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?