Dear Sassy Housewife,
My son is in his first year of preschool and we just moved to our town last year. We don’t know any other families at the school and I’m a pretty shy person. At preschool drop off, I find myself standing in the corner by myself because I don’t know anyone else. I see parents all talking with each other, and I’m not sure how to reach out and start making “mom friends”. Can you help?
Parent-Shy In Preschool
Dear Shy and Struggling,
I remember my daughter’s first day of preschool, and I didn’t know anyone either. I felt like I was back in my middle school days where I tried to be cool but actually had a scrunchie sticking out of my hair and walked around with jeans that had a sew-on fake Guess label.
As for preschool drop off, it’s very intimidating to walk into a place where you’re the new kid on the block. However, don’t be scared – trust me, all moms at drop off are the same. We are all there to get our kids into the classroom as soon as possible so we can either grab coffee, go work out or attempt to grocery shop without having to bribe our children with free cookies from the bakery department.
I would ask your son’s teacher who your son plays with often during class. Then ask if they could point them out to you when you are at drop off next time. Once you know who that parent is, you can walk up and say something like, “Are you so-and-so’s mom (or dad)? My son loves playing with your child.” You can talk a bit about and maybe end it with chatting about a play date in the near future.
When you get to school the next day, try engaging them again in conversation, maybe about what kindergarten they plan on sending him to, or what activities he likes to do outside of school. Keeping the talk initially about the kids makes it easy to not get nervous and feel like you are talking to a popular girl who might roll her eyes at you at any time.
I’m betting once you start talking, a few other parents will jump in as well. That’s how I first talked to someone at my daughter’s preschool. That and the fact that my child puked the week before in the middle of the hallway and parents couldn’t stop asking me if she was OK the next week. I don’t recommend going that route.
Lastly, try volunteering to be part of the parents council, or events that other parents help out with. You are usually partnered with someone and I promise it isn’t like middle school – they won’t ask the teacher if they could be paired with someone different. I mean — not like that ever happened to me in middle school. I was much too cool for that, note the scrunchie and fake Guess jeans.
* * *