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Making New Friends

My husband and I have been together since we were babies.  Not technically of course, but at the tender age of 19, while everyone else around us were partying and dating a new person every month, we were busy developing our relationship to last our lifetime.  We were the first to get married, and as of now with less than one handful of exceptions, we are the only one with a child in our large group of friends.

When I became pregnant, I knew our social life would change, but I welcomed it-a wild night for us consisted of ordering one glass of champagne with dessert.  Our friends were so excited for the baby, it sometimes felt that we were the social experiment of starting a family (on purpose).  My girlfriends especially embraced our impending baby and I knew that I didn’t have to worry about growing apart from my friends like I often read about in the baby books/blogs.

Just as my daughter joined our family, she also joined our group of friends.  Evelyn was easily toted to girls dinners and shopping at the mall.  I proudly showed her off at my husband’s softball games with his guy friends.  It was a seamless transition and I couldn’t have asked for anything more from my friends.  After about a year though, I started to feel like I was missing something-other mommy friends.

My girlfriends are beyond amazing and I can’t even express what they mean to me, but I still felt like there was a facet of friendship they couldn’t provide since they weren’t mothers themselves.   While my friends could commiserate with me about my new found mother’s guilt, they didn’t really get it because you just can’t until you are a parent yourself.  I wanted, no needed, someone else who was going through the trenches with me and I didn’t have anyone to turn to when I needed someone to understand me and tell me I wasn’t going crazy because I was worried my child had diabetes because she drinks so much water (true story, and luckily I was being crazy).

I didn’t know how to meet other moms! 

I’m horrible in new social situations! I’m awkwardly shy and probably come off as a snob.  I know that I’m neither of these, but until I feel comfortable and can figure out where I fall within a group I just can’t be myself.  My first attempt at mommy socialization, I went to a playgroup at a local playground where I was told I was “one of those moms that didn’t believe in germs” because I didn’t require the mother to wash her hands before holding my eight month old daughter.  It made me feel really awkward and judged, so I never returned.

After that failed attempt, I was at the mall eating lunch with just my daughter in the food court and another mom sat at the table next to me with her own lunch and daughter who looked to be around three or four months old.  I mustered all the courage I could and tried to talk to her, I asked her how old her baby was and told her that her daughter was beautiful.  She politely answered my questions but then packed her lunch up and left a few moments later.  Looking back, she probably just wanted to be alone or might have been having a bad day but I took it extremely personal and just felt like I wasn’t destined to have mommy friends until my own girlfriends starting having their own.

It isn’t entirely accurate to say I had no other friends with children-at that point, the only other women that I was “friends” with were women online.  I still desired interaction face to face, I had visions of me and my new gal pals all sitting around chatting while our kids played together; I imagined that our kids would grow up together as friends entertaining each other so their mommies could entertain each other as well.  Also, by the time my daughter had reached her first birthday, I had a couple of friends around me had given birth, but still women I couldn’t see on a regular basis.

I’d like to be able to end this blog by saying that since my failed attempt at making mommy friends I have acquired some amazing women in my life that have filled the void I felt.  Unfortunately, at this point I can’t quite say that, but what I can acknowledge is that I can tell I am on my way there.

I really don’t want to toot Dallas Moms Blog and make it feel unauthentic, but by putting myself out there and applying to become a contributor, by meeting up with these other amazing women and mothers, I can tell that over time I am going to be able to develop the friendships I wanted and needed.    I am starting to feel out each woman’s personality and get a feel for where I am going to fall within the group.  Hopefully once I am comfortable in my own skin with them they won’t regret asking me to join them, I don’t think they realized what they got themselves into when they asked my crazy self to join them.  I know this is exactly what Lauren wanted when she started Dallas Moms Blog and I am happy to be one of her success stories.

 

 

For those of you who don’t have built in friends with children-how have you made friends? 

Do you feel as lonely as I have at times? 

How do you put yourselves out there to try and make new friends?

 

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15 Responses to Making New Friends

  1. Lauren October 25, 2012 at 12:44 pm #

    Such a good post Cassidy. I know exactly how it is being the first of your friends to have a baby!! So glad to have you on the team!

