutrition. Maybe it is a summer-long contest at your fitness center. All you need to know is that you won’t be the only parent in the group feeling nervous or insecure.
- Hit up the same place at the same time each week. Even in the summertime, a lot of parents have certain routines. By going to the same place at the same time every week, you’re likely to find another family on your schedule. A neighborhood pool, a park, an indoor playground. Yes, you may actually have to take the first step in introducing yourself. (Which somehow feels way harder as an adult than it did in first grade.) But the reward could be the grown-up connection you need in your life!
- Teach something. What are you good at? Come on. There’s something you know how to do that other people don’t. Whether it’s how to budget down to the last cent in Excel or how to in-line roller skate—there’s a skill you have that other adults want! Plan a day and invite some folks to come learn from you. Better yet, ask those adults to schedule other days to teach you and the others what they know.
- Try an app. There’s an app for everything these days. Even apps for meeting other parents. Apps like Meetup, Moms MeetUp, Mom Life, Peanut, and Hello Mamas are just a few. You can also try out parent groups found on Facebook. But . . . just like you’d tell your kids . . . be safe.
You may not have a ton of “alone” time on your hands. You might not even have any. But now, more than ever, there are digital avenues you can take to connect with people your own age.
Don’t get lost in the “parenting phase” forever. You’re still you—an individual, separate from your kids or partner. And I could list a thousand ways for you to connect with other adults. But none of it matters if you don’t make a move.
Trust me—other parents are feeling the same concerns and anxieties you are.
Do something different. It’s worth it. You’re worth it!