How to Meet Other Young Parents?

Parent Q&A

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related page: How to Meet Other Parents
May 2003

My husband and I recently moved to Berkeley from the deep south, where we both grew up and had a great circle of friends. We are both 23 years old and we have a two year old daughter.

Ever since we moved here, we've felt sort of ''out of place'', being much younger than other berkley parents. When I take my daughter to the park or wherever, I feel like everyone assumes I'm the nanny, just like someone mentioned in the ''mid-forties'' thread..

Walking around Berkeley, all I seem to see are people under 25 that look like ''free spirited'' college students that my husband and I feel would never want to hang out with parents of a 2-year-old -- or I see parents in their mid thirties or fourties, who we also don't have much of anything in common with (my own parents are not much older than them!).

My husband and I love every minute we spend with our daughter, but we need some friends of our own! Are there any other under 25 parents out there that can let us know how to connect with people our age? We are both in graduate school, but even the other parents at school are much older. We moved out here not knowing a single person, and we're still feeling really out of place. Help!! meg

Mine is a young student family as well and we'd love to hang out with your family- especially now that summer is upon us. We have several things in common in addition to age [i'm 24, husband is a cartoon watching 27 yr old]- we are both grad students, we have a 2 yr old son and we moved here from the South too -Atlanta. email me and we can exchange contact info and set up a time to hang out! Ruha
Yes, things are a little different here. I, too, am from the south and went through some adjustment issues when I moved here three years ago. It takes time to find your community out here. Feel free to email me. I have a child about your child's age...but alas, I'm one of those old parents you see in the park...but I do have friends your age with kids I could hook you up with. Interestingly, my friend was saying that VERY thing the other day. She wanted another dad her 25 year old husband could shoot hoops with! Esther
Believe me I feel you 100%. I too was a young mom. I had my son at age 22, but I was blessed to have several friends in college who were also going through the same thing. Don't fret. There are a lot of us out there. My son is now eight, and still to this day my husband and I find ourselves much younger than most of the children's parents my son hangs out with. We've kept in close contact with those who shared in my experience as a young parent, and have participated in multiple child oriented activities for my son to open up our circle of friends. If you're a grad student at Berkeley, I would recommend you take a active role in the Student Parent's Group at Berkeley. Their offices are in the Ceasar Chavez Center, 1st floor, and the director of the program is phenomenal-Alice. I met several mothers in this program, and many of those relationships have progressed on to much larger and meaningful frienships. I commend you for reacing out the way you did in this email. I'm sure you'll be surprised to find many young parents. We're out there, believe me. Feel free to email me anytime. monica
Well...we're not as *young* as you guys (27 and 29) but I certainly know how you feel being often much younger ourselves than a lot of parents in the area. Plus my husband and I both look younger than we are. We have an 18 month old daughter and while we've lived here in the Bay Area for 4 years now, none of our close friends have children *yet*. I've recently joined a playgroup and while the other women in it are older then me, I find that since we all have young children we do have a lot in common. But, I think my husband would really like to meet other young dads to hang out with, even to go to the park with! I one time thought of posting a message to one of the boards about starting a playgroup for parents under 30, but didn't know if that would appear rude, though I know there are playgroups for mom's over 40.

Whenever I see another young mom with her child walking around, or even at the supermarket I always want to ask her if she wants to *be my friend*, but I never have the nerve to! I even talked to this super cool girl and her baby once, but it never escalated from there. And like you we go to parks a lot too (I work part time at UCB), but I often find most of the younger ladies with kids are nannies too and I don't really need any more friends that don't have kids ( ; We go to lots of outdoor music events and always see a lot of younger parents there and always strike up nice conversations with them. I guess it just takes time.

Email me if you want to meet at a park sometime. Perhaps you'll get a lot of people writing to your post and we could all meet at a park on a Sunday or something! Jami

I am a 23 year old graduate student at Berkeley with a 6 1/2 month old baby boy and I know exactly what you are talking about. My husband and I live in San Rafael and it is possibly even worse over here! It is very frusterating to be treated like either a nanny or felt sorry for as if this was an accidental teenage pregnancy. I don't have much advice in the way of meeting more people like us because the only people I know that are our age with kids live in Los Angeles. (We moved up about a year ago...) I did, however, meet some really nice and helpful people at the Student Parent Center at UCB and they had lots of advice and resources. They were all young or young-ish and helped me to feel much more comfortable at Berkeley as a parent. Please email me if you would ever like to meet or if you find out any other helpful groups, etc... Good Luck, Lauren
I don't have an actual resource for you but just wanted to offer a few words of sympathy. I think that must be extremely hard here. I had my first baby at 26 and second at age 29 (my husband is one year older) and I also feel so much younger than other bay area parents. I also completed graduate school but feel many unspoken judgements as if I had my babies in high school and never got the chance to complete my education. I think it was even harder with the first because I looked younger than 26 but it got easier with #2 because now at 30 I look at least 35! Ahhh rapid aging and sleep deprivation do have some benefits if you are a young parent in the bay area. I have found a few older parents whom I connect well with regardless of age diff. and a few my own age just by being around many other parents these last few years. I don't think I would ever fit in a typical mom's group nor even with the majority of chit chatting in the parks. But please keep trying with the free-spirits and with the greying parents of toddlers. Many are absorbed in their own things, but I'd say there are at least some if not many who could use a new friend. Some people seem judgemental when really they might not be comfortable reaching out to someone who seems different but they might really appreciate you reaching out ( and others need to stay judgemental.) I hope someone knows of a group too. Best Wishes. Chris
You should join our playgroup! I've mentioned it here before. The moms in our group span a big age range, but several of the ''regulars'' are twentysomethings. My playgroup is open to absolutely anybody. We have a broad range of ages -- parents AND kids. Several of the ''regulars'' are twentysomethings, several are not. Many have more than one child, some don't. We try to meet weekly at various parks and attractions around the East Bay, especially Berkeley. I'd be happy to respond directly to anyone who is interested in hearing more. We always welcome newcomers! Loralee
I just wanted to say that, even though I am not a twentysomething parent (I had my first in my early thirties)I think it's terrible that you should feel judged for having children at what seems to me to be a perfectly normal age, and in my opinion, the best age, b/c you will have a) more energy, b)more time and consequently, c)a longer period to enjoy the lives you've brought into the world. In my early twenties I certainly thought I would have had my children by the time I was thirty, and though I wouldn't change a thing now, sometimes I wish I had (health reasons and other life events postponed things). I grew up here in Berkeley and I think it's only been in the recent years that there have been so many older moms, and it has been my experience that as an older mom I am the exception not the rule in the groups I hang out with.... I suggest to you that you take pride in your decision to start your family when you did, that it was a responsible and natural course for you to take. Maybe you need to make more of an effort to surround yourself with younger and/or less judgemental moms (which is unfortunate that this burden is placed on you) but believe me there are lots out there....good luck! anon