Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Transparent Moment--Mommy needs friends

A friend is someone with whom you dare to be yourself.
Frank Crane

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


  1. I love your post. You are so right and not alone! I don't know what I would do without Mommy friends! If we lived closer (actually, not sure where you live-ha!) I would totally be your mommy friend : )

  2. this is why i have you. so thankful!! although i may not be of much help to you ;)

  3. Oh my goodness Greta! This is so where I'm at right now and trying to make it better but still struggle with it almost daily! I love your blog and your honesty!

  4. @Naomi--Thanks :)

    @Jesse and Taylor-- Taylor, you are an incredible blessing in my life...though you don't have my sweet niece here YET, you continue to bless me in so many ways. I am so excited for your journey with your little princess.

    @Bontrager Family--Calah, let's hang out more! Thanks for stopping by the blog :)

  5. I love your post, it is sooo true. Two of the mommy friends I hangout with a lot, I met randomly. One I actually met at the park. I don't think I can keep my sanity without them. It's always nice to have someone to talk to who is going through the exact same things.

  6. You are so right about all of this. Most mommy groups want to meet around 10 in the morningish. If you're not available at this time, well, then, you're usually out of luck. I actually made some great mommy friends from FaceBook--people that were acquaintances from say high school that suddenly wanted to pair up because we had children the same age. Then another time (I'm almost embarrassed to say this) I actually followed--no probably stalked--a woman at the "Bounce Barn." She seemed so wonderful with her son, and I wanted to know if she'd be interested in getting together. Surprisingly, she wasn't freaked out that a stranger came over to her, and she actually sent me an email to let me know when she usually meets with her mommies' group...

    Yes, making mommy friends can be quite daunting. I've been at the playground alone while other mommies chatted away with each other...we do need pals!

  7. By the way Greta, if you lived close to me, we'd absolutely have playdates together with our kids! So glad I can at least be your friend online.

  8. I would never survive without my mom friends. I really had to get out of my comfort zone to meet them but it was so worth it!

  9. This post almost made me cry. Oh how I yearn for a mommy friend! I am one of those reclusive mommies who is slightly haunted by her own personal experiences so she's anxious about bringing her boys into the world around her.

    I hate going to the park with my sons. It's like being in high school again, holding my lunch tray and looking out at a crowded cafeteria of unknown faces. Will the other moms talk to me? Will my son be accepted? Will he play nice? Will I click with other mommies? God blessed me with a gregarious little boy who will just start playing with any child, but it's normally me...mommy...who is too shy to play nice.

    I'll be one of your first users of mommymatch.com!!

  10. @Annette--I've connected with some friends from the past via facebook too that are now mommies...that's a great tip! And thanks, I'm glad we can be online friends too :)

    @Ana--I wish I could give you a hug right now! I love and hate your analogy of the park being like high school. I love it because it's so true...you're right on and it's perfectly worded. And I hate it because it's SO true.

  11. This is so true. I have two friends near by with babies Nate's age and they are my LIFELINE. I met one through a library class that I forced myself to go to when Nate was 5 months old. The class ended before I worked up the nerve to "ask her out." So my husband helped me cyberstalk her. Now, a year later, we make a point of having weekly playdates. I don't know what I'd do without her!

  12. Wow... this is incredibly strange... I literally just, JUST finished the 5 love languages... just wrote one of my friends an e-mail with affirming words of love, and was contemplating that I am a weirdo because I let my little guy have candy from the neighbor (who doesn't speak english, and I don't speak german) just because he loves them, that I do every holiday x 10, I don't eat organic...etc. I feel sometimes like a walking contradiction, I will find a friend and we will be friends for sometime but being in the military all my friendships have a shelf life of usually 6 months to a year... leaving me to start all over from scratch!! Thank you for your post I feel not so alone and realize there are people all around the world trying and failing but trying again just like I am!!!