    • Cassidy
      Cassidy October 28, 2012 at 10:40 pm #

      Being the first in a group of friends, both marriage and baby has been hard but I also can appreciate the plus side-supposedly we are the most knowledgeable and can speak from experience 🙂

  2. Tyese October 25, 2012 at 6:25 pm #

    Thank you for sharing your experience, I’m glad to know that I’m not alone. I am currently in the same boat. I have a 9 month old daughter and another baby on the way. I’ve been searching for opportunities to go out and meet other moms, but most of the relationships don’t stick. (If that makes sense) But I still go to a playgroup, LLL meetings, and church groups in hopes that I will find a mommy friend.

    • Krystal October 25, 2012 at 9:59 pm #

      Don’t get discouraged! Sometimes it just takes time. My son is 19 months now, and I’ve been trying to get actively involved in programs since he was born. Just make sure you don’t give up on any groups if it doesn’t work right away!

    • Cassidy
      Cassidy October 28, 2012 at 10:42 pm #

      It really is hard to make a relationship go from casual, see you once a month at this meeting, to a friendship where you seek each other’s company outside the mutual activity. For me, I have found that emailing someone (or messaging them on Facebook) has been a great starting point to get to know someone a little better before trying to take that jump.

  3. Sherry October 25, 2012 at 9:11 pm #

    Aw, thanks for sharing your heart Cassidy! What a great post- I know many other moms out there feel the same way! I am so glad that you are a part of DMB and I can’t wait to get to know you more!

    • Cassidy
      Cassidy October 28, 2012 at 10:38 pm #

      Thanks, I am super excited to be a part of DMB!

  4. Jenny
    Jenny October 26, 2012 at 3:42 pm #

    Sorry I am so late to this party — we are super glad to have you! I just want to encourage you that it is definitely not personal if another mom doesn’t respond immediately. I have two kids that are not quite 16 months apart so when we’re out in public I can rarely focus on anything but keeping them from killing themselves, each other, or the other children around them. Even when I go somewhere with a good friend, we hardly ever get a word in edgewise. Multiple kids are NEEDY when they’re this young. So my advice there is not to give up or take anything personally. There is no such thing as tact when we’re in survival mode. Also, I had cards printed up with my name, my family blog URL, my kids’ names, and my contact info that I carry around with me. That way if I meet someone and want to connect later but my kids just vomited/pooped/hit someone and I have to leave suddenly, I can just chunk the card at them and we’ll meet up later via email or Twitter or something. Works great!

    • Cassidy
      Cassidy October 28, 2012 at 10:35 pm #

      I love the card idea, I will look into doing something similar!

  5. Brianna October 27, 2012 at 3:23 pm #

    Thanks so much for sharing – you’re not alone! I also come off as shy, snobby, maybe grumpy, in new situations. And when I do muster up my personality and branch out, I feel like the effort is lost. Seems like maybe a lot of us come off that way? Still trying to figure out how to bridge the gap in my circle of friends.

    • Cassidy
      Cassidy October 28, 2012 at 10:45 pm #

      I wish I knew how to overcome it! On the plus side, all the friends I do make I know are awesome people because they gave me the time to grow in confidence around them and be myself.

  6. Lacey October 28, 2012 at 7:48 am #

    I could’ve written this blog myself. Yes, finally someone who understands exactly what I’m going through! I’ll be your friend! 🙂 It would be so nice to have the situation you described. A small group of mommy besties raising their children besties, haha. I would be happy to meet up with you and anyone else who feels this way for a “play date”!

    • Cassidy
      Cassidy October 28, 2012 at 10:47 pm #

      It seems like a perfect situation, at least in my head 🙂 What area are you located in? I am always looking to meet new moms (which of course is obvious from my post, haha).

      • Lacey October 29, 2012 at 4:47 am #

        Hello! I live in East Kessler Park. I don’t just stay put down here though – I am always happy to drive up north!

  7. Kassidy February 12, 2014 at 2:24 pm #

    I go to lots of mothers’ groups in the Dallas area and its very hard to plan playdates with other moms. Some have told me they don’t do playdates for their kids, are “busy” and others will say yes, but then keep cancelling. The sad truth is that some mothers are simply do not care about friendships for themselves or their children. At my local pre school, I and my young daughter have actually begged other parents to take their child on the playground after school for just 15 minutes to play, and have been refused all but one time. It is so bad that my husband and I are considering moving out of the area. I know I will probably hear some judgmental comments in reply to this, so I did not even bother to click on “notify me of follow up comments by email”.

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