So now that I am a Mom, friendships have changed. I did have Mom friends before I began having children, but most of them had older children. I had a number of friends who were like me with no children at all. After I became a Mommy and was a stay at home Mom I realized that I needed to find other Moms in my same phase of life. It wasn’t that my old friends weren’t any less loved by me, it was just that I had a need to socialize with others who would understand what I was going through on a day to day basis and could provide advice on things because they too were going through the same exact thing! So how did I go about finding these like minded Mommies? Music Time, Library Time, Gymboree, Little Gym, a Moms of Multiples Club, Stroller Strides/Stroller Barre, MOPS (Mother’s of Preschoolers), and a Bible Study for Moms with Little Ones. I didn’t belong to these groups all at the same time. There was a time and a place for each. For this fall I will be in a weekly bible study, twice monthly MOPS group, Stroller Strides/Stroller Barre, and my Moms of Multiples Group. My kiddos will have preschool twice a week from 9-2 as well.
I have heard many Moms complain that they feel lonely or isolated now that they are Mom. That they are stuck at home and miss spending time with friends. My advice? Get out, with your kiddo, and join groups where your kids are involved! If I can do it with all three of my kids- ages 3.5 and 19 month old twins, anyone can do it! Will it be a struggle some days to get them all ready, out the door, and to your activity on time….of course. But it is worth the effort! You will be able to make those connections you have been missing! Your kids will learn to socialize too.
You are the model for your children. They learn by your example. Joining new groups where you don’t know a soul gives you a great opportunity to show your kids how to make friends with others. What a valuable, life changing skill to teach your children! I have had many friends compliment me for my ability to meet others and make friends so easily. Does it really come easily to me? I don’t think so. It is a matter of effort. I make an effort to step into the unknown, possible rejection, and maybe some embarrassment by introducing myself to strangers. It makes it easier when you have a topic of conversation easily at hand. I usually start with “how old is your little one” or “what are your kids names?”. Offering a genuine compliment also helps to get the ball rolling. Such as “your daughter has beautiful hair” or “your kids are so well behaved, how do you do it?” Being friendly and genuine always helps the conversation flow from there. It is also important to be yourself with a certain amount of transparency. You don’t have to tell them how you were peed on this morning by one of your toddlers and didn’t have time to change, so you rinsed your pants at the kitchen sink. But some openness about who you are, where you are from, and details about your life are good at helping to form common bonds.
My first week living in Southlake over two years ago I took Brielle to Gymboree. I was in my second trimester of pregnancy with the twins at the time. I was not feeling cute, attractive, or energetic at that time, but I was wanting to make friends in my new hometown. By the third week I had a whole new gang of friends! How did I do it? Just like I mentioned. One by one I introduced myself to each of the ladies as our kids played. Usually, I started up a conversation while my child was playing near theirs. After I had met most of the ladies in our weekly Gymboree class I decided to host a playdate. Our house wasn’t completely set up, but we had a playroom. We all had kids around 18 months old, so a playroom with some toys was all that was needed! The ladies came with their kids at that first playdate and guess what? Two years later we are all still friends! We continued having playdates. Some of the ladies that I met during my first month in Southlake I consider some of my closest friends today. Shae, Kara, and Lynnsey to name a few. They have been such a blessing in my life. We have been blessings to one another too. We threw a baby shower for Shae when she was pregnant with twins and we helped Lynnsey furnish her new home a few months ago. Through lifes ups and downs it is nice to have friends. Friends who also have kids the same age and understand things, like why it is difficult to even hold a 3 minute conversation with someone because you are constantly distracted by little ones. They get it. We are alike in our path in life at this time. And when we are going through something unknown or unfamiliar to their experience, such as having a child diagnosed with Down’s Syndrome we try our best to give support and be there for one another. Love runs deeps in true Mom friendships.
Above: Lynnsey, Shae, and I at Shae’s baby shower. She was surprised with the blessing of twins too!
Being a Mom is wonderful. It becomes even better when you can share your journey with fellow Moms with kids the same age. I miss my Mom friends in Florida (Lauren, Barbara, Sarah, and Rebecca- We all first met at Family Music Time). At the same time I feel blessed with lots of new friends here in Southlake.