Hi mamas. I am a 35 yo SAHM of a 14 mo. The few friends I have with children live out of state, and aside from my sister, none of my friends have children! I never thought it would bother me, but I would love to have a good "mom" friend! More specifically, a mom friend with a baby the same age as mine! Even more specifically, a mom friend with whom Id have lots in common with.... sigh. Don't get me wrong, my friends are great, but they are clueless when it comes to parenthood. Sometimes it would be so nice to talk to someone else who knows what REAL sleep deprivation feels like, or who understands last minute cancellations due to baby drama, or who likes hanging out at the baby play place. You get my drift. I tried joining a natural parenting meet up in my town, but it was awkward, and Ive yet to "clique" with any of the moms. To be honest, I felt like the new kid at school. Internet meet ups weird me out anyway because you have no idea who you are dealing with (ironic, I know, because I LOVE the mothering forums). I will admit Im an introvert, but I am really nice and outgoing at social event. Sometimes I wonder it its because I am an older mom? Anyway, how do you all meet other moms to hang out with? (any other introverts out there? please weigh in!)
Hey SAHMs, how do you meet other "mom" friends????
I've met up with moms that I met on Facebook from "natural mama" pages that I've liked, I've met up with moms on other forums (selling vintage) where we noticed we had young kids, and I've had my husband (who tells me if his coworkers wives are natural minded or not) set me up with moms who sound similar to myself. And I'm very introverted as well. I clicked with most of the moms that I met, but I've had a falling out with almost all of them, but mainly because after I made my friends I didn't want them anymore
Oh, and I should add, I had to take a break from two of my oldest and closest friends while I was the first to get married and have kids. That's when I had to make new mama friends. AS SOON as they had their first baby, they came back into my life and all was well again, I didn't feel so lonely.
LOL! must be an introvert thing.... we think we'll have fun with new friends, only to get exhausted and bored and then we rack our brains with ways to come up with excuses to be left alone!!! too funny :)
Edited by gardendweller - 1/13/14 at 7:30pm
I was really lonely and overwhelmed when I had my first child. We also took in a foster teen at the same time, so I had ZERO time for myself. I was buried in stress and loneliness and severe PPD but couldn't show it because we had to be a good family for our teenage foster daughter. I found out about a local MOPS group and quickly got on the waiting list. I have now been a part of MOPS for a year and a half and I have never had so many wonderful friends in my life!!!! It was the best decision I ever made for myself!!! I sound like an advertisement, but I'm serious. Each group works differently, but our group is very well-organized and the church that sponsors it is so good to us. I would recommend at least making a "visit" to a local meeting. They have a website where you can find a local group. There are even military moms groups and groups for SAHM's of older kids.
That is so amazing! I think that it is the most amazing thing when teenagers get a second chance at finding a loving home!
I've found Meetup.com to very helpful in just finding events to take my kiddo occasionally, but never "clicked" with these groups on a regular basis. That said, I did attend a meetup and connected with one mom who lived close to me...we started out just helping each other out by watching each other's kids while taking care of housework or WAHM stuff, but quickly discovered that we were meant to be friends. Our husbands became buddies, too (in fact I'd say they are closer friends than she and I are)!
Then there's the "playground pickup". It's hard for an introvert to talk to total strangers, I know, but it's totally valid to assume that if another mom is there alone with her kid(s), she will probably be very happy to talk to you. This is because most of us really wish we had more mom friends. So, go ahead...chat away.
Other friends I've met have usually been from things that I go to on a regular basis at the same time each week, such as a specific part at a 10am each Thursday, or a library program each week. The library is a big one. If you see your child interacting with another kid (they're way less shy about it than we adults are), go over to that child's mom and introduce yourself. Say, "Hey, it looks like our children are hitting it off! What's your name?"
I went through a similar situation when my oldest was born, 16 years ago! None of my close friends has kids yet, and the women I did know with kids were all working full time. I ended up going to a mom's Bible Study where nursing babies were welcome and met some great women! Many of us are still friends, two of them are godmothers for my younger kids. Recently, I went through another "dry spell" with friends, as my close friends are done having their babies and have moved on to soccer, high school, driving permits, etc. Meanwhile, I'm homeschooling and have teens, tweens, a preschooler, a toddler, and a new baby. I missed having friends over for coffee and a little kid play date, missed sitting and nursing our little ones on the couch together...so I joined a nursing moms group at our local library. I'm by far the oldest mom there, but that's ok because we're all in the same boat! There's also a play group at a local church school, and it's open to all kids under 5, so I've met some nice moms there too, while the little ones play and run in the school gym.
I'm an introvert. I admit, I did feel really lonely when I first became a stay at home mom with my son. I joined playgroups and that's how I met people. Sometimes I didn't really click with the moms at playgroups but I just kept going. Or, after I had gone for a while and the group still didn't feel like a fit, I would gradually stop going and replace it with another group. I found some areas were harder to find friends in than others. I had a tough time finding friends where I am now on the east coast. I just never really clicked with the playgroups when my son was a baby (I agree, joining an established playgroup can feel like an outsider in a clique!). When we moved to the west coast for a year and a half, I had a FABULOUS time. Found a great group I clicked with instantly, I even took over a helped moderate the group with a couple friends. We moved back to the east coast to the same area we were in before, and, once again, I never made any strong connections. That said... I was able to meet social needs. I just didn't have good friends. But I had people to commiserate with or chat with and my kids played with little playgroup friends. FWIW, I was a transplant to this area so all my family and old high school friends were in another state 12 hours away. So I wasn't near anyone, even childless friends.
I think us introverts have a tough time because we like to meet our social needs with a couple good friends rather than a whole slew of people. While it was tough when the kids were teeny, it does get easier, I've found. I have a really good friend who lives just a few doors down from me. That has been really nice! She works almost full time, but we still get to talk and get together. I was so happy to be past the playgroup age. I work part time from home and am a student now, so I also fill my time while the kids are in school so I don't feel bored or lonely.
I also don't think you're an older mother. I am a young mother by the standards in my area. I am 36 with a 12, 10 and 9 year old now. When my kids were way younger, I was always the youngest mom in my playgroups. It seemed like everyone was 36 and had their first baby and I was 23.
The thing is, I'm really different from a lot of the moms here and they perceive that as judgment- like, if I mention we cloth diaper or don't eat many grains or whatever, they almost get offended? Idk. I'm also much younger than most (24, most of the moms here are 30+) which doesn't bother me but I perceive that they don't respect me as much because of my age.
I'm thinking of starting a HolisticMoms Network for the area and seeing what kind of crunchy mamas attend. Crunchiness isn't a prereq for me lol- but I'm finding that a few shared interests beyond "oh hey you're a mom? ME TOO!" would be helpful.
I feel for you!!
Meetup.com is an online social group that meets in real life. Most cities have multiple meetup groups just plug in your zip code and interest like "stay-at-home-mom" or "mom with baby" or "play group"... Some groups are very active and you can choose an event to attend based on your schedule and interests. I have met some close friends through this organization and I love it. There are challenges, but all in all, it has been a pleasant experience for me.
Forget pride and give your number to random strangers with babies your age that you meet around town. Set up playdates at public playgrounds and if you click with the other mother, see where it goes from there. I've had about 30% success with this technique, but it's brought me my closest couple friends. Once your baby starts preschool, it's much easier.