I am 31 years old and really thought I had a handle on this making friends thing.
I have an awesome group of friends. They’re spread out all over the country and come from diverse backgrounds. I love it! They’re a reflection of all aspects of my personality and life.
I’ve called North Carolina home for almost three years now. Many of my friends who have kids live out of state. In order to help my son learn to socialize and to help me navigate the new world of mommyhood, I needed mommy friends in Raleigh.
In my head, making new mommy friends in town was an easy task. There’s Facebook, Meetup.com and a ton of other social networking sites built on stuff like this. It should be a breeze.
Initially, the thought of making new friends made me excited, but then I started getting upset and feeling stubborn and scared. As I said earlier, my friends are awesome and I’ve spent YEARS cultivating these relationships. I thought and often said to my friends, “I don’t want to make new friends. I am too old to make friends all over again.”
Making friends is like dating and I was so glad to stop all that foolishness when I got married. I didn’t want to go through all that work.
After I got over being scared and stubborn about making new friends, I realized I was scared. The thought of starting all over with someone new is a little daunting. It takes me back to being the new kid in elementary school, starting middle school, going to a different high school than my other friends and even going to college.
Obviously, I made it out of all those situations just fine and with a bunch of friends, but those first few weeks and months were not the most fun. My head was filled with questions: How do I find these mommy friends? Would they like me? Would our parenting styles match up? What do I wear? Would they like my son? Anxiety, doubt, fear and a bunch of other emotions all crept into my head.
After a few days of sulking in all of those bad feelings, I realized I was being selfish. I was only thinking about myself and my feelings. I had forgotten why I needed to meet new people and make friends. My son. He needed to be around other people and kids his age. He needed to learn to socialize and that other people existed in the world besides his dad and me.
So I stopped feeling sorry for myself, thought about my son and got my tail on the internet determined to meet other moms in my area.
I am not going to lie and say everything has been wonderful. I have met some amazing moms and kids. I won’t call us friends just yet. I am still working on those relationships and hopefully, very soon, I can proudly add them to my friends category.
Until that time, I will continue taking Davis on play dates and going to the library for story time. He’s having fun and seeing him smile and laugh are the most important things.
Kianey is the mom of one and a WRAL-TV morning news producer. She writes monthly for Go Ask Mom.