Making Friends

4

October 17, 2012 by Carin

I made a new friend this week…..I think.   I will get to the how in a minute, but let me describe why this is such a big deal to me.

Being a stay-at-home mom to two toddlers can be very isolating.  There are the days when I am ready to take them out into the world to do something fun and then there are the days that when they wake up you just know that leaving the house will result in a one of them “throwing them self on the floor “ type of tantrum or worse yet they will make my parenting skills look pathetic.   So getting out of the house isn’t always easy.  Some days we are just better off stay home and playing. Then when we do manage to leave the house I am watching them so closely that to have a conversation with another adult is difficult.  You are constantly interrupting to step away to make sure the kids are in view or break up a toddler brawl over a toy.   And them when you do meet someone you click with there is the matter of age of the kids, working vs. not working and interests.  All of these things feel like barriers to making new adult friends.

I love the friends I do have but I feel still feel isolated from them as well.  A lot of them have older kids, live in other cities, work full time or don’t have kids.  I realize it is good to have a mix of friends, but I feel like I am lacking in finding friends with similar aged kids.  They are in the thick of what I am in at the moment and can relate to my frustrations, troubles, successes and victories when it comes to my kids.  I need more friends and the support system that comes along with those friends.

“Have you been trying to make friends?” is probably what you are thinking as you read this and yes.  I take my youngest son to ECFE weekly.  There I am with other parents and caretakers with kids of a similar age.  The kids play and the parents can socialize for part of the class.  I also have joined a running group that has been meeting sporadically thus far, but we are hoping to get something a little more put together soon.   Slowly but surely I have been getting out of the house and meeting new people that I hope can turn into lifelong friends.  So isn’t just like I have been sitting at home pining for new friends.  I have been making an effort that isn’t always easy for me.

Wondering about this new friend that I alluded to at the beginning of this post?  I met her at the park and she lives on our block.  She has a daughter that is in-between the ages of my kid and another one on the way.   She is chatty and super nice.  I know we have a few things in common beyond kids so far and that is a good start.  When I mentioned that I was going shopping that night to find something to wear to an event this weekend, she kindly offered to loan me a few things she had, that due to her pregnancy she wasn’t currently wearing.

Am I getting too excited too soon?  Maybe.  But I am off to a good start on learning how to make new adult friends. Yes I realize I probably seem like a big dork for being excited about a new friend, but who doesn’t love new friends!

Have any tips for making new friends?  What is your favorite memory for meeting/making a new adult friend.

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4 thoughts on “Making Friends

  1. anne says:

    5.5 years in, and I still feel like SAHmotherhood in our society is terribly isolating. Like you said, even if a person HAS friends, it’s still isolating. I’ve struggled with this all along…

    • Carin says:

      Thanks Anne. I remember our walk 3+ years ago because I was excited but scared to stay home and you gave me ideas to get out and do things. Still discovering new things to do with the kids and working on my friend making skills!

  2. Amy says:

    This is my second favorite MTM’s post so far because it totally applies to me. (My first favorite post is Melissa’s blood donation story…I am laughing just thinking about it.)

    Despite having a few old friends from childhood and college who had also moved to the Twin Cities area when we arrived in Minnesota two years ago, I mostly had to meet new friends to hang out with during the days as a stay-at-home-mom. I have found that meeting people is easy with kids but figuring out friends is just something I am not good at. For example, I just realized this morning that someone I thought was a friend is probably actually a “frenemy”.

    Also I worry that I get too excited and talk too much when meeting people. I’m chatty by nature and excited to meet new people. So I will talk to anyone with children and invite them over for a playdate or to meet at a park and see if something works out. Maybe they can’t stand me (talking too much??) or I think they smell like soup so we don’t end up being friends.

    Interestingly, many of my new friends did not grow up in Minnesota. Several of them have mentioned that everyone in Minnesota is nice but they don’t invite you over. Another common complaint is that everyone here is friends with people they grew up with and don’t need more friends. I don’t know if these rumors are true. I do wonder if people in Minnesota just are not used to meeting new people.

    I have found that saying “yes” is the best way for me to get out there. “Do I want to go to the Children’s Museum?” Sounds like a lot of effort but YES! “Do I want to join a book club of strangers led by a mom I met at a park and talked to for five minutes?” YES! “Do I want to risk looking like a crazy person for inviting six little kids over for a playdate?” YES! 😉

    • Carin says:

      Thanks, Amy. I have learned that I just need to be open to talking, accepting inviations when I can and just not worry if they person doens’t seem like a “fit” from the start. I have found that there a lot of times, their is always something that you have in common with people. My biggest problem is I am afraid of being rejected by someone I think i want to be friends with….old childhood issue that still lingers! Anyway, it isn’t crazy to have six kids over to play, it is a lot of fun!!

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