A friend is someone with whom you dare to be yourself.
Just as in all parts of life, parenting without friends can be lonely. Both stay at home moms and work outside of the home moms alike need mommy friends. Someone to go to when there's an awkward mommy question. Someone to lean on when times are hard. Someone to count on when you need them the most. Someone who understands body after baby. Someone who has been there as a mom. Someone who is going through motherhood. Someone to just be a mommy friend with.
Sure, my husband is amazing at being there when times are both good and hard, and he even flatters me when I complain about my post-baby body. But what about when I need hubby advice? He's obviously pretty biased on that one. Or, what about when I'm pregnant and need to know if it's normal to hurt down there? Sure, I could google it, or even call my doctor, but sometimes I just need reassurance from a friend...someone who's been there. My husband and I are going through the exact same experience at the exact same time with the exact same kids; sometimes it's nice to get another perspective on parenting. What did you do when your child...
Yea, mommy needs friends.
Growing up we had neighbors down the street that had kids the exact same age as my brother and me. Our families did everything together; Halloween parties, trick-or-treating, Christmas parties, game nights, you name it, we all did it. I miss that. I crave that. I thought it would come easily for me. Truth be told, it hasn't.
When we had our first son we didn't know many other people our age with kids. Actually, we didn't know anyone in town; sure, we had acquaintances, but we didn't have any friends. Enter operation mommy needs friends. There have been afternoons where I'm literally sitting at the park trying to strike up conversation with every mom. Sometimes I feel like I'm hounding other moms just to find some that I click with. When I look around I usually feel so alone; it seems like everyone at the park is there with someone else.
It's hard for me to believe that I am the only mom that is looking for friends. Something tells me I am not alone. But, is it possible that every other woman in the world already has a group of friends that they can't handle one more? Is it that everyone is too shy to speak up that they need friends or to actually pursue friendship? Or, is it that I'm a work out of the home mom and my schedule doesn't click with most? Whatever it is, it is alienating.
It's been suggested that I go to a MOPS group. Or get involved in another mom group. Have you ever noticed when mom groups meet? During the day. Usually mid-morning. Apparently, work out of the home moms don't want to belong to a mom group.
I'm thinking of starting a match.com for mommies. After all, isn't that what it seems like? We're constantly assessing potential friends...Do we get along? Do we have similar interests? Do our kids get along? Are we roughly the same age? Are our kids roughly the same age? Do we have similar periods of free time? Do we share the same beliefs? And something I never thought I would run in to...do we have the same beliefs around holidays? (Am I the only parent that is allowing my kids to go trick or treating, and am I the only one allowing them to believe in Santa, and the Easter Bunny? You mean you don't want to come to my kid's birthday party because it's a pirate theme?). Yup, pretty sure mommymatch.com (no idea if this type of site actually exists) would be a great idea.
Fortunately, my efforts, combined with a lot of prayer, and some pretty incredible ladies making the effort too, have paid off. The other day I received an incredible email from a friend. Yes, a mommy friend! Her words were music to my ears. As you might have seen in my post from yesterday, my love language is written words of affirmation. This. Was. Perfect. So dear friend, thank you. Thank you, for YOU. For somehow knowing the perfect timing, for knowing my heart, and for calling me to transparency.
And a shout out to other mommies...YOU are not alone. Keep trying. I know stay-at-home mommies struggle with this too, I've been there. Just keep getting out, get involved. Or, just wait for mommymatch.com ;)
Readers: What have you done to meet other moms? Can I challenge you? My challenge...reach out to someone you don't know very well, or affirm a friendship you do. Invite someone new over for a play date...what's the worst that could happen?
© Transparencies of Motherhood 2